Blog: The Artist’s Identity

Christine Alfery

Posted on May 29 2018

Blog: The Artist’s Identity

Featured image: Sunshine

In America we tell children “even you can someday become President of the United States of America.” We love instilling hopes and dreams and desires into our children.  Somewhere along the line we forgot to also teach them that they need to work for their dreams, and desires and hopes, they don’t just happen and no one can wave a magic wand and wish their hopes and dreams to come true.  Children and adults need to value their hopes and dreams because they earned them.  If this happened then perhaps they wouldn’t ask others to give up what they worked so hard for and earned.  To value something just because another has it, is ok, but to have the same hopes and dreams of another and expect it to just drop into their lap because they wished it so – isn’t realistic.  And to force another to give up what they worked so hard for isn’t realistic either. We haven’t taught many adults this reality and we for the most part aren’t teaching our children this reality either.

We as a culture have forgotten to teach our children how to gain the respect they need for themselves in order to value the dreams they have not, not because it will make them wealthy or famous and in turn one believes happy but instead somewhere along the line we have taught that equality, including equality in our dreams is what we all need to strive for.  Why dream if we all have the same dream.  Dreams are not equal, and dreams do not magically appear.  The kind of dream one develops when they wish to become president any child could have, but if we don’t instill a strong desire and strong sense of purpose in children and in adults then their dreams remain dreams and don’t become reality..

I have no idea why some things happen to one person and not another.  I used to think that if I followed all the rules taught to me I would be successful.  Not so.  I have failed at least three times in my wish to become an artist.  And at this point in my life I have to say – I haven’t fulfilled my dream yet.  But that sure doesn’t stop me from working towards it the best way I possibly can.  I know my dream won’t just come true someday – I know that the only way it can is through me.

Children are generally are not told even you one day can become a famous artist, like they are told that even you can one day be a doctor, lawyer or president.  Being a doctor, lawyer or president are linked to making fame and fortune. Ones sense of identity is different when one wishes to be a doctor or lawyer from ones sense of identity if one wishes to be an artist.  Being an artist was never associated with fame and fortune.  For some perhaps but that is rare.  So why does one dream of becoming an artist.

For me at least it is about my independence, my freedom, my uniqueness, my individuality it is the only place I fit and felt there was a sense of purpose I could value.  My sense of identity has nothing to do with my sex, my race, and whatever others use to define me. My sense of identity has everything to do with how I understand self and my uniqueness.  No one can define that for me

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