A young man posed this question to me recently in the checkout aisle at the Rock Shop in Fairfield.

The answer came instantly to my lips: No, I am not. My companion, who happens to be a musician, brightly replied Yes I am.

The young man, satisfied with this affirmative answer, replied with a smile that he thought as much. “You look like artists” he said.

Here I am, shopping for crystals by feeling their energy, with a Flower of Life mask and a man bun… I admit that I definitely look like an artist. My earlier answer suddenly stepped into the spotlight for reinspection. Am I an artist?

These past two years have been a period of great reset and personal renewal for me. I’ve been diving inward to get in touch with who I am and what I want in this life.

I’ve undergone a transformation of purpose and self identification that is still unfolding yet feels foundational and future oriented.

My strong and immediate “no” to the young man’s question feels like a vestige of the past. While I’m not prepared to say “yes”, I am prepared to ask the question with newfound curiosity.

How am I an artist today, and how have I always been an artist? What parts of me have yearned for more artistic expression, yet been filtered by layers of doubt, fear, and limiting beliefs?

For the next 30 days, I’m going to explore this question by following the vein of my own creativity. Every day I will create something and post it somewhere online, such as Facebook or Tik Tok, that allows me to dig deeper.

If you identify as an artist, what hurdles did you overcome to get there? If you don’t, how do you embrace artistic expression in your life?