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What does being an artist mean to you. This is a question I have been pondering for the past few days. What do you think makes you an artist? What elements do YOU think it takes to be one? Here is my newest blog post showing what it means to me- http://cautionartistatplay.blogspot.com/
Broke, dirty - but content ? Lol.
I simply don't need what other's need to feel successful.
But it can be a lot of work to be able to portray that "nth" of a thing it is that we are trying to express..
Maybe, purely selfish - or perhaps completly generous to be willing to share insight.
Great blog, it took me so long to be able to bestow that title on myself.
I became an Artist the day that I realized I could be no other.
I very much appreciate your original works. They may be more naive in skill - & yet they are so expressive.
It is great that you do share them to inspire other budding Artists what the future will be if they just persevere. Too many give up, get lost along their journey to find "success".
@ Shana; "Read my blog and find out lol"
I just did and you have a lot of step wise development that I find interesting and progressive"
BUT being an artist only has meaning if you are called an artist by others. unfortunately, being called by others an artist is only significant if you yourself hold those individuals in high esteem. calling yourself an artist is your right but in today's reality about as relevant as calling yourself human.
Shana, will read you blog later as well - on my lunch break right now - but since I'm self taught for the most part both in drawing and painting and in photography, I never thought until the last few years I was "allowed" to call myself an artist. I grew up with the snooty New York art world magazines and I thought you had to sit inside a cardboard box in Central Park with a party hat on your head holding a blank sign or something like that in order to be called an "artist". I can't believe I fell for that crap when I was younger.
H Drew - Yes, I do - I wonder if the fact that I know exactly the expression you're referring to tells everyone I'm old LOL.
Shana, I just read your blog. Well written.
And I should dig up the issue of Lenswork I have at home where the publisher writes a scathing article aimed at those who think if you don't know about the "in" artists and their work, no matter how ridiculous the work is, you don't know art. Believe it or not, that attitude lives on today....Puleeeeze.
Great response from everybody so far!!
@ Janine, thank you, I'm glad you appreciate my earlier works. I am so happy that I had the mind to preserve them, I love looking at them, its like I am meeting myself face to face, if that makes sense? I agree with you on the success factor.
@Carmen, I had a very similar conversation with other kids when I was growing up!! lol
@Mary, I know exactly what you mean, the title itself can be quite intimidating!!
@ H-"BUT being an artist only has meaning if you are called an artist by others." Lucky for me people have been telling me I'm an artist since I was 3 lol
Another great quote Mary!! Thank you for sharing!! It just goes to show that our fore-artists also had these conversations. These may be questions that will never be answered!!
@H, I don't know if all artists are open minded, that differs from person to person, I think it (the quote) more speaks to the fact that artists view the world around them, and take it in in a different light than others (that is only my interpretation, you are welcome to your own). Who's to say though, it is just a quote, by a man who had his own opinions of what it means to be an artist. As I stated in my blog what it means to be an artist is different to everybody, hence the reason I opened this thread, so we may each share our own personal opinion of what it means to us.
@Brian, I feel you there, it's worth it though isn't it?
@ Shana: thanks for pointing out your reason for opening the thread (quite a good one at that). Like yourself: there are a lot of us who would like to know:
"What does being an artist mean to you."
"What do you think makes you an artist?"
"What elements do YOU think it takes to be one?"
one of the answers was poverty. I don't buy that! is cliché' and stereotypic. so if you are successful and wealthy you are a failure at being an artist? case and point: in today's money, Michelangelo would have been listed in Forbs as one of the wealthiest men alive. his monetary wealth was directly related to his art. Was he an exception?
@ H, I understand what you mean about the poverty being a cliche, unfortunately in the art world there is a stigma about making money. Take Kinkade, many in the art community considered him a sell out just because he went commercial. But really, who wouldn't make that kind of money if they had the chance? How does that make one any less of an artist? It doesn't to me. Like wise you are not more of an artist if you can sell more of your work than somebody else. I don't think money should even be a factor when It comes to being labeled an "Artist". Many artists chose not to sell their work at all.
Thanks Shana! one more question, What do you mean by "in the art world "? is this some place different and set aside from the everything else but art world..world? LOL!
all kidding aside, What is this art world?
Art world- Collectors, Buyers, Museums, Art Historians, Art Critics, Artists-etc. The general art community and networks. I must say that I am surprised that I have to define the term "Art World" to another fellow artist, as if you have never heard the phrase before..
I have not a clue what it means to be an artist - it is another facet of being a human being with a talent or at least a creative bent and the where-with-all to produce it. It's an occupation not better than being a doctor, lawyer, or and Injun chief.
Shana…As I read your Blog, I thought I was reading my own thoughts…I imagine most artists are driven in the same way.
Uncontrollable Imagination, Creativity soothing the soul, In my case I forget my pain…Until it physically overcomes me,
Inspiration…What time does it wake you up?? I usually get hit at 3AM…and I remember it so well it drives me batty till I sketch the plan or do it…
Hard work…Never giving up… I have been told by many it’s not good for me…In my opinion Giving up would be far worse…
Practice and repetition is something I think we all get plenty of…And who can let their dream die…not I.
