When I taught high school art, I found one part of parent/teacher conferences surprising: how many parents were told their own art interest wasn’t valuable or important.

Hi, my name is Carrie and here on Artist Strong I help artists like you build your skill and develop your unique artist voice.

If I listened to every objection and concern people have had about my art, I would never be creating the art I am today.

“You’re too smart for art.”

“You murder your paintings.”

“You should paint more commercial.”

“You shouldn’t paint people, who buys portraits of people they don’t know?”

“Be careful applying for a show with a baby unless you have daycare.”

Others have shared with me some of theirs:

“It’s too late.”

“You aren’t very skillful.”

“You just aren’t an artist.”

The funny thing I’ve noted about these objections is they usually reflect the fears and concerns of the people offering them. 

They aren’t really worried about me, it’s about how my choices and actions make them look in the mirror and feel uncomfortable.

For the longest time, I listened to some of these objections. And it wasn’t until recently something clicked. Everyone I admire, everyone doing more than I am for their art isn’t better, smarter, or luckier than I am, they just showed up.

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That’s why I’m here, so passionate about education and supporting self-taught artists and other creatives who benefit from our space. 

Maybe it’s because they wish they made art. Maybe it’s because they wonder if they should be doing more with their art. 

I don’t know. 

But I hope we can all take the time when we feel triggered to self-reflect and ask, “what is triggering here? Is there something I want for myself that I’m not doing?

I want people (you) to see how arbitrary the rules and definitions we hold about being an artist actually are 

so you can kick that mindset to the curb, roll up those sleeves, and get to work.

I don’t offer workshops and lessons on skill because I think you MUST be able to draw a certain way or have a level of skill to make art.

I offer workshops like my free drawing challenge because I’ve spoken with countless people who tell me their lack of confidence comes down to feeling they don’t have enough skill.

Since I know anyone can improve their skill, I’m choosing to offer that knowledge so you can overcome that confidence hurdle and make the art you feel called to create.

What are the objections you have heard? I look forward to continuing this conversation.

This is actually something an art professor of mine said to me: "You murder your paintings." ​ At the time, I remember feeling frustrated and in agreement with the context of our conversation (which is I tend to terribly overwork my art). I was not offended. ​ Despite this, I will never forget this moment. And I know I'm not the only person, the only artist, with a story like this. ​ Today, I made a special video for you. It talks about the random and somewhat common objections (to our work) we face as creatives. ​ I hope you'll join me in this cathartic moment of celebrating our choice to create, and share your journey with me, too. ​Watch/Read on here.​