This is becoming a regular thing, isn't it?
Thought I'd come back, maybe give you a little something.
I call myself an artist.
But I don't believe it - in the traditional sense.
Sure, I can draw. I also enjoy painting quite a lot. I play (badly) the guitar, bass, and drums. I love singing... and I also enjoy writing.
I've tried short stories, novels, etc. I never get very far because I can't stay focused on any one thing for more than a few days (If I'm lucky). It's why I paint so quickly - I usually start and finish a painting in one go, but lately I've been purposefully stretching that out over a few nights and I find it incredibly difficult.
One area of "art" that I feel comfortable creating in is "poetry".
Now, I'm not a great poet - I'm not even a good poet - but I enjoy it.
My poems aren't really "poems" per se. They don't, usually, rhyme as I find rhyming poems to be pedantic at best.
My writings are more "stream of consciousness" (which, as far as I'm concerned means "drivel written by idiots").
However,"Stream of consciousness" (SoC) isn't exactly right either. I know what I'm writing and it is very purposeful, but my "poems" read like they are "SoC", so that's what we'll call them.
What they are, in reality, are carefully abstracted thoughts that I choose to express in much the same way I would express something visually.
Painting, in the abstract, is about seeing things in your own way, in your own context, and divorced - somewhat - from reality.
I use words like I would use paint. It's about creating an idea or image in the mind's eye; a feeling or series of feelings meant to convey a message. I don't care if it's written "correctly" or if I follow the "rules". Art isn't about rules.
For example, I've always felt that "photo realistic" art was boring. It's technically masterful, but boring. If i wanted a photo realistic image of something, I'd take a photo.
I could write "traditional" poems, but I don't see the point. To me, it's like someone knowing all of the rules of writing and grammar - Sure, they can write well from a technical standpoint, but that doesn't mean what they are writing is any good.
Think of it this way: You could learn everything there is to know about playing the piano. you could study for years and years and become a master of the instrument. However, that does not mean that you automatically write great music. In fact, you might write terrible music that no one likes.
While I appreciate the technical prowess and ability, it lacks that "spark" and that spark is something inside you. You either have it or you don't.
So, while you might be an amazing pianist, you aren't truly expressing that spark.
In all, I'm more interested in how an artist sees the world around them and how they express that vision. I want to see that spark.
Part of why I don't consider myself a "traditional" artist - and at the same time do - is my lack of education.
I didn't go to art school. I didn't take art classes (other than the required high school courses - which taught me nothing.) My "talent" comes naturally from a lifetime of doing it.
I was born with a spark.
I've been drawing since I could hold a pencil and was encouraged by my family (in particular my father). It's been my defining trait (intellectually) for the past 30 years. It's who I am.
That, however, is at odds with how I perceive myself.
Because of the way in which artists and the arts are perceived by the world, I feel like a phony - a pretender. Every time I say "I'm an artist" I feel like I'm lying. It's a sort of "Cognitive dissonance". I see myself as an artist, yet feel outside of that world; a Persona Non Grata.
I will, at best, be considered "outsider".
I try to fight that feeling. It can easily put one off of art - and I think it does. It makes people with desire and natural talent, who happen not to have the advantage of a degree or connections, feel as if they don't belong. It can make one feel as if they aren't really an artist or that they have no business even trying.
I don't buy into the "art world" and it's bullshit; Phony Artist statements, the self-serving critics, the "deeper meaning" of work (when there isn't one) that people discuss over champagne, the supposed monetary value of work, etc.
A wall has been built between your average person and "The Art World". It's a club with a very discerning membership.
That is the work of people.
People like to feel special. They want to "get it" and like to keep their club exclusive. That's why you get "Real" art being priced in the thousands of dollars (or much much more). no ordinary person can afford that.
Art has been co-opted by the "elite" and if you aren't part of that world then you never will be welcomed in. - that is unless, of course, you get very very lucky and one of these people deems you worthy.
It's a world of pretension. It's a world of who you know.
