The Artful Soul

The Artful Soul:

Validating Yourself As an Artist

By Cindy L. Adkins

I will tell you a little secret-you really are an artist! Whether anyone else recognizes it or not, if you have the want, need, and desire to create, you have an artful soul. I will never forget the first time someone introduced me using that professional title. I was flabbergasted. I knew I was creative. I knew I produced art. But, somehow hearing the words out loud made it become a reality. It validated everything I had worked toward.

Coming to terms with your own craft is a process. That is the nature of art-that it is continually improved upon no matter how many techniques you have learned, classes you have attended, or programs you have completed. Because you are in artistic motion continually, it is difficult to reach a point where you think you have finally arrived at this destination and have become, let's say it together-an artist! Nonetheless, it is a reality.

Why is it so much easier for some people to accept than others? That may be because the people close to them have validated their work. For anyone who has relatives who still wonder when that person will "get a real job," it is more difficult. There are also individuals who begin their artistic work later in life. For a person such as this, it is often a challenge to be perceived wearing a different professional hat, especially if the previous one was that of a homemaker.

If you are reading this and actively involved in the process of your craft, continue exploring and learning on a daily or weekly basis. Do not worry about professional descriptions or titles. Let your work speak for itself. Pretty soon, everyone else will see you as you see yourself.

Years ago, I met a middle-aged woman on Balboa Island in California who was an artist. She was a delightful lady who had a studio a few steps from the beach where she painted magnificent oil paintings. The reason I actually stopped to talk to her on my evening walk was because she had an unusual hand-painted sign near her front door that was very beautiful. As I passed by, she was in her front yard watering potted flowers. I asked where she bought the sign because I wanted to purchase one. That was when she told me that she painted it and invited me in to see her studio. Looking all her exquisite pieces, I said, "Oh, you are a wonderful artist." The tiny woman's response took me by surprise even more that her work. "Oh dear," she said, "I am not an artist. I only paint because my husband passed away. It fills my hours."

The truth about her was that she was, indeed a creative being. The truth about you is the same. We all are creative, only some people have the desire to express it more than others and put form, shape, and color to ideas while others confine theirs to the dream state. You are different than most people in that regard. Your creativity is alive and well for everyone to see and enjoy. That is the true artist in you coming out. Do not keep your talent hidden and tucked away. Let it benefit yourself, your family, and the world. It is a gift. Use it.

Cindy L. Adkins is a New Orleans-based artist who enjoys inspiring people to use their own creative talents. She believes that the creative process grows even stronger when shared with others. To see her artwork, please visit

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