Can You Make Art if You Are Not an Artist?

Do you want to make art?

Life is too short. Whether you’ve done art in the past, consider yourself a professional, or believe you have zero creativity, you should make art. And I know some of you might be thinking, “But I’m not an artist.”

Does that mean you can’t or shouldn’t make art? No. Maybe creating isn’t your career and maybe you are terribly unskilled–but you can make art, and you should.

Plenty of pretentious creators and art aficionados will try to convince the world that the creation of art is reserved for elite groups. That you cannot just be an artist or make artwork without a grand purpose or meaning. I get why. This practice drives the price of art up and inflates its value, but it also discourages a lot of people from trying to create.

I have been discouraged many times through my experiences in the art world because I didn’t think I could live up to what an artist should be. And there was a long stretch where I did not believe I was an artist at all. During those years, I wasted too much time not creating.

Artist or not, you can and you should make art. To help any creative newbies out there, I put together a little list of “Don’ts” for getting started.

1. Don’t live by the rules.

The art world has rules, but this is the world where you can and should break them. It’s always funny to me when creative people have rigid mindsets because I see creativity as a fluid practice. Rearranging the things in your life to make new and surprising combinations is where creativity thrives. The moment you get stuck in your ways is the moment creativity starts to fade.

Everything in your life can be used to make art, and art can be everything around you. You don’t have to make art a certain way. You don’t even have to use traditional supplies. Just make things.

Make sculptures with bubbles from your bubble bath. Use stencils and cinnamon on top of your morning latte to make edible designs. Fold and stack your bathroom towels in a new way. Organize your fruit bowl by color. Use tea and a watercolor brush to make earthy monochromatic paintings in a sketchbook. Fold your junk mail into origami flowers. Anything! The possibilities are endless.

There are no rules that you have to follow except to make art in any way you can today.

2. Don’t listen to the naysayers.

I’ve heard from so many people over the years that they quit creating because someone said something negative to them. That they weren’t good enough, they would never be able to make money from their passion, they were doing the wrong kind of art, or that what they made wasn’t even art at all.

I know a lot of these negative comments can come from a place of good intentions, but it is amazing how quickly you can steal someone’s artistic light with a careless critique or judgment.

So I am here to tell you that those comments mean nothing. Nobody has an objective truth about your potential or what will happen in the future. If you feel the urge to create something, do it. Defy the limitations put on you and make all the art your heart desires.

3. And don’t be your own naysayer.

Negative comments from others are bad, but negative comments from your own internal dialogue are even worse. Choose to only listen to encouraging thoughts, because they will move you forward. Positive thoughts are creative. Negative thoughts are destructive.

Now is the time to create. You can do this. You should do this. Having or not having the label of “artist” does not matter.

All that matters is that you create.


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P.S. You probably know by now that I am here to help artists with these posts. If you need help with your online branding, Instagram account, or just want a creative accountability coach, then check out my consulting services. You can easily add a session to my online calendar now.

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