Declaring Your Artistic Self

03/18/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated Nov 17, 2011

i could never be a poet
i don't live on Walden Pond
and i like shopping
i am inspired by McDonald's straws
and plastic bags floating in the wind
see American Beauty I am not even original

and yet this is a poem
therefore i am a poet

Tamsin Rothschild 2007

As I found myself moving more fully into embracing myself as an Artist, I was plagued with feelings of being an impostor; comparing myself to ill-begotten notions of what true artists are, and being painfully aware that I was not meeting up to my romantic ideals. I found myself under constant self-scrutiny, saying, "this is not how a theater director dresses", or "my hairstyle does not look the way a published poet's should".

The worst of it was when people would want to discuss the merits of my work and I would find myself in an icky, struggle-of-a-mess, trying to explain that I didn't write the poem, God did or some other creative force outside of me, and that I am not really a writer I was just obedient enough to put my butt on the seat and transcribe what occured to me.

The awkwardness continued for a while as I floundered about, trying to position myself into my work. I am not sure if other artists have experienced a similar dynamic and even as I write this I hear a little voice saying...'Real Artists Just Know'...sigh...anyway in my case, I had to learn. It was a matter of giving up all of my preconceived notions of what constituted an artist. (And just for the record, it not what you dress like, look like or act like.) And I started to recognize myself as an artist. Not just in the traditional sense but in all areas of my life.

I believe we are all artists. I cringe and want to shake people when I hear them lament: "I am not creative", "I do not have a creative bone in my body." This is so desperately untrue, and at the same time, I can relate. I too, believed that about myself.

I grew up in a family and extended family of masterful artists. Painters, designers, architects, and on and on. To keep me 'sheltered' my mum encouraged my 'sporty side', in attempts for my less endowed (in comparison to the 'true artists' in my family) 'creative side' to not feel so inadequate. She had good intentions but it skewed me a little.

Anything I achieved artistically, I discounted as not "really being a creative endeavour" and was paralyzed when asked to do something that required any of my creativity or artistry. I cowered and hid. And found myself and my life getting smaller and smaller. My creative flow was damming up and clogging my livelihood.

I think I was saved by love. Although, in hindsight, it was probably more like lust. I fell in love with a beautiful musician, and many nights I sat under the stars with him, sharing his music. With the combination of his inspiration, my frustration from suppressing my creativity and the white hot desire to gain his affection, I set out to impress him by writing some poetry and sharing some artistry of my own.

And so my journey began. Fortunately the writing outlasted the relationship. (Although he probably holds the record for the most elicitous male muse!) But of course how it began is less important compared to the fact that somehow I was ignited. Inspired. And my life began to crack open in goodness.

To be clear, claiming yourself as an artist is not about proclamations from the roof tops, declaring you are "going to write a book", or informing everyone you know that you are giving up your day job to "become the next Jimmie Hendrix". Of course, for some, it might very well be like this. However based on my experiences, it is more about what I alluded to in the opening paragraph.

It is about sitting yourself down. Away from all the things of the world. And quietening yourself to hear the gentle flow of creativity that abounds for all who will listen. Tapping into it. And allowing the transmutation from the ethereal levels into the physical form to occur. For some it manifests through writing poetry, others composing music, some painting on a canvas, others moving through space, and for you it might be something as yet undefined. (All the more reason for you to discover the creation that is churning inside you and allow it to come out!)

Tapping this creative stream will benefit your art most certainly, but the true magic is when it starts to spill out into your life.

Yes, I am an artist of words: a poet. And an artist of emotions and aesthetics: a theater director. And an artist of stage: an actor. But I am also an artist of love: a friend, an artist of nurturing: a cook, an artist of responsibility: an employee... I found that as I have shown up for myself as an Artist and claimed all of my creations as Art, not only has my traditional craft of Artistry developed and blossomed, but so have most areas of my life.

So if you were waiting for a royal decree, in order to let yourself out, here it is. With the power vested in me, I now declare you a Creative Artist.

I look forward to hearing about your adventures. Please leave a comment below or drop me an email:


Tamsin Rothschild is a Creative Artist, expressing primarily as a poet, performer and theatre director, with a refreshing enthusiasm and love of life. Through her work she captures the multidimensionality of human expression and her brightness brings a warmth and authenticity. She is dedicated to assisting people to live as Creative Artists blurring the lines between Art and Life.