It’s Like Being Blue-Eyed

9 02 2011

What makes someone an artist? To me, the answer is obvious. If you have an undeniable need to make something, you are an artist.

Being an artist is like being blue-eyed. Just as there are beautiful blue-eyed people and ordinary blue-eyed people and some woefully unattractive blue-eyed people, there are fabulous artists, good artists, and really awful artists. Being an artist is not about the end result – it is about the process of making.

Now before all of you fabulous artists take exception to this borderline blasphemy, think about it. Most good artists do not start out that way – it takes a lot of practice (which means lots of not-so-good work) to realize their potential. Look back at your early efforts (if you dare) and you will see what I mean.

Art is what we (strive to) make; it is subjective. Artist is who we are – period. We make art because we like to make things. Of course, we care deeply about the final result, but, for artists, the process, in and of itself, is always worth the time and effort. If the end result is all that matters, we are just manufacturers, not artists.

Being an artist is like being an explorer; whether or not it ends with a “Eureka,” the adventure of the journey is sufficient reward. Enjoying the trek is what makes us who we are.

I am an artist. Whether or not I am a good one is up to you; that I am one is up to no one, not even me.

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One response

9 02 2011
linda billet

A college professor that I had said that if he sees someone walking down the street covered in ink with green hair and lots of holes in their ears, face, whatever….he just shakes his head and says, “God bless him, he’s an artist.”

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