Challenging myself is just taking things to the next level… Outside the box of course…
It's a need to express one self- Some of us can do that better then others. The trick is finding the right form(s) to do that. It's a desire to leave a mark on the world and for someone to acknowledge the effort.
First let me say, your blog was wonderful! I believe being an artist is something you are born to do. Just as a future engineer often refuses to play with anything other than leggos, or a future all-star will throw a ball over and over again, young artists are driven to create. The creative spirit is in us all, but artists nurture, protect and feed it, allowing it to become a large part of who they are. If one is truly an artist then the drive/need to create is as important to them as breathing, it must be done.
The artistic spirit is often a lonely soul,
Adrift in a sea of possibility,
When consummed by inspiration,
It's thoughts become reality,
It seeks your acceptance,
With each new endeavor,
And longs to feel your embrace,
In it's moment of surrender.
Like a child who pulls on Mama's dress,
Longing for a glance,
It asks you to admire,
Give it just a chance.
For when it creates,
Or captures the perfect shot,
Rest assured the spirit there,
Is giving all it's got.
@Mary, I feel the same way, luckily I'm a lefty so for the most part I do live in my right side of my brain!!
@Dan, it usually kicks in when I am trying to fall asleep, then keeps me up ALL night. It takes hours for me to quiet my brain, then when I finally do fall asleep I dream about it all night!! I paint in my sleep!! I've been told it's not good for me, but I have no choice, it's the name of the game.
@Julie, that is one of my favorite parts of being an artist!!
@Lawrence, I wholeheartedly agree...
@Gail, thank you!! I'm glad you liked my blog!! Wonderful thoughts on your part!! Did you write that?
Joe Bonamassa was stricken with the desire to become a Guitarist when he was about 4 years old..As Gail has mentioned above, He constantly played on a guitar that his dad bought him and with the influence of some pretty awesome mentors, (Eric Clapton and BB King) he has become the Number 1 Blues Guitarist in the world today... He's always on the road and has played the Royal Albert Hall several times (a Childhood dream).
I don't have the blues, But if you listen to his music...He can take you away and make you forget where you are....
Yes, I did. I write a lot of poetry to go with my work. I am sure your 'artistic spirit is similar to my own, (read your bio)and you can identify.Being an artist is a difficult path, rewarding and frustrating, but if yours is the soul of an artist you must be creative to be happy. Dan, Bonamassa has a new FAN! Perfect music to play while painting.
Edgar Degas once said: "Painting is easy when you don't know how, but very difficult when you do."
...and Paul Klee claimed: “Art does not reproduce the visible, but makes visible.”
I like both quotes, cause they show that it is not all about technique. At first you have to learn 'design rules',
and later you have to learn how to break these rules, in order to find a new balance. Real art is 'soulwork', it is about innermost feelings. For the artist it is like breathing...
...and as for photography... photography is art of making good pictures, despite all the technology. :-)
@Dan, thank you for the video, I am listening to the soothing music now as I type!!
@Gail, it seems you and I have a lot in common, I thoroughly enjoy your work and feel a connection to it, I've noticed we enjoy a similar subject matter in a lot of our works, though we each have our own style. I too write poetry. I write stories as well. I guess I am a jack of all creative trades in some sense lol. I am actually working on putting together a book that matches up my paintings and my poetry. It is a lot of fun!!
@RJ "I think being an artist is as much an innate personality trait as it is a practice of making "Art"" I think so too.
@Candela, Awesome quotes!!! Great point!!
Hey Shana, for me being an artist is a form of self expression, an outlet where we make our thoughts and imagination put into our canvass, photo that we shoot, or any medium of arts for that matter that we had preferred and mastered. Just like any other profession, its a calling. You must enjoy what you do. And I for one am enjoying being a "papier mache artist" As they say express yourself, create beautiful artworks. Take a step back and look at your creation and say:" Ah a Masterpiece, made by a true artist!"
Sorry it has been a bit since my last reply, I have been busy today trying to take photos of my handmade jewelry to update on my facebook page.
@Brian, very good point!! Even if it is cliche it doesn't mean that it can't be true, at least for some.
@Angelina, I don't like most conventional definitions either, that's part of what got me thinking about this. I'm not interested in non artists opinions of what it takes to be an artist. I want to know what it means to each artist themself. Which goes a long with what you are saying, artists are what ever they want to be. It differs from artist to artist, which is why I started this thread. It's another way of getting to know each other better.
I know what you mean, I'm sure it is clearer to some than others. I only know what it means to me to be an artist, what makes me one. I have no business to tell others what makes them one. I don't think there is any right or wrong answer, it really just depends on the person and how they feel, and what they feel makes them an artist. It's as personal and unique as our artwork itself.
Well, I like everybody's answers here. Remember when artists used to get together and write "manifestos" about why a certain art movement was dead and their group was the only one that knew what the true meaning of art was?
I never could get that. Why limit yourself like that?