What is it like to be an artist? Exacting, exhilarating, exhausting and exasperating.

Artist BZTAT painting process

Let’s call it the 4-E’s.

Being an artist has many different qualities and these 4 “E” words sum it all up.

Exacting – Being an artist means that you have been granted insight and vision that has yet to be seen or grasped by others. In order to clarify and and illuminate that vision for others, the artist must engage in an exacting process of creative definition. It drives others crazy sometimes. I have been called a diva for being stubborn and insistent about details that, during the process, make no sense to others. Later on others may understand, but often, artists are considered royal pains in the patooty for obsessively holding to their exacting standards.

Exhilarating – Color, to me, is exhilarating. Bringing about creative images and objects that swirl with color and shape and composition is the most exciting process! Often the process can have spans of drudgery, but overall, the process, and the product, are very exhilarating.

Exhausting – It takes many hours to create a work of art that stands out and takes its unique place in the world. It is both emotionally and intellectually intense, and physically tasking. Exhaustion often comes when you realize you have painted for several hours without a break and probably should have stopped a long time ago.

Exasperating – It is a gift to be granted the insight and vision of an artist. It can be a struggle, however, to convince others of your financial and structural needs to complete projects. Finding people to commission projects that have yet to be visually articulated can be tricky. Convincing others of the necessity for details when you are not fully certain of how the process will develop can also be a challenge.

As challenging and frustrating as these processes can be, I cannot imagine my life without it. I am grateful for having the opportunity to be a creator and to be able to share the talent that I have been given!


We all have special talents and gifts. What is yours?