Define artist

Thursday, January 7, 2010
Something has been bugging me. Usually I would store these type of thoughts in my secret vault called my journal or I'll let it rent space in my mind, culminating those things called negativity, false assumptions, fear...very  detrimental to your immune system. But since it's a new year, I've decided to share certain thoughts and frustrations with hopes that someone will say they can relate along with feedback of how to overcome the illusions. 
Side note: So I realized that my posting comment thing is not working. I don't know how to fix it so if anyone ever want to comment, please e-mail at or contact me via facebook. My job is boring and I love reading. So comment away...

Anyhoo. I'm not so sure it's wise of me of sharing this type of information for "business" reasons of not looking like a complete loser, but whateves. For the past 3 months, I've been contacting online magazine & blogging sites to share my artwork on their sites. Hey they said if you want to be a featured artist, please contact me via [blank] and we'll get back to you... so I collected the guts to say "why not". I won't disclosure their names but they're small and have a lot of followers, thought it would be a good way to expose myself some more. I also figured if my friends like my artwork, maybe strangers would too... Some didn't even acknowledge me but others gave me false anticipation that they would post my artwork on their blog/magazine in a few weeks. Didn't happen. 
Wait! I thought they said sure! You'll be featured in a few she scratches her head...more like never

Instead of being bitter about it, it has me wondering what is the definition of an artist. Is my work too amateurish to be featured? Did they not have the heart to say "we're sorry but we have better artist to talk about"? Yo no se but it got me thinking a lot and has me questioning if I really have some raw talent.
Back to the definition of an artist. Today while I visited one of the blogs that said they would feature me and instead featured another artist, it got me running to google to examine techniques & talents of others, and got me looking up amateur vs. professional artist. I tripped upon a forum on "When Can You Call Yourself an Artist?". I must say, the various opinions gave me hope.

  • “I always point to Van Gogh who couldn't sell a painting in his lifetime and now is one of the best known artists in the world. If you read the letters he wrote to his brother, they just have an artist's soul. He talks on endlessly at one point about a particular shade of blue he saw that day. To me that's an artist. It wasn't what was in his pocket but in his heart.” -- Sue
  •  “I think being an artist comes from within, like a state of mind. … an artist is anyone who can express what is going on in their head/soul through any creative medium, whether it be spoken, written, sung, played, danced, or put on canvas. It is the act of releasing and documenting thoughts and feelings that makes one an artist.” -- Thoms Minotaur
  •  “An artist makes art, sees art in the world around them and, most importantly, feels art in their heart. If they sell their art or not does not matter. What matters is that they make art. If you never put it down on paper, canvas, clay or stone you only have ideas, not art. Your ideas might be brilliant but until it is tangible others cannot enjoy or appreciate your art.” -- Dianna
  •  “Everyone is an artist as a child. It's when they get older and start critisizing themselves that they stop creating art. I consider myself an artist because it's what I am; not for how many paintings I've sold. Maybe that's what makes you a professional artist. ” -- Sue
  •  “If you have a vision different from other people then I say you are an artist!” -- Jim 
  • “Whenever the thing that is uppermost on your mind; when you get up in the morning, when you have an unoccupied moment during the day, when you can't sleep at night; is ‘What can I (create) today?’ or ‘How can I finish that (creation)and make it spectacular?’ When the passion to make that painting, photograph, drawing, sculpture, etc. never quite leaves your thought processes and is a motivating/driving force in your daily life...then you are an artist. Many of the greatest artists in history were never famous until after they died. .. It's not about selling, it's all about the passion of creating something new and beautiful! Some artists don't care to share their work with's just for their own enjoyment. And true artists don't care if anyone else thinks they are good or not and they are not concerned with what anyone else thinks of their work. They are strictly in it for the pleasure of creating, and if they sell and make money that's just icing on the cake! Especially if they are still alive to enjoy the income. You decide if you are an artist and don't let anyone else tell you any different if you are one.” -- SkyRamsey

Yes indeed an artist is one who makes art. I make art thus I'm an artist. I have no formal training, but I like to explore and let my brain control my hands. Isn't that good enough? Unfortunately, I let these informal rejections stamp this block on my creativity and that's why I haven't painted anything in 6 months. My bad. So one of my goals for this year is to stop taking things so personally and thrive to be a true artist; one who doesn't care if anyone thinks I'm good or not.  So with all of this said, I'm going to stop asking people to feature me and allow myself to be as you American people say: discovered. I'll still continue to share my artwork and post "inspiration and story behind []" because I refuse to be selfish. Time for me to stop worrying about making money or if I'm marketing myself the right way, and just draw when I feel like drawing and share them.

Thanks for the support!