Many up-and-coming talents always have trouble coming to terms with their work, often calling them “things.” You’re no stranger to it: you share your work of art and other accomplishments on social media captioning it: “look, I made a thing.”
This is the common misconception: If someone doesn’t have a diploma or a solid job title to back their work, how can they prove that their output is actually what they say it is? Or more specifically, if someone illustrates, are they free to call it art? Back in the good ol’ deviantArt days, I had trouble calling my work art for the obvious reason that I wasn’t an artist. My knowledge came from Google and not from an incarnation of Leonardo da Vinci like in the movies, so calling my work art was out of the question. In my eyes, it was better to be seen as an underdog than be called a *gasp* feelingera.
Many psychologists diagnose it as Impostor Syndrome. This is when individuals view themselves as frauds, thinking that their accomplishments came from the world conspiring to make things happen. Some think that they are undeserving of recognition, getting stuck in an artist limbo where where they don’t know what to do next. There’s no sure and fast way to get over it, but just like anything, a constant reminder can do the trick.
Whenever you share your work, think about your process. What steps did you take to achieve this final product? Who made this possible in the first place? The sooner you come to terms with the fact that you are able, that you can create art that are worth anyone’s time, the faster you will take ownership of your work in its full glory. The Internet is a huge place and someone will sooner or later stumble upon your “thing” and be inspired by it. In their eyes, it’s art, so technically, you can call yourself an artist, right?
At the end of the day, it’s just a matter of semantics. We’re no strangers to the saying “fake it ’til you make it.” That’s pretty much the secret of the universe. No artist was born with a golden hand or a guaranteed spot at a gallery. At one point in their lives, they were probably also struggling with owning up to their work and abilities. Start calling yourself an artist until you believe that you deserve it. You’re only going to get better at your work. When you start believing that your talents are valid and present your work for what it is (hint: amazing), the sooner you get a head start in achieving your full potential.