I have this thing about celebrities. Not the Brangelina type of celebrities – I can’t be bothered. I’m talking about people who are not household names but have created something that I love. I put them on a pedastal. I do it a lot with musicians. In my mind, Charlie Chesterman (a staple on the Boston music scene in the late ‘80s) is as big a rock star as Bono. Maybe even bigger because I loved his band Scruffy the Cat way more than I like U2. The point is, I get a little starry-eyed and I make all kinds of assumptions about these people and their glamorous lives and how happy and talented and self-assured and successful they are. They are not normal people. They are celebrities. Doesn’t matter if they live in their parents’ basement and work at the gas-n-sip during the day; if they strap on a guitar (or publish a book, or sell a painting) they are ROCK STARS. A different breed. Not like me. And naturally, these celebrities already know how awesome they are, so they needn’t be bothered with “the little people”. (I’ve been elbow to elbow with favorite local musicians in tiny clubs and I’m too shy and inferior to say “hey, great show tonight”)(Seriously. It’s that bad.)
This is happening to me like crazy in the art journaling blogosphere. If I admire your work, (and especially if you teach a class, or sell your work, or HAVE BEEN PUBLISHED) I will idolize you. You are a magical celebrity artist and I’m a middle-aged blogger in her pajamas with paint in her hair. I will worship you from afar, and not bother to post a comment or send a note of appreciation because you already have 427 followers, you don’t need to hear from little ol’ me. I mean, I can buy your book at my local Borders for heaven’s sake while I just smear some craft paint on copy paper once in a while. Who am I to tell YOU that you're great?
Most of me realizes this is ridiculous. The artists I’m meeting in these on-line communities are diverse, wonderful, friendly, supportive people. It’s made me look at my assumptions about what it means to be an artist – a line of reasoning that is more about why I think I am NOT an artist. I’ve been playing around with some ideas that I think will turn into a series of “Non-Artist Trading Cards”