I walked into an art gallery with a friend, Art Dude, and got chatting with the owner while we looked around.
Art Dude noticed a pair of large format photographs hanging near the door. One of them depicted a bison laying in dried grass and the owner proudly informed us that he had taken the photo in Alaska. He went on to talk about how he had taken over a thousand photos on that trip then described where and how he got the images printed and how he had chosen the frames.
I looked at the photos with Art Dude while Pompous talked. I was not impressed. I would not have bothered printing them, much less blowing them up. I was, however, kind enough to keep my mouth shut. He was proud of them so they were good enough.
I looked around at the other art which included consignment pieces of jewelry, pottery, and paintings while Art Dude continued talking to him. The owner revealed that most of the paintings were done by his father. They were very good. I made some off hand artsy fartsy comment and Pompous asked if I was an artist. I stared at him.
My hobbies have included at one time or another: expert level crochet, jewelry making, lampwork bead making, weaving, peg loom weaving, bead weaving, ceramics, photography, writing, sewing, pattern making, painting, flower arranging, garden design, embroidery, furniture refinishing and I can’t remember what else. The major craft stores have few sections I have not delved into.
After some thought, I said, “Yes, but I don’t call myself that.” That confused the owner and he left me alone for a while.
Calling myself an artist has always seemed pompous to me. It’s fine when other people do it, but for me it’s wrong. The only title I have been comfortable with in that respect was ‘maker’. I make things. No pomp, no arrogance, no judgment. Just simple, low key awareness.
The same thing applies when I talk about writing. I write, but I’m not a writer. I feel embarrassed when I tell people I’m writing a book or working on a story. I’m putting off talking to people for research on the book because the idea of walking into a location and saying, “I’m a writer, can I ask you some questions?” seems silly. I know it’s foolish on my part, but I have already established I’m a nut. I even have a website proclaiming it.
Maybe one day soon, I will have the confidence in my writing to be comfortable saying “I’m a writer”. In the mean time, I will hide behind the anonymity of the internet and test the waters. Maybe, me no write so good and can avoid the whole ordeal.
Thanks for the read.