My friend Lisa is a metal artist. She creates art out of sheets of metal — and functional art at that. Her metal fire pits are not only beautiful lit or unlit, they are unique — some of them custom cut to suit the customer. When I saw some of the incredible designs she was creating, I was floored. While I knew she had creative flair — the girl can take a pile of acorns and a string of busted Christmas lights and create a whimsical table setting — I had no idea she was so damn skilled with power tools!
My friend is an artist.
She’s not a crafter.
She’s not dabbling in metal.
She’s not spending hours in her garage studio, riveting or melting or whatever it is she does to create these stunning designs out of flat sheets of metal, because she’s trying to fill time.
My friend is an artist.
In the very early days of her business, she would call herself a crafter. And I fought her on this. Not out of any disrespect for those of us who spend time doing crafty things– I’m one of them! — but because I felt like she wasn’t owning her talent. She was, subconsciously minimizing her skills, as though I could simply go into her garage, throw on an apron and some safety glasses and scorch the metal into the beautiful designs she now sells across the country.
Thankfully, this categorization was short-lived and she started seeing herself as the artist she was. If you ask her today, she’ll tell you she’s an “accidental artist,” which I think is a brilliant description.
There is a quote I just love in Dani Shapiro’s book “Still Writing,” that I just love:
“Act as if you’re a writer. Sit down and begin. Act as if you might just create something beautiful, and by beautiful I mean something authentic and universal. Don’t wait for anybody to tell you it’s okay.”
Act as if.
Give yourself permission to be who you are. Don’t wait for someone to tell you who you are.
Act as if you’re a writer. Sit down and write.
Act as if you’re a painter. Pick up a brush and just paint the canvas.
Act as if you’re a marathon runner. Put on your sneakers and run!
Act as if you’re a metal artist. Get into that garage and pick up that .. well, whatever it is that Lisa does to create art. 🙂
Whatever it is that you aspire to be — or do — act as if you can.
It’s amazing how much more confident you feel when no one else is defining who you are.
Setting an intention is half the battle.
Act as if. It’s what I plan on doing.