The Power of Being an Amateur Artist

If you’re following my blog, you might not consider yourself a professional in your chosen creative field. Truth is, as much as I’d like to call myself a professional author and/or musician, I don’t consider myself a professional at either, at least not by societal standards. There’s nothing wrong with being an amateur.

Amateur Equals Love

An amateur, from French amateur “lover of”, is generally considered a person who pursues a particular activity or field of study independently from their source of income. Amateurs and their pursuits are also described as popular, informal, self-taught, user-generated, DIY, and hobbyist. – Wikipedia

I’ve always wondered what would happen if I were to suddenly become famous for my creative works? I’m sure there would be a big rush of adrenaline. Money would come pouring in. I could live a lifestyle that I’ve only dreamed of. But would I be happy?

Truly happy?

And more importantly, would I continue to create the same level of work as I once did? Or would I begin to create works based on what would sell?

Honesty in Creativity Is What Really Matters

Have you ever heard a song on the radio, watched a movie, or started reading a book, only to question the professionalism of the work? I know I have. Let’s be brutally honest here: Monetary success in any creative field is as much about marketing and luck as it is about talent.

We all know that some musical artists are just pretty faces backed by money. Some top-selling authors are simply formula writers. This doesn’t make what they are doing bad, but it could make it a little less honest. And that brings us back to the power of being an amateur.

I can’t say for sure, but I’d guess that I’ve put as much time into music and writing as some people who have been categorized as professionals. But as an amateur, I have an edge. I can do what I want to do.

I don’t have to satisfy producers, marketers, publishers, and record executives. Experimentation is mine for the taking. I can be forthright and honest in my creative endeavors because it’s all done for the love of the art.

We All Have to Start Somewhere

Don’t get me wrong, someday it would be great to see my work find more popularity and monetary success. But I’m not creating with only that goal in mind. I create because I love to be creative. Furthermore, we all have to start somewhere.

There is nothing wrong with being an amateur. In fact, most professional artists were once amateurs. I think the greatest artists, in their heart of hearts, still think of themselves as amateurs.

I encourage you to do something creative today. Play a musical instrument, write a poem, or snap a few photos. Just practice being creative for the love of being creative. After all, practice is how we become better artists. Does it really matter whether the world considers you a professional or an amateur?

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