You are not an artist!

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Steerpike, Jan 1, 2009.

  1. well, one thing is to defend a argument, and other thing to justify yourself.
  2. Of course there are certain levels of skill that make up being an artist. You can be a good artist or a bad artist. However, to be CONSIDERED an artist in my eyes, you have to WORK for that title. You can't just start out an artist. It takes time and effort.

    As for one of the people above who said that most artists are worried about other people calling themselves artists (or something like that, have to check:p), I said in my own post that I don't consider myself an artist. Very few people on here do I consider artists. Its all about that experience, knowledge, and skill you acquire over time.

  3. 98% of us? Wow I hope you are trying to exaggerate. You are bringing up a whole separate point now. Alot of people here may be amateur magicians but they still are magicians. Someone brought up the point that steerpike was trying to change the definition of what an artist is. Sounds like you are doing the same thing with magicians. Goodluck with that..ha
  4. Ok here I go:

    Definitions of the word artist.

    1. "The definition of an artist is wide-ranging and covers a broad spectrum of activities to do with creating art, practicing the arts and/or demonstrating an art." - Wikipedia

    2. "One, such as a painter, sculptor, or writer, who is able by virtue of imagination and talent or skill to create works of aesthetic value, especially in the fine arts." -

    3."One who shows trained skill or rare taste in any manual art or occupation. "

    As shown in the BOLDED TEXT above, many sources clearly state that an artist is one who makes, performs or practices a skill or work. However I would like to also say that the word artist has been thrown around to an extent that it is no longer a meaningful phrase used to refer to anyone.
    Let me give a brief example of what I meant through my last sentence. Let us take a professional dancer, architect and musician and try to define why they are artists. The oblivious fact is that all three create or display a certain skill which cannot be easily obtained. Does this make them a REAL artist? No. Because if we had a casual dancer try to out dance the profestional, the professional wll win but both would have shown some degree of skill none the less and so be called an artist. Same goes with the architect and musician. If we compared the Sydney Opera House to a regular opera theatre and compared a well known musical piece to your mom sining in the shower, we would know who is the better at creating or displaying skill, but it would also mean they would be an artist of their respective art.

    The real defention of a modern day artist is one who displays skill and or creates something with skill, but we have given them new names instead of the simple word, ARTIST. We have names such as architect, muscian and dancer instead of artist. However we put a qualification in front of that occupation of skill. This would mean a muscial artist who has been playing for 1 year would be called an ametuer while one who does it as a living is a professional. This is the case for all skills alike.

    My point that I have been trying to convey in short is that we are all artists, but to varying degrees, or like Steerpike says, No one is an artist. The reason for this would be cause the word artist is one that can be given to anyone. The winner of American Idol is an Artist after performing for 9 months. For this reason there are names given to people of each skill and there are qualifications to each person in that skill and that is the amount of "artist " that person is. Either we are all artist or we are all people who perform a skill to varying extents.
  5. Thank you. At least someone around here is finally starting to make some sense.
  6. I understand where you're coming from here. But in reality, how many pick up bands out there are there that ACTUALLY accomplish anything like creating their own music and preforming incredibly? Most of them are just people getting together and jamming. Don't get me wrong, there are those select few out there that have the potential to be great. (Just like there are here) But when you're just starting out playing music and jamming, you cannot call yourself an artist just because you contribute to it.

  7. he just started this thread to argue
  8. ugh... you don't know what art is. I'm sure some magicians aren't artists but i know i express a lot of emotion and feeling thru magic. That's what art is
  9. Talking a little about music, there is also the question of influences, for example, yeah I can create a great catchy song, bu some time my influences of the strokes, wolfmother and the beatles may show a little bit...

    maybe the same thing can happen with magic, who knows....
  10. There's no reason behind your statements though. You just sound like you're claiming yourself superior and deciding what's what
  11. I would like to bestow upon you the Medal of Humility and trust you can understand the irony in that.

    I'm very glad to see that you admit that, knowing there's no shame in it whatsoever and that you're happy with who you are and what you do.

    You don't need to be an artist to be a magician. If you just want to have fun with it, far be it from me to stand in your way.

    Dictionary defense. Bad answer. Next.

    No, that's what you and the other self-important teenagers on this forum are doing. You want that title, but you don't want to work for it.


    So basically, art is Schroedinger's cat.

    You think that's what quality control means?

    Where did you get that photo of me?

    Much appreciated. We needed a good laugh in this thread.

    He wasn't the only one to mention making a living. Thus my point.

    Apparently, people think that I was only thinking in terms of making a living. And that equates to money, which you just admitted.

    Am I being ignorant? Who cares? My point stands that it was ridiculous to assume I meant that the only way to be an artist is to make a living at it.

    I have an ulterior motive. But, ssshhh! It's a secret!

    Do you want to express something other than a spectacle? Are you doing something other than masturbating?

    Ad hominem. Bad argument. Next.

    Which is completely irrelevant to the discussion.

    Eureka! moment number 2.

    Eureka! moment number 3.

