Being an Artist

“What is art that gets left unseen?”

Well what an interesting question I was presented with.  I was being gently encouraged to share my own “artwork” online.  Which led to my thinking, what is art?  I never considered myself an “artist” before.  But I do like to play with charcoal and paint.  I’m a little out of practice, but pretty good with a camera.  Is the product of my playtime considered art?

I’m not so sure.

Some of it is really bad.  Some of it is really great.  I could maybe consider some of my photographs art, especially some of the old stuff, from when I never left the house without my camera (and, ahem, film).  In fact, here is one of my favorites.


But it’s not so much the photographs that make me question if I should be called an artist, I think some of them are actually quite good.  It’s more of my playtime “art” that really gets me wondering if I should even call it that.  Nobody would buy my paintings and charcoal drawings.  I’ve posted a photo of a painting here.  And there is a charcoal drawing you can see in this post.  But is that what makes art?  That someone is willing to purchase it?  I don’t think so, because I personally wouldn’t pay a dime for anything out of Picasso’s cubism collection.  And I’m pretty sure that we all agree that Picasso was an artist.

And then I have another issue with calling myself an artist.  I have friends who I truly consider to be artists.  The beautiful young lady who had shared a photo of an amazing pencil drawing online, prompting the above referenced conversation. That was a gorgeous piece.  In town, there are two brothers I know whose work will literally take your breath away.  Some dark, some light, all incredible.  Artwork so good that they both have made careers of it. And I have an old friend who seems to be able to capture just the most amazing images when he points his lens somewhere, anywhere.  These people are artists.  To call myself an artist seems to be a leap when compared the work they produce.  But why?  Seems silly, right?  Is it the end product that really matters?  Or is it simply the act?

“Art makes the world a better place.”  Same young lady.  Same conversation.  So … does it?  Does my relatively poor excuse for a painting make anybody’s world a better place?  Well, yeah.  Mine.  It makes my world a better place.  It gets me out of my crazy, loud brain for a few hours.  It makes be smile when I go back and look at it. and it makes me smile when I share it with friends. and if my world is a better place, I’m more inclined to make other’s worlds better too. Pay it forward.  Smile more.  Share the good energy left behind by letting myself go and not judging myself quite so harshly for a little while.  Energy is contagious.  Good and bad.  And playing with paint makes me smile and creates more positive energy in my little world.   So, at least for now, I’ll call it art.  So I guess that makes be an artist.

What about you guys?  Do you play?  What’s your favorite medium?  Do you consider yourself an artist?

3 thoughts on “Being an Artist

  1. Well said. I have played with pastel and can totally relate. Though I have received wonderful feedback on some of my work. I have never ‘”felt” like an artist. I also have done a lot of writing and that “feels” very right. Nice work.

  2. Love this. I feel this way sometimes about writing. I write, I express, but can I call myself a capital-W Writer?! For better or worse, words are my medium. And sometimes I doodle too…

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