Hi, everybody! It’s that time again! Time to get your quote selected so you can come up with a creative story, poem, or whatever else you would like to share about your quote.
Ronovan is in charge this week and he chose the theme of:
ART or ARTIST
Please make sure to link to Ronovan’s post HERE. Here is my contribution for this week on the theme of “artist.”
As a writer, I felt like I understood this quote by Edgar Degas because through my choice of words I am able to paint a picture in the minds of my readers. My work becomes my art, and writing is my craft. So I must ask you… Do you think of yourself as an artist?
I must be frank and say that I never thought of myself in that way before. The more I considered the word artist and what it meant, the stranger it felt rolling off my tongue. So, I looked the word up to make sure I understood the depth of meaning the word, “artist” holds for us as writers.
Dictionary.com says an artist is:
- A person who produces works in any of the arts that are primarily subject to aesthetic criteria. A person who produces works in any of the arts that are primarily subject to aesthetic criteria.
- A person who practices one of the fine arts (a visual art considered to have been created primarily for aesthetic purposes and judged for its beauty and meaningfulness, specifically, painting, sculpture, drawing, watercolor, graphics, and architecture. Especially a painter or sculptor).
- A person whose trade or profession requires knowledge of design, drawing, painting, etc.: a commercial artist.
- A person who works in one of the performing arts, as an actor, musician, or singer; a public performer: a mime artist; an artist of the dance.
- A person whose work exhibits exceptional skill.
- A person who is expert at trickery or deceit: He’s an artist with cards.
- Obsolete. An artisan.
Each one of these definitions explains that being an artist involves creativity and the use of your hands, but does not really apply to being a writer. If you are a painter or sculptor your craft is easy to define because of the visual context of your work. I was even able to grasp the fact that if you are an actor or musician your ability requires the knowledge of performing and the skill involved in playing a musical instrument. I know many photographers that qualify as artists. They have the art of composition and subject matter down to a science.
How does writing fit into the definition of an artist? Are you a writer/artist the minute you put the pen to paper or your fingers to the keyboard? Are you an artist only if you get paid for your writing? What happens if your writing is horrible and you don’t get paid? How about if you self-publish an e-book? Does that make you an artist? How can that be the connection when the world is filled with starving writing/artists?
If you think about it, artists tend to create something out of nothing. They take a blank canvas or lump of clay and make it into something they envisioned. They pour their blood, sweat, and tears into their creation. Artists live through their art.
When I look at a painting, I think to myself, an artist did that. I marvel at the colors and the brush techniques and wish I could accomplish such a thing of beauty. I do not possess the skill to paint. I can see the colors and the dimensions in my head but I can’t get my hands to put them on paper for me.
In comparison, if you give me some crochet thread, a crochet hook, and a pattern, I can create a work of art in the form of a doily. I know, it’s an old-fashioned craft that has fallen out of favor. Nevertheless, it is a skill and a craft where I used my hands to create something.
SO… are writers artists? Yes. I do believe writers are artists. Even though writing and art are subjective to the person experiencing the particular piece of work, if you make a connection to that person, I believe you are an artist. I suppose it can be said that an unfavorable connection does not necessarily mean you are not an artist. Maybe it is that “spark of connection” that defines a piece of work as “art.” Art must generate a feeling or reaction in order to be recognized as art.
Writers create something out of nothing. It is their creative imagination and spirit that appear on that first blank page and lead us into worlds that only exist in the artistic recesses of their minds. A true “ARTIST” (writer) makes you believe their vision. Writers help us to see the world in a different view from our own.
I don’t know if I will ever consider myself an artist, although I do believe writers are artists when they generate reactions to their work. Maybe it all goes back to being recognized for your writing talent. When the connection is made to the reader, you know you are an artist.
What do you think?