I am an artist … repeat after me …

The term ‘imposter syndrome’ is a relatively new one, I wish I’d known about it when I was twenty-five. I’ve been painting, drawing and messing about with creative media since I was 16. Some of the stuff I put out is kindly bought by my small group of patrons and I am really thankful for that. I don’t sell regularly enough though, so because of that I have difficulty referring to myself as a ‘professional artist’. But I am one I guess! It’s so weird. I am not a professional artist in the sense that I have a full-time working job as an artist, with my own studio. But I do produce art on a regular basis – well every day – and it amasses all over the house. It gets framed sometimes. It gets stored away in boxes. I destroy some (actually most) of it. I re-do some of it. If I had a studio, it would be full of work.

My bedroom is a workshop – the bed occupies a large enough part of the room because it’s a three-quarter sized bed and the room is tiny. The bed becomes an extension of my working table and for most of the day it is covered in art equipment or materials. I try to fill the bed with pillows and cushions, so it looks more ‘bed’ like but the art stuff always wins and eventually the pillows are on the floor as they get replaced by canvasses, brushes, glues, gels, paints, plastic bags … you name it. When I’m working on something large, the whole room becomes engulfed and it’s a battle to find my way around in there, if I turn too quickly I’ll send something flying onto the carpet. My carpet is covered in smaller rugs – which are strategically placed to cover the odd mark from a pastel that fell there last week, or I dripped some paint there last year. My room smells perpetually like the inside of a warehouse – turps, oils, isopropyl alcohol, gels and most recently Golden Pastel Ground, which whilst being a bloody marvellous product, smells something horrid!

One of these days, when I hit the big time and win the Euro Millions, I’ll be able to have my own place again, with its own studio room (oh, how I miss my house in Benoni … sigh) Until then, I’ll just keep telling myself (quietly in a whisper) that I am an artist. No-one else could live amongst all the junk in my room and be happy!