Becoming an artist or a maker of things as I would rather call it, never seemed like a choice; it was a necessity. Ever since I was young there was an immense desire to get messy, and explore the creative. As I was growing up, my dad was in the peak of his artistic career. He painted the most magnificent naturalist wildlife paintings and his sense of colour was immaculate, it still remains so. As a teen my art was abstract and the results were unsatisfactory, but the tangibility of the paint hitting the canvas always kept me content. I remember asking my dad for his opinion on one of my abstract paintings, his response "I just don't get it". What's there to get dad! I was too proud to admit I hadn't found it yet, but my drive to create was never diminished. It's hard to understand that being a creator isn't something that you can just choose not to do, it's consuming, it is all you want to do and the thought of being unable to do so haunts you.
I decided that I needed to go to art school as my post secondary education, seeing as not achieving a bachelors degree was off the table and studying business made me cringe. Some people think this decision is the one that determine's if you're all in or not. I would respectfully disagree. Art school will drag you through the ringer, make you roll your eyes about 1 million times and if you truly are creating for you, will make you say "fuck everyone", pardon my language. But it isn't until you're spit out of that ringer and thrust into the "real world" where the person that is counting on you to make anything is you. This is the moment that determine's if you are all in or not. This is the moment when my drive to paint increased, it's the exact same moment that my student loan statement crashed the party.
Kanye said it best : "There is no [thing] that someone can give you to make you not be creative if you were born to create." Hate him or love him, this statement couldn't be more true. Nothing can truly crash the artist party, if it runs through you, you will always find a way, you will always find the time. Everyone has hits and misses, there will always be ebbs and flows, it's all apart of growing in your practice and refining your body of work.
There is no path to becoming an artist. Whether galleries represent you or not, whether you sell like crazy or just a few times a year, you still remain an artist. It is in your blood.
Don't doubt yourself, keep creating.