Please just hear me out.
Everyone is not an artist and we are not doing people a favour by saying they are.
Being an artist is more of a vocation than a career. The artist is driven to create. It is hard work. For most artists it is solitary work. Days, weeks, months of being alone in the studio. Often no one else sees your work for months on end, and it is not uncommon that few people care about your work. The pay can be nonexistent. It is facing insecurity, inner demons, self-doubt regularly. It can be wondering why you are spending your time doing something for little or no pay that hardly anyone cares about.
It may not be like this for every artist, but in my experience it is for the majority. With that said, I love being an artist. It is the joy and love affair of my life. I would not trade it for anything.
But you can understand why it might not be a fit for everyone.
The good news is: You don't have to be an artist to make art.
Maybe even better, you don't have to make Art to be creative. And I deeply believe Everyone has the capacity to be Creative.
You don't even need to figure out whether you are an artist or not. You can just be as creative as you want and see how it goes and grows.
When I was twenty-nine I asked myself what I would regret if I died tomorrow. The answer was immediate. That I hadn't painted and drawn more. At this point, I didn't know I was an artist. I had a creative background, but I kind of figured that since I wasn't a genius I wasn't an artist. But I decided to give myself some time to paint and draw and just see what happened.
I went to community college and took some painting courses. Then I went onto university. I watered the seed of my creativity. To make a long story short, that seed turned out to be an oak tree. And now I have no other choice.
But what if that seed had grown into a delicate rose bush instead? How beautiful is that? Maybe me creating on the weekends or the monthly art retreat. Sweetening my life with creativity while I enjoy an alternate career.
Or perhaps painting wasn't really my thing and I became a crafter. Making beautiful quilts and weaving cloth? Or being creative with my children and cooking beautiful meals? There is room for it all.
People don't say 'everyone is a musician'. Good thing, because believe me, I am not. Of course I can make music but it isn't the same thing is it?
One of the reasons it worries me is that it subtly reinforces the belief that only artists make art. Anyone can make art. Anyone can dance, sing, create, cook, and hopefully balance their books. It doesn't make them a dancer, singer, chef, or accountant. Give some credit to the people who dedicate years or their lifetime to an artform or profession, and take the pressure off people who want to paint for fun and self-expression.
And, just to add something else to the discussion, you don't have to be a genius to be an artist. You don't even have to be good at making art.