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Published: 27 September 2012

By Andy Ross

Confidence or courage?

Aren't the arts amazing! And aren't the arts terrifying to those of us who practice them...

As artists and craftspeople, we live through our relationship with the world. We make work, sing songs, dance dances, weave, draw and create because of who we are, and people value that by sitting in judgement. In this day and age, that judgement is mainly monetary - people pay for our work because they value it. How scary is that! The money side of art has always been scary - that is why galleries exist and agents and companies to help us make a living out of what we do. Sometimes the fear factor stops us making and creating. It can be easier and safer to work in an office than it is to create something.

There is a different way of looking at art and our own value. If we learn to take our place in the world by understanding that our value is precisely to help other people live, then we can start to understand that we have a right to make art and craft. For me, beautiful songs and wonderful textiles, drawings and paintings make me better able to survive and thrive in the world, and I love to discover new and exciting makers, artists and music.  It isn't about us as artists and craftspeople; it is about all of us and what we need to make the world a nicer and gentler and better place.

So, for the sake of all our sanities, get out there and make something! Make it again. Get better at it. Learn something new and explore more. Keep doing. Let's make the places we live more colourful and better for everyone...