Are You Good Enough To Call Yourself An Artist?

For so long this was the question that haunted me. If it wasn’t foremost in my thoughts it was always just below scratching at my esteem. It was like a ball and chain around my leg, holding me, whispering to me “don’t do it, don’t try, it’s no use”.

Anne Truitt

I think this is why I can relate to artist Anne Truitt so much, to her thoughts in her Daybook where she says, “Indeed, I am not sure that I can grow as an artist until I can bring myself to accept that I am one.”

I used to wonder if I was good enough. I didn’t think I was and it stopped me from moving.

Take the surveyDo you call yourself an artist?

Truitt also said, “The fact of financial insecurity…and the momentum of my own work and my efforts to be responsible for it, have thrown me into the open. The open being: I am an artist. Even to write it makes me feel deeply uneasy. I am, I feel, not good enough to be an artist.”

View 1999 Acrylic on Wood Anne Truitt

View 1999 Acrylic on Wood Anne Truitt

It’s a backwards way of thinking though. If you want something you go after it. No you’re not as good as you want to be, but you are good enough, right now, to begin, to continue.

It took years of struggle (I continue to struggle) and a catalyst in the way of my Aunt and Uncle encouraging me to, as they say in boxing, let my hands go.


Featured Image:

The Contender by MTMcClanahan

The Contender by MTMcClanahan

MT McClanahan

An artist and perpetual thinker, MT McClanahan finds inspiration through connecting ideas across a broad range of topics. He especially enjoys philosophy and how art and life interconnect. He is the founder of TPT and his paintings can be seen at

6 Responses

  1. roopadudley says:

    The thing about being an artist is that there is always a room for improvement. Even when I have never questioned myself of being an artist, I improve through practice, observation and research just like a scientist. The difference being that artists are more interested in studying the shape and form (the visual aspect), and scientists in functionality and purpose (cause and effect). Both are flip side of the same coin.

    • What do you think Truitt meant by what she said, about not growing as an artist until she accepted that she was one?

      • ursularettich says:

        We will all have different answers, I understand totally what Truitt wants to say, because I live amongst non artists- it is hard to admit “I am an artist, sounds so bohemian, so artiiist,not a real job.

        • Ursula, I hadn’t even consider it from this angle and it’s what I feel myself. It makes me feel like I am describing myself so esoterically, putting myself in an elite category, *especially* to non-art types. And that is even a separate issue, feeling like you are looked at as not *working*. Very well said.

  1. February 22, 2014

    […] survey is inspired by my post, Are You Good Enough? [Results are updated weekly […]

  2. October 3, 2014

    […] survey is inspired by my post, Are You Good Enough? and by artist Anne Truitt, who said in her Daybook, “I am not sure that I can grow as an […]

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