I've met my share of artists and collectors who revel in that scene. Whether they truly believe their own bullshit is up for debate, but it has caused a great divide between "Art" and art.
It's a world where one needs a degree to be taken seriously or even given a chance.
Art has become a commodity. You can get a degree in business, computers, criminal justice... and Art.
It fails to address the truth of what art is and why we are driven to create.
It was never a means to an end. Art isn't about making a living. Art isn't about selling your work. Art isn't about being famous or rubbing elbows with the elite.
No, I don't have a degree. Does that means I'm not an artist? Does that diminish my work? Does that, truly, make me an outsider? Or are the outsiders those people who are "technically proficient" but have no spark or can't express it? I believe art cannot be defined. Nor can art be an exclusive club. It belongs to each of us.
People have seen my work and said "I love it! It's amazing! did you go to art school? No? you should!"
Why should I? What difference would that make? So i can get a job doing it? Maybe be a graphic designer? i can go to school and use my art to make a fortune? Is that what it's about? That is the end I'm trying to achieve? "Forget creating. Forget what art means to you... what it IS. You should be making money!" "i don't know why you aren't RICH." "You should be doing this professionally!"
Those sort of sentiments irk me. They belittle art and the artist. It cheapens art and makes it another means to an end.
I've been told by friends that went to art school that it "kills" their creativity.
I was told, also, that I shouldn't go to school for it.
While it teaches you how to do many things, it also creates a "prison" that one finds hard to break free of. That is a prison made of expectation, rules, and the "correct" way of doing things.
In my opinion there is no "right" way of creating art.
While I'm talking in very broad terms, I feel there is a certain core truth here.
If there were no schools, no degrees, would art be any less for it? Would there be no artists? Would we not create?
My favorite art is always that done by people without any formal training or education, whether it be the art children make that we put on the fridge, or the adult saying "I can't do it" and creating interesting, different, and wholly natural pieces devoid of the trappings of said "formal" training and education.
These pieces are the closest to what art truly is. It's natural expression. It's how someone sees their world.
If I choose to paint a certain way, is that wrong? Who says what is "good" or "bad"? Who gets to make that choice? Why do i have to do it a certain way? Why is that correct?
We, as a species, have been creating art since the beginning of time in some form or another.
Look at cave paintings. Look at idolatry from 10,000 years ago (or more). This is something inherent in our make-up. If anything defines us as a species, it's our ability and desire to create art. It sets us apart from the animals. It is, in many ways, the one true human characteristic.
Art is everywhere. It's in cave paintings, in tools, in construction, clothing, food, thought, feeling...
Our existence is defined by art.
Art is natural. It's inside of all of us. Some of us choose or are able to express that art to varying degrees. That's what I feel I am doing. Art is a part of my being - I have to do it.
When one makes art "definitive" and seeks to give it boundaries and rules, it ceases to be art. It becomes another technical function of our motor skills.
To me, art is not about money, or being technically proficient. Art is what it is; Art for Art's sake.
It exists outside of galleries and museums. It has no intrinsic monetary value. It is expression, pure and simple. That is how I choose to express myself, for better or worse.
So, i might not be the "best" artist or even an "artist" at all in the academic sense, but I have a passion and need to create that goes beyond some degree, price, or recognition.
If i were alone on a deserted Island, I'd still be creating art.
I don't do it for anyone else - and that's probably why I find it difficult to sell my work or price it for that matter. I don't create for the World. I breathe, my heart beats, I create.
I do get feel good knowing people enjoy it, but that is not the end all be all. I don't care if I sell my work or if anyone wants to buy it. Those things are fantastic, and I'm happy people can appreciate it, but if they didn't it wouldn't matter.
Art is my expression, my escape, my drive, my need, my want, my desire, my reality...
That is why I call myself an artist.
Leather Jodie filters.
Weight and spring.
Wander lots; lost -
none too steady.
Salty beds traced,
ruler doubled over.
drops leaning signal,
built Roman candles