Artist: one who creates art
a person who produces works in any of the arts that are primarily subject to aesthetic criteria.
a person who practices one of the fine arts, especially a painter or sculptor.
a person whose trade or profession requires a knowledge of design, drawing, painting, etc.: a commercial artist.
a person who works in one of the performing arts, as an actor, musician, or singer; a public performer: a mime artist; an artist of the dance.
a person whose work exhibits exceptional skill.
I am an artist.
It has taken me a lifetime to say this without blushing.
Without looking around for someone sniggering.
To not say it in an affected voice or to make light of it. An artist is one who creates art.
Not only great art. Not only popular art.
Not only agreeable art.
But art. In any and all forms. One who draws it, paints it, sculpts it, writes it.
Epic poetry, long historical full-of-facts & figures tomes.
Play dough figures.
Photos of sunsets, galloping horses, or a beer can. Or….dogs playing poker.
The internet opened a door for people who, in the normal course of events, would never (ever ever) have had the nerve, the opportunity or the resources to display their work. An easily accessible, somewhat unthreatening way to reach people. To get experience, to give back and to grow into…..whatever happens to be your niche.
And then along came the trolls.
Protected behind an anonymous screen, refilling their drained cup of self esteem with bitter dregs. What’s worse is they want you to drink it along with them.
The examples are endless and repetitious. We have all seen and experienced it. Senseless. If you don’t like it………….move along. Make your own website, page and postings about the joys of macramé unicorns or display your cutting edge exhibit of photos taken in a dark, dark room.
BUT….leave others to do the same.
Shifting gears slightly, I have recently come across this on the ‘net:
“…the bill entitled ”An Act To Limit Body Art Procedures”. She says that body modifications should be limited to “traditional” tattoos and piercings. Her proposal was to essentially ban scarification procedures and dermal implants, as well as certain tattoos which remain yet to be defined as by the vague language of the bill she sponsored…”
If this is true, and not some inflammatory media chumming, then every thinking person should be utterly appalled.
Tattoos, body piercings, plastic surgery etc…are all a matter of personal preference and another one of those completely subjective areas.
Do I like the barbwire around the upper arm or neck tattoo? No
Do I like multiple metal bits sticking out all over someone’s face? Nope.
Do I think some people look like idiots? Absolutely.
Is it my business what they do to ornament themselves? Not one single, solitary shred.
“I do not agree with a word that you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it”
Or, if you prefer –
“I may not agree with you, but I will defend to the death your right to make an ass of yourself.”
The same is true of art. Tastes in music, literature, paintings, photography, sculpture – every one of them subjective. Unless there is harm involved, it is not my concern. Really, honestly, its not. (I know this is hard for some individuals to comprehend.) Not mine, or yours or any of the faceless bazillions out there. If you truly believe it is your mission in life to deflate and discourage ….then hike yourself down to the nearest mental health clinic. Help is available. Because you, my friend, are deluded.
Or else….you really are just an asshole.
Do not try and cookie cutter other visions into your own. Encourage and affirm, be a well of cold water. Not a cup of bitter dregs.
What is important, what is truly essential – is that people are allowed and affirmed, that they strive to keep doing it. Keep exploring, keep expanding, try try try.
**Make. Good. Art.
No matter what your idea of “good” or “art” happens to be. Make it, and make it WHOLLY yours.
If it’s the dogs playing poker….then so be it.