I Am An Artist…Or Am I?

A Biopic of One Girl’s Quest to Be Accepted into the Art World…
(Disclaimer: NOT a real movie, but I’m sure you’ve figured that out already…)

Have you noticed the tagline that follows my brand, Just a Girl with Mental Problems who happen to draw.

I once watched a movie by the great elusive Banksy “Exit Through the Gift Shop” which follows an eccentric arts aficionado Thierry Guetta (sometimes going by the moniker Mr. Brainwash) who, armed with a camcorder, explores the underground street art scene and crosses paths with prominent artists, one of whom is Banksy.  When Thierry undertakes the task of making a documentary based on the footages he had captured, the end result puzzles Banksy greatly, on which he quotes, “… it was at that point that I realized that maybe Thierry wasn’t actually a film maker, and he was maybe just someone with mental problems who happened to have a camera.” In some ways I identified myself with the eccentric “Mr. Brainwash” who no doubt loves art with passion but is terribly misunderstood by even the pros.

Now I’ve never been officially diagnosed with any particular mental condition, but I do know I bear many characteristics of ADHD and autism.  And to date I’m on meds for depression. So in a sense I am mentally challenged…and I love to draw and paint.  

But does it justify the fact that I am an Artist?  I wonder about that pretty often.  (Here is An old post about what in my opinion Art is)

I have been drawing for as long as I can remember when I started holding a pencil in my hand and scribbled on paper.  I even remember how I got severely reprimanded by my mother for pouring a bowl of water over a TV and ruining it (I still haven’t figured it out why I did that.)  In school I was labeled the class artist, and I got in trouble a lot for doodling away instead of listening to the day’s lessons. It was in junior high that I actually started a formal private training in art, but I ended up driving the instructor nuts with my inability to listen and concentrate (guess I did have ADHD after all).  Then around high school I started drifting away from art and dabbled in other interests that had nothing to do with art. Middle of college was when I really took a dive and almost totally gave up on art, like I did not care for it as I did before. My mental state was in haywire as I tried to figure out what I wanted to do with my life.  It would take many more years after college before I FINALLY got a grip and started driving in the right direction again.  (For more in-depth about this story you can read this old post here)

So while in the midst of reinventing myself and setting up for a full-time lifelong journey as an artist the quote from the movie popped into my head. And I made it my life’s tagline. The more I think about it the more it suits me. Emotionally and mentally I’m as unstable as a hot pot of boiling water. While I am trying to really get my $#!@ together at the same time I relish in my unstableness and accepting it as a blessing in disguise. I’m still not considering myself a pro yet, even though I have taken that next step into introducing myself to the world on line and off line. I don’t know how long it will be before I get that official acknowledgement of being accepted into the hall of pros, only time will tell. In the meantime I will continue making art and present myself as that girl with mental problems who happens to draw…

Recommended read: Creativity and Depression from Patsy’s Creative Corner.

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