Short Thoughts – What three things make YOU an Authentic Artist?

In my last post of this Short Thoughts series titled Corruption Sometimes Appears as Compromise, I alluded to what I called the Authentic Artist, which I summarised as follows:

“The authentic artist is what we aspire to and what our potential audience desires”

Since then I have been reflecting on what authenticity in relation to being an artist means to me. What I found ended up being both liberating and daunting, in that I realised I’ve been holding back a side of myself that I’ve not currently been expressing directly through my work. I understand that it’s not always the right thing to do to put all of yourself ‘out there’, but within the context of being as authentic as possible, it feels like there’s room for improvement and growth. What I came up with, were three things that I feel are needed to sustain and give the seal of authentic approval to my work. I see these as similar to the fire triangle, where in order to have fire there must be fuel, air and heat present. Take one or more element away and fire cannot be sustained.

Fire Triangle

Fire Triangle. Image courtesy of

So my three things are Motivation, Purpose and Meaning. I feel that when these are present, my work burns with authenticity in the same way as in the fire triangle. If one or more element weakens then my authenticity wanes in direct relation and I begin to notice something is ‘not quite right’. My three elements could be interpreted in different ways, so I will endeavor to clarify what they mean to me in another post. What are your three elements? Do you have any? Do you feel you are truly authentic?

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