Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Am I Really an Artist?

A friend of mine sent this to me last week as a follow up to a conversation we had been having about what is an artist.

You see her stance is that most of the artisan's that are present at our in person venue are really not artisan's.  Now I was highly offended by this as I know both Tina and I (Tammy) here at  Entwined Vines put our heart and soul into our creations and our continually striving to improve.  Not to mention the continual experimentation with new designs.

From my friends perspective, anything that she could do herself isn't really art.  That items that are are readily available to everyone for creating anything isn't really art.  While I won't go into all of the details of what was discussed in that conversation I can tell you that it was a very heated debate.   Fortunately, we are the type of friends who can agree to disagree. 

Here is the thing, we live in an age when just about everything is available to anyone.  Now that means that anyone can try their hand at any type of artist venture they want.  Which in an of itself is fantastic.  Yet, my question for you is:  Would you tell the great photographers of the world that their work isn't art, simply because everyone has the ability to take photos?  Would you tell one of the great painters of the world that their work is not art, just because, down to the smallest child, everyone has access to paints?

I surely wouldn't!  and I love to both paint and take photographs. Yet, I know down to the bottom of my toes, that because I have not put the time energy and part of my soul into that work it is not an artistic venture for me at this time.  I enjoy it, which is why I partake in both painting and photography.  They are not art forms that I am constantly striving to improve or create in.

Yet, I have had moments of doubt myself on whether or not I am truly a jewelry artisan.  Mostly, I acknowledge it when I am having a creative block.  Although to be completely honest with myself, it is there every time we place our creations in a venue that allows for criticism.  Ok, so basically anytime we show a creation to anyone, including our friends and family.

Doubt is part and parcel of being a true artist, regardless of the creative outlet you choose to express yourself with.  That is the difference between someone who crafts for fun and a true artisan.  The time, energy, and commitment level that is pursued even while doubting ones ability, is the mark of a true artisan.  Continuing to create and display your work regardless of what the comments and reviews are.  Being an artisan is more than just having talent.  It is drive and determination and being able to pick yourself up after harsh criticism and moving forward against our own self doubt.


Connie Mitan said...

Great post! And I agree, just because everyone 'can' do it, doesn't mean those that actually do it with heart and soul aren't artists.

Same goes for what is defined as art - just because everyone can paint, not every painting is true art. But that's a discussion for another day...
~Sunfire / Breath of the Dragon

Rebecca said...

Enjoyed this. I have never considered myself an artist, so to speak. I make jewelry, soaps and stuff, and have a huge love of photography, I dabble in all of it, but have never considered myself an artist. Thank you for this lovely take on the subject!!

~ Becky ~ RWestDesigns

Vee Wills said...

Enjoyed your Blog post. ;o)

Jenny Sweeney said...

Great post. Years ago, I was at a photography convention and the question was asked how many of us considered ourselves professionals. They then reminded us if we had Ever gotten paid for a photo (even just a $5 card), we were professionals. So, for awhile I was proud to say I was a pro until I stopped selling photos. Now that I do fused glass, I hesitated ordering my business cards b/c I was not sure what "title" to give myself. I eventually chose "fused glass artist" because that is what I am, especially after I made my first sale :)