Am I an artist?

The Living Dying Artist(Are you an artist?) Part 1 

It’s taken a while to take myself serious enough to call myself an artist. I’m writing this for you to consider your own art and maybe come to a conclusion. Because we all dabble with being creative whether it’s  planting a garden or braiding hair.  

Definition of artist 

1a obsolete  : one skilled or versed in learned arts  

b archaic  : physician 

c archaic  : artisan 1  

2a : one who professes and practices an imaginative art b : a person skilled in one of the fine arts  

3: a skilled performer 

I felt being an artist was a higher calling than being a father, husband, friend or a professional bum. But it wasn’t.  

I remember having others introduce me as an artist but I still resisted. I wasn’t making any money with it or providing a manageable living with my "art". After all I needed a day job for medical insurance to support the other artist in the medical profession, pay my taxes to support the other artist with their grants and colleges and their artistic agendas. I could never be one myself. So I dabbled as a songwriter with solo performances at local coffeehouses and small venues.  

But something changed, people started recognizing my songs and asking if I'd perform them and when I first heard someone perform one of my tunes, and sang it for the first time with my ears present, it moved me that someone would take the time and invest in one of my tunes among the millions of others.  

It was encouraging and moving. 

Validation is important in our lives. When what you give to the human race is used and passed around as something of value. It don't have to be a top ten hit, whatever that is, sell on the market for $50,000, have a public viewing at an art show. What I had was earthy and rough and had hints of something spiritual and it was being noticed.  

The last couple years I've earned more money than ever as a musician and it's taken a long time to see any fruit as far as financial. But I determined long ago I wouldn't do this for money's sake.  

I met my first songwriters in high school. They were cool and friendly and invited me to join their band where I was encouraged to learn to write for myself. Since, I’ve wrote hundreds of songs and even though I believe there's only a handful that have reached a certain standard or level, it’s pleasing when someone from the Midwest buys your product and tells you how much they enjoy your music. Validation! Someone says that song is about them! Validation!! Someone is moved to work on their own craft because of you. Validation  

After all these years I can’t turn it off! I write and attempt to conjure something up everyday even if it don’t make it to ink or song. I create. Creating is God given for us mere humans to emulate the great Creator. That’s how I approach my art. Whether in a love song or something humorous. It’s my opportunity to put a spin on everyday life and its abundance and spew it out into my little universe for others to hear.  

As an "artist" I attempt to write about everyday events and emotions which I hope connects with others. 

4 comments

  • Sally Waid

    Sally Waid Fincastle, VA

    Thank you for Being the Artist You are Clinton Collins! We are blessed by your talent! Thank you again! May you and your family have a Happy, Peaceful, Healthy New Year!

    Thank you for Being the Artist You are Clinton Collins! We are blessed by your talent! Thank you again! May you and your family have a Happy, Peaceful, Healthy New Year!

  • Clinton Collins

    Clinton Collins

    Thank you dear. It’s always good when you guys attend a performance. Happy Year!

    Thank you dear. It’s always good when you guys attend a performance.
    Happy Year!

  • Karen McCullough

    Karen McCullough Hedgesville, WV

    I retired and moved to West Virginia from Vermont. We are always looking for "intimate" venues to listen to music-all kinds. Love jazz and folk, especially singer-songwriters. One of my favorites for forty years has been Bruce Cockburn. I heard about the First Friday Coffeehouse in Martinsburg and I got onto their mailing list. Love it because there is always a link to the appearing artist's music. I really enjoyed your music so we went and then invited my cousin, who lives in Virginia to meet us there. What a great night! You were fantastic. When I requested "Traveling Voice", you told me I was the first person to request it! Thank you for a wonderful evening of heartfelt music and enhancing our lives. I cannot seem to find you anywhere near though. I'm hoping I can find out through your site. We also saw Tim Grimm there as well and liked him too.

    I retired and moved to West Virginia from Vermont. We are always looking for "intimate" venues to listen to music-all kinds. Love jazz and folk, especially singer-songwriters. One of my favorites for forty years has been Bruce Cockburn. I heard about the First Friday Coffeehouse in Martinsburg and I got onto their mailing list. Love it because there is always a link to the appearing artist's music. I really enjoyed your music so we went and then invited my cousin, who lives in Virginia to meet us there. What a great night! You were fantastic. When I requested "Traveling Voice", you told me I was the first person to request it! Thank you for a wonderful evening of heartfelt music and enhancing our lives. I cannot seem to find you anywhere near though. I'm hoping I can find out through your site. We also saw Tim Grimm there as well and liked him too.

  • Clinton Collins

    Clinton Collins

    Karen, Thank you. I’ll be performing in Charleston on Nov 9 at the Clay Center. Im sure to far. Thank you for your interest. CC

    Karen,
    Thank you. I’ll be performing in Charleston on Nov 9 at the Clay Center.
    Im sure to far. Thank you for your interest.
    CC

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