Miss me, sunshines? I'm guessing you clicked on this thread either because of my name attached to it, the title, or both. If you were here for the title, you might want to nip out for a quick drink before going any further. Alcohol isn't going to stop you from getting angry with me, but it will make your responses a lot funnier. Now then, chances are that if you are a magician or mentalist, you are not an artist. Chances are that if you are here, you are not an artist. Why, I hear you ask? Because you have nothing to say. Because you are pretending to be something that you are not. "There's nothing tragic about being fifty. Not unless you're trying to be twenty-five." -Joe Gillis, Sunset Boulevard There's no shame in being a hobbyist magician who does some cool tricks at a party for friends. Doing something for the sake of fun is perfectly fine. But that does not entitle you to call yourself an artist any more than someone drawing badly proportioned animu stick figures on DeviantArt. But then, that's the nature of the internet, isn't it? No quality control. Any half-wit with a standard case of teen angst can run out into the streets of cyber space and declare themselves a messiah. And since no one of any consequence has any interest in humoring their delusions, they band together into a community of whooping throwbacks to build up their own egos enough to foist their so-called talents on each other and later innocent by-standers. Amidst all this self-congratulatory revelry, the word artist becomes an honorific on par with Emperor of All That Is Rad. But once again, since there is no quality control on the internet, entire communities convince themselves that such a title need not be actually earned. The definition of artist is rendered as vague and inclusive as possible so that any schmuck can call himself one. The grand irony of course is that in making art so meaningless, calling yourself an artist becomes akin to calling yourself a hominid. It's nothing special anymore because you have gone out of your way to remove any and all barriers between artists and everyone else so that you can selfishly claim the title for yourself. How did I come to this conclusion? Because I used to be one of the self-important MySpace kids who acted in a manner I just described. So to restate my point, you are not an artist just because you do card tricks and flourishes. Your god-awful presentation of Stigmata does not make you dark and complex, it makes you a wanker who does another card trick. You don't bend people's realities, you talk them into submission (or stare them into submission if you're one of the types too busy ripping off David Blaine and Daniel Madison to bother having an original thought in your head). You are not an artist. You are a chimp wearing a diaper or a bear on a motorcycle, a spectacle that gets a reaction out of people from sheer absurdity. Now... prove me wrong.