What does freedom mean to you, as an artist?

I recently asked this question on the Cloth Paper Scissors Facebook page, and to be honest, the responses weren’t what I expected. I expected patriotic answers, because my initial thought was that it means a lack of censorship. Artistic freedom is so different here in the States than in some other parts of the world where individuals aren’t allowed to express their political/cultural/societal opinions, for example.

Sue Pelletier teaches you how to make mixed-media flags such
as these in her Cloth Paper Scissors article, "Wave Your Flag."
Bonus: click here and download the issue for only $1.

My association with this topic doesn’t come from out of the blue—the question came to me when I was admiring Sue Pelletier’s mixed-media American flags. But that doesn’t take away from the fact that the responses on Facebook are equally valid, and I appreciate their sincerity. Freedom with time and freedom from having artwork judged by others were recurring themes. Here are a few passionate responses from our friends on Facebook:

“As an artist, I need freedom! Freedom to pursue crazy ideas that may not work out. Freedom to work on a project 10 straight days in a row. Freedom to let the house go, forget the laundry, and eat leftover pizza. Most of all, I need the freedom to let myself feel that I am worth it, and that my craft matters, even if only to me.” (Tweet this!) ~Linda Dias

“Freedom as an artist means I don't have to explain my work to anyone. Some get it, some don't, and it's fine either way.” ~Joell Gaskill

“Freedom means being able to express what is in your heart, without worrying about the end result.” ~Hilary Keck

“It means taking a journey with no specific destination and enjoying it. The end result is a beautiful memory to share or give away to someone I care about.” ~Christine Butson Charles

I’d like to thank everyone who shared their heartfelt responses on Facebook, and I invite all of our readers to tell us what freedom means to them, as artists.

Wishing you artistic freedom,