    Now things are getting interesting.
  12. 98 was just a ballpark number. I have no exact opinion. That may have been exaggerated, but I'll leave it as MOST people on here. I'm not meaning to offend anyone, I'm just stating my opinion. I don't even consider myself an artist. I consider myself a hobbyist. I may hate saying that word, but its true. I'll call myself a magician when performing of course, but I don't really mean it. We can have our own definitions of what an artist is. We can have opinions. Sure we may not go by's definition, but we can have our own views. I'm explaining mine. There is no reason why you can't have your own.

  13. Well obviously, but for once we are getting some substance in these threads, and maybe some of us can be persuaded one way or another.

  14. true, but seriously at least have some dang class about it
  15. We're debating magic theory. What's wrong with that? We're all learning. No one should take any of this as personal attacks, nor should they attack people.

    This is a lot more creative and entertaining than all of the "Which is better" threads or the "This guy was here the other day!" threads.

    What is an Artist?

    "If you're an artist, you've got to prove it."

    --Laurence Olivier

    Obviously, an artist is someone who creates art, just a baker is someone who makes bread, and a plumber is someone who installs and repairs plumbing. These are simply trades and professions; that is, means by which different people make their livings.

    Unlike plumbing or baking however, the difficulty lies in defining "art." Art is pretty much whatever anybody says it is, and an artist is similarly anybody who says he is one. This leaves any definition of "artist" and "art" so vague as to be meaningless. Does the act of creation, be it ever so humble or idiosyncratic, suffice to allow one to lift the laurel of "artist" to his brow? Anybody can call himself anything, but the test is whether or not you actually are qualified. A plumber would not dare to call himself a plumber unless he were qualified in the opinion of others to do plumbing, and had experience and credentials to prove it, and actually got paid good money for his work. The same is true of an automobile mechanic, elementary school teacher or newspaper reporter. You can't just call yourself a college professor or medical doctor and expect anyone to take you seriously. You need to have something to back it up. The term "artist," unlike "electrician," or "dog trainer," neither conveys qualification, nor is it specific enough to shed much light on what a person may actually do.

    There are classes of activities that often fall under the term "art," such as the lively arts, the performing arts, and the like; thus a dancer could reasonably be called an artist within the context of dance. But if you were to ask a dancer what she does, and she were to reply, "I am an artist," you would not be much the wiser concerning her activities. It would be far more illuminating for her to say, "I am a classical ballerina," or "I am a choreographer."

    A person may be exceptionally good at something, so much so that he may be called "a culinary artist," or "a musical artist," or "a con artist." This implies that he transcends the ordinary, and does something creative in his trade, so much so that by the standards of cooks, or con men, he is an "artist." But it would be misleading for that person to say, "I am an artist," when asked what he does for a living. Far better to say "I am a cook," and leave it to others to call you an artist.

    My brother is a professional musician. He calls himself a jazz musician, and more specifically, he plays the bass. He is good at it, and this is how he makes his living. Whether or not he is an artist does not seem to concern him much. What does concern him is getting work in his chosen profession, and getting paid for it.

    I find it useful, when asked what I do for a living, to say that I am a printer and graphic designer, and leave it up to the questioner to decide whether or not I qualify as an artist. When I started in my trade, graphic designers were called "commercial artists," as distinct from the more revered class of "fine artists." This title seemed crass and meretricious, and in the late 1960s the trade began referring to itself as "graphic artists," which did not, in fact, change what it did, nor that it worked in exchange for money, nor that the client dictated what was to be done and how it was to be done and for how much. Around ten years later, "graphic artists" began calling themselves "graphic designers," perhaps to avoid the confusion between themselves and fine artists altogether.

    "Skill without imagination is craftsmanship and gives us many useful objects such as wickerwork picnic baskets. Imagination without skill gives us modern art."

    --Tom Stoppard

    Part of the problem lies in the area of fine art itself. People respect skill and technique, the more so in areas that they do not fully understand. A painstaking model of a three-masted sailing vessel, perfect in every detail, is something that anyone can appreciate. The person who made the model not only understood ships and rigging, but was exceptionally skilled at careful, detailed woodwork. Whether or not this model ship exemplifies a great creative glorification of mankind's aesthetic strivings, it is still a well made thing. People to some extent evaluate any manifestation of art in these terms: "Gee! I could never do that!"

    A sculpture by Michaelangelo is obviously the product of great skill and imagination. A painting by Giotto, or Rembrandt; an engraving by Durer; a composition by Beethoven, Mozart or Bach; all these recommend themselves to even the ignorant audience as at least highly skilled technical undertakings. Not so, unfortunately, with the paintings of Jackson Pollock. Not so with the average Master of Fine Arts exhibition at a university museum. Not so, indeed, with much of the fine or academic artistic offerings of the last century and this. At the common level, many if not most of these exhibitions are greeted by the general public in these terms: "A child of six could do it!"

    This modern work may be creative in every sense. It may be that it is a great expression of the human condition. But, to the general observer, it looks like anybody with a little paint and a lot of chutzpah could have done the same.

    What has happened is that the "art" part of art--that is the apparent skill and technique resulting from talent and training--has been replaced by the conceptual part. So much so, that the conceptual part has eclipsