Essence of Being an Artist

What is the Essense of Being an Artist?

Book - I Am an Artist
Many years ago, in 1997, my parents gave my children this book about being an artist for Christmas. I loved this book.

I read it often to my own children and every year to my new dance students. You can tell, as my copy is all dog eared and scruffy!

I love how the author, Pat Lowry Collins, helps us see that being an artist is not connected to a skill or ability. Rather, it relates to the essence of how we see, reflect, and connect to our world.

There are so many lines in the book that I love. It was hard to select one to share with you, as they each speak to the different ways we are artists.

I thought I’d share with you these few lines from the book, as follows:

“I am an artist when I look at a bird until I feel feathery too, and at an orange until I know what it is to be perfectly round.”
– Pat Lowry Collins

The book also speaks to how we are artists by the way we look at water, feel the bark of a tree, watch the sunrise, and so on.

This week I visited the author’s website and saw she now has a new book called, ‘I am a Dancer’. I was so excited! It looks fantastic and gives insight into the meaning of being a dancer. I plan to buy it for sure. And, by the way, the illustrations are gentle, warm and filled with feeling.

Anyway, I simply cannot say enough about how lovely and IMPORTANT these kinds of books are for children to read. So many children (and adults!) do not see themselves as artists and are always saying, “I can’t draw, I can’t dance” etc. This book is a wonderful gift for expanding our notion of what it means to be an artist.

My mom inscribed this book to my children, as follows:

Note inside book coverMerry Christmas 1997
Thomas & Madeleine

May you always be
aware that you are an artist.

Much love,

Grandpa, Grandma
and Jason

I love how she wrote, ” May you always be aware that you are an artist”. I’m so grateful to my mom so much for raising me in this way. It really was a gift. Hopefully, we as parents and educators can give this gift to all the children we work with.

May we expand our idea of artists to not be about doing – but to be about being. May we all see ourselves as artists!


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