Are you an artist? *Hint: We ALL are*
I love the feeling of surprise. Not the kind of 'Surprise! You parallel parked next to a lush tree that happened to perfectly block a "FOR EMERGENCY VEHICLES ONLY" sign, and now a $204 ticket is blazing its orange-hued glory in your stunned face.' (And were those four extra dollars at all necessary, by the way? I mean, really...)
No, I like people surprises. When come from people, that's cool (say, maybe your brother brought you back some alpaca knee-high socks from his trip to Chile, or a passing stranger compliments your necklace from the massively discounted rack in Target). But when they're about people, that's the juiciest.
How does this all tie in with Art? Well, I had this really big breakthrough, which was realizing that no matter how we look, dress, walk, talk, how we pay the bills, or if we're night-owls or early-birds, we are ALL artists! This opened me up to the excitement that everyday I could discover a surprise about someone if I keep my eyes, mind, and heart open. Go beyond the surface and beyond stereotype.
*Here's an anecdote: I know a very interesting man. He is arguably one of the most unorthodox, enigmatic, and memorable characters that could be dreamed into existence: He is attractive, athletic, charismatic, and funny. He is also quick-tempered, critical, and a relentless backseat driver. He wears a fannypack for practicality. He is the quirky guy delaying the grocery line because he's telling stories in a foreign accent you "caaan't quite put your finger on." He is -by all outside observances- not someone you'd peg as a brilliant painter with works that spark awe. But since his young childhood in Hungary, through immigration to the U.S. and citizenship herein, through raising four successful kids, to the present day, he's taken paint to canvas in order to create. He's my dad and he's an artist.*
With that being said, I now look around (and this was especially fun when I lived in NYC) at people on the sidewalk, or in a coffee shop, or that Target jewelry section, and wonder in what way they're driven to create.
The mail(wo)man could be a concert violinist for all I know! Wouldn't it be a lovely surprise to look past face-value, get to know someone a little deeper, and ask... In what way are you an artist?