Monday, June 24, 2013

What makes someone an artist?

What makes someone an artist?

Is it the ability to create recognizable images? If so, abstract art wouldn't count.

glazed wall with 3 d stencil
Is it knowing how to use color in pleasing ways? If so, black and white ink drawings wouldn't count.

Is it selling something you've created? Is it based on someone's opinion of what you've done? Is it based on your own opinion? All are dangerous and temperamental indicators, not really to be trusted. Vincent Van Gogh, plagued by depression, sold little to nothing, was not recognized as a talent during most of his lifetime, and hated much of his own work.

One definition says it is someone who is able by virtue of imagination and talent or skill to create works of aesthetic value.

Lumpy Jawed Lion, faux stained glass. 
We've all seen things which are called art that makes us wonder "what were they thinking?" (And not in a good way!) And, then there's art which was created to be good, but somehow went wrong.... check out Wikipedia's article on the museum of bad art!

I can't tell you how many people feel they are untalented or inartistic. Most of the time, they sell themselves short, not recognizing their own unique gifts.

An archaic use of the word artist includes anyone who is adept at something- a physician, writer, sculptor or even a brick layer or carpenter.

To be adept, skilled, trained is to do something well. Not just paint a face or sing a song, but to create something which is well done. To plane a piece of wood and build a straight, square cabinet, sanded and stained, beautiful and functional- this is art. This is skill. I have no talent for floral arranging, wood working, or even hanging a picture straight on the wall. And let's not even talk about keeping a well organized, aesthetically pleasing house!
Had to take a picture to prove I really could organize. It lasted 2 days.

I know so many who are creative, skilled, capable of doing things I can't even dream of. Dancers, writers, actors, graphic designers, seamstresses, carpenters, gardeners, floor pavers and concrete layers- these can all be artists.

Are you an artist?
Room painted by "non- artists" under my direction

I think you are, so go on, don't be afraid to experiment. What do you gravitate to? Arranging things in an orderly manner? Writing thoughtful letters? Growing beautiful flowers? Taking family photos?
Create and rejoice! Be the artist you are.

I am learning and growing, practicing my craft, studying the skills of other painters, experimenting and failing, trying again and again. I am an artist.

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