To be an artist is to be a creator. To make something from nothing, to tap into the unknown – that is the basis of artistic pursuit. While no two artists are the same, they carry certain similarities.
1. They ask questions about everything.
Reluctant to accept concepts at someone else’s say-so, artists ask questions and seek answers constantly. They inquire about the why while others ask how. There’s an ever-present curiosity – about life, love and even the smallest components of existence. They crave a deeper understanding because to live without understanding – or without trying to obtain it – would be to willingly accept figurative blindness.
2. They dabble in multiple pursuits.
Artists are always hungry for more, eager to take on new projects, to learn new things. They enjoy the juggling act: interacting with others, pursuing passions, absorbing fresh information. They won’t put all their eggs in one basket, because, unlike other people, they understand that there are an infinite number of places to put one’s eggs.
3. They know that money isn’t everything.
Happiness and satisfaction are priorities for the artist, and they’re not measured in monetary income. Mostly they’re interested in creating, in sharing ideas. They hold a deep appreciation for these things, for the free components of day-to-day life. A lofty paycheck is merely a bonus, if it ever comes.
4. They’re used to shaking off naysayers.
Pursuing art is a risk. It’s not always the most lucrative undertaking, and job security is more than shaky. It’s not the safest route to take. Consequently, there will always be doubters, people trying to shove artists onto a smoother path. Artists are accustomed to this, however, and still choose to put their passions to the test.
5. They seek inspiration.
Artists don’t do things just to do them – they need a reason, a drive. They require inspiration. They know this much about themselves and actively seek stimuli to push their actions. When they find it – when they feel a good vibe, they document it. They hold onto it and use it.
6. They pave their own way.
When one path doesn’t work, they pave another. Always keen on thinking outside the box, the artist considers all options before moving forward. Frequently, in fact, artists create their own possibilities: whether it’s something completely new or a combination of existing means.
7. They embrace their emotions.
Open to every aspect of the human experience, artists don’t shy away from their feelings. There’s no embarrassment. It’s raw and uncensored. Euphoria, despair, confusion – the artist uses these sentiments to fuel his or her work. Art is the destination; emotions are the gas.
8. They see the world through their own lens.
As they dance through life asking questions, artists confidently form their own opinions, their own perspectives. They won’t bend because someone else tells them to. They follow what they view as right, exciting and positive. They understand that it’s their life; they can live it as they please.
9. They take time to reflect.
Artists don’t get stuck in the past, but they’re not above thinking back. They don’t deny the past’s role in the present and future, and put aside time to acknowledge it, to appreciate and learn from it.
10. They love meaningful dialogue.
For the artist, every interaction is an opportunity to pick one’s brain, to examine other people’s experiences. They often steer away from small talk in search of something of greater depth. Conversations involving more than one artist – they can get very, very interesting.
11. They grapple with vulnerability.
To publish or showcase one’s artwork is to expose a piece of oneself. Artists struggle with or have overcome this reality – a feat that shouldn’t be scoffed at. It requires courage to put oneself out there, to be so vulnerable. Art comes from the artist and the artist alone. To publish, therefore, is to open doors for very personal praise or crippling criticism.
12. They appreciate every experience.
Heartbreak and turmoil – these are unavoidable parts of life. Rather than dip and dodge situations that may predispose one to these pains, artists take life by the horns. They confront circumstances face-to-face because, even if the outcome hurts, they take away a lesson from each experience.