• Joellen Kemper

Artist's Insecurity


This Monday I will have the privilege of leading a paint night with a group of local 5th and 6th graders. They are going to paint themselves as fish 😁🥰

I struggled prepping for this! (“How do I paint water?” “How do I design a fish?” “How do I paint with acrylics?”) My old insecurities started creeping back in.

There is something about the term “artist” that makes me feel like I have to know and be able to do anything upon sudden command- AND THAT IS RIDICULOUS!


I know there are talented and experienced artists out there who can draw/paint instantly from their imagination or can see something once and know exactly how to render it. But what people don’t see is the amount of research and thought that sometimes goes behind even a simple painting- especially when starting out.

And that’s okay! That is what marks the difference between an artist and a craftsman (in the broadest sense. I mean Artist as painter, drawer, musician, writer, etc). Artists explore new territory. Craftsmen say “this is the process, I’m not veering from that” . (Nothing against craftsman- we need their loyal, deeply knowledgeable and skilled hearts!)

Artists take something that often starts as just a small thought or something that is abstract and turn it into reality. There is a lot of thinking, blood, sweat, and tears involved in that process.

It shouldn’t be a source of insecurity but a source of “comfort”. This is how almost everyone has done it, though few admit to it. Once we can acknowledge that and get comfortable with it, we are enabled to start the real work.

This is a thought that has freed me this week 🥰

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