Monday, July 6, 2009

The Girl Who Cried "Art!"

Musing tonight about art and life. As I return from a much needed trip home, I'm struggling with the same old question. "If a tree falls in the forrest..." But my version goes more like this: Am I still an artist if nobody sees my paintings? Am I still a poet if nobody validates my iambic pentameter? What is it about the prospect of success that changes the value of my art?

I have no answers to these questions, except that I will always be at odds with myself in some respect. Part of me agrees with the fluffy-bunny-thought that I am an artist even if I am the only one who ever sees my work. By this right, even I choose to draw one legged stick figures for the rest of my life it is still art. The cynic in me, however, tells me that there are many people out there who think they are artists that would not even make it onto my creative waiting list. Both of these trains of thought are surprisingly egocentric. With the fuzzy-bunny version, I have the audacity to declare that anything I create is art, whether it is beautiful or not, valuable or not. With the cynical strain I have the condescension to judge whether what others create is worthy of being considered art. Both of these thoughts make me more uncomfortable with the amount of credit I am granting myself.

There is no conclusion here except to say that I cannot cure myself of the affliction that drives me to create. I cannot force myself not to think conceptually. It would take a serious amount of morphine to stop me from dreaming up ideas. So I will continue to hold out hope that I can create enough to satiate the desire, and that maybe someday someone else will condescend to give it that elusive title of "art".

If you were able to wade this far into my abstract post-vacation brain, you deserve a prize. Maybe next time, I'll have one for you.

1 comment:

  1. If you are compelled to make creative works, then you are an artist. If you feel motivated to do so only for the notice of others, then you are a craftperson (or a hack).

    This is not to say that an artist will always make work that is of any merit to others, nor that a craftperson can't make work that is appreciable by others.