This month I am thrilled to be a part of a project called ‘Demystifying the artist’. I am one of 31 artists selected by artist/author Eli Trier (my fabulous sister), to help open the doors on the thoughts and inner-workings of artists. Revealing the challenges, the joys, the doubts and insecurities, and how we might be dealing with it all so far.
The project takes the form of daily emails, one from each of the artists each day for the whole month. Each artist tackles the question ‘What does being an artist mean to you’. Submissions are mostly in the form of a piece of writing with an accompanying image. There’s also a private facebook group for discussion between all the artists and those who’ve signed up to receive the emails. In addition, many of the artists will be engaged in some form of daily sharing for the duration of the project, opening the doors on their day-to-day artistic activity.
The participants of the project are looking at issues such as how does it feel to adopt the title ‘Artist’? Do we have issues calling ourselves artists? Do we feel like what we do is real art? What does it mean to choose the life of an artist instead of getting a ‘proper’ job? Do we suffer from imposter syndrome? Do we ever feel like a fraud?
The potential outcome of the project as I see it is to break down the walls artists might perceive between themselves, behind which we may envision other artists around us sailing along in their artistic fairy tales, enjoying huge success and astronomical self-esteem, never having a doubt in the world. These fantasy ideas about the people around us, our peers, can be pretty hard to bear when we ourselves are struggling creatively, personally, or financially in regard to our artistic lives. When we can get an honest account of the vulnerable truths of our fellow human beings, we are sometimes surprised to see that those people are suffering with all the same stuff we are, and that can feel like a big relief. We can feel less isolated, and like there is a greater avenue open for mutual support. The upshot of all this is the formation and strengthening of community. Artists – indeed all people – with strong community around the areas of their interest, are strengthened and supported by their association and connection with one another. The results can be miraculous.
You can find out more and sign up to receive the daily emails here.