What makes you an Artist ?

Art is a personal act of courage, something one human does that creates change in another.

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« Art is not a handicraft, it is the transmission of feelings the artist has experienced » – Leo Tolstoy.

I’m getting kinda sick of hearing the word ‘Artist’ being thrown around in television, radio stations, social media circles as though anyone who has a talent automatically qualifies as an ‘artist’ ( sometimes they don’t even have talent). That is so not the case and in my opinion needs to be clarified.

Talent does not equal art and talented people are not automatically artists. In order to call yourself an artist you have to earn that right and the way you do that is by doing what any real artist does….show the world the things that are affecting you when you feel inspired to do so.

An artist is someone who expresses what he is feeling, thinking about a situation he is experiencing or witnessing. The situation may have moved him, inspired him, angered him, whatever…..he has been affected by this experience and he chooses to express that through his art. A real artist, when he has something to say, GETS OFF HIS BUTT AND EXPRESSES WHAT HE HAS TO SAY. He doesn’t wait for it to be cool, or profitable, or convenient, or trendy. His intention is not to gain money or fame, but to move and provoke thought in the people that his art engages.

An artist is someone who uses bravery, insight, creativity, and boldness to challenge the status quo. And an artist takes it personally.

That’s why Bob Dylan is an artist, but an anonymous corporate hack who dreams up Pop 40 hits on the other side of the glass is merely a marketer.
Art is a personal gift that changes the recipient. The medium doesn’t matter. The intent does.

Art is a personal act of courage, something one human does that creates change in another.

Art is not related to craft, except to the extent that the craft helps deliver the change. Technical skill might be a helpful component in making art, but it’s certainly not required. Art doesn’t have to be decorative; it can be useful as long as the use causes change.

Art is certainly not limited to painting or sculpture or songwriting. If there is no change, there is no art. If no one experiences it, there can be no change.

A cook is not an artist. A cook follows a recipe, and he’s a good cook if he follows the recipe correctly. A chef is an artist. He’s an artist when he invents a new way of cooking or a new type of dish that creates surprise or joy or pleasure for the person he created it for.

So to all you so called artists….next time please take a minute to reflect “Am I really an artist? Do I have something to say about the things that are affecting my life and am I actually saying them? Am I more focused on how to make a fortune out of my talents than what I have to say as an artist?” After you’ve taken time to really think about these questions, ask yourself again…..”Have I really earned the right to call myself an artist?” If you’ve answered no, it doesn’t mean you never will. It just means that if you are going to call yourself an artist, you need to start bringing it! Just saying!

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