I have suffered for some time under the illusion that “being an artist” was a goal. A thing. An identity. It’s not. An artist is a byproduct of the process of creating art.
There is no such thing as “being an artist”. You can be “someone who creates art”, but an artist is really a verb. It’s a pattern. To paraphrase Alan Watts, it’s like this whirlpool in a river — not made of this water or that water, but rather of the pattern of energy. The water only flows through that energy pattern which is the actual whirlpool. Thus, an artist too is this whirlpool, this pattern of energy, and art flows through it.
The philosopher Alan Watts brought to my attention the idea that Zen koans (“koan” being translated as “case study”) were originally intended to be created anew, not recycled. The classic “What is the sound of one hand clapping?” was in reference to a proverb (“One hand won’t make a clap”) contemporary to the time the koan was devised. I believe I have a nice little Zen koan for you fellow DIY computer geeks out there.