What makes an artist an artist?
I was dubbed an artist as a kid and I held onto that label ever since. Back then, I operated under the assumption that artists were people who were good at drawing things. Eventually, I started to realize that artists came in many flavors. We could include painters, sculptors, fashion designers, photographers, poets, songwriters, musicians, actors, dancers…and the field grows.
Looking at the aforementioned list, one might be tempted to reframe an artist as anyone who does creative work. Which is fair. But doesn’t it require creativity to figure out a way to cure a rare form of cancer? Or to keep the doors open when the staff is short-handed? Or to feed a family of six on a shoestring budget?
Now it’s getting tricky.
Perhaps, from a certain point of view, we are all artists, YOU included (yes, even if you’re not so hot at drawing things). If you are using your creativity to solve problems and make the world better – and by default, a little more beautiful – welcome aboard.
Nailing down exactly WHO is an artist is a challenge. But I propose that an even more difficult task is believing you ARE one.
My wife Kim is an artist, and she knows it. But it took her a long time to own it.
I started noticing it a number of years ago when she began taking photos on her walks. She’d return with her heart full and a hop in her step, showing me the treasures she’d captured with her iPhone. They were interesting, different, and enthralling. “These are good!” I’d say, but my compliments fell on deaf ears for a very long time. Husbands are supposed to say nice things to their wives, after all.
Her rebuttals were predictable: She wasn’t using a fancy camera. She had no training. She wasn’t doing it for money.
Of course, some of the best artists were self-taught.
The best tools have never been a requirement for making great art.
Vincent Van Gogh – one of the greatest, most beloved artists of all time – only sold two paintings in his whole life.
And I’m sorry, I don’t think you can look at these photos and NOT see art.
Fortunately for all of us, Kim has come around to reality. She IS an artist. She notices things the rest of us don’t see and thankfully, uses her camera to capture the beauty for our benefit. While we impatiently wait for rainbows to show up on the horizon, she shows us wonder in a drop of dew, a heart-shaped hole in an old tree, and a delicate flower that maintains a fierce beauty even if it is a little past its prime.
Meanwhile, she often uses words to knit those images together with deep truths that imbue us with inspiration, encouragement, gratitude, and hope.
When we discussed the possibility of doing a book based on Kim’s photos, many people assumed it would be some sort of coffee table book: a glossy, straightforward collection of beautiful images. It could have been and that would have been great.
But I’m happy to report it’s so much more.
In this gem, Kim shares the story behind her very first Wonderhunt, which came during a dark, lonely, overwhelming time in her life. It’s a story I know you can probably relate to, especially these days. She shares the amazing transformation that Wonderhunt ushered into her life, and gives you the tools to make Wonderhunt a life-giving part of your own. You’ll be drawn into a community of fellow Wonderhunters who are experiencing a magical brand of life together.
There are exciting things on the horizon that I can’t wait to share with you, and this book marks an important milestone and a new beginning. Our company, Escape Adulthood, is entering an exciting new era in which I am no longer the sole artist on the marquee.
And I, for one, couldn’t be happier.
I am grateful to everyone who has purchased this book because your purchase proves what I’ve been saying all along: Kim’s point of view is unique, valuable, and something the world needs.
Thanks to her, you will be awed. You’ll think. You’ll smile. You’ll laugh. You may even shed a tear or two.
Because that’s what the best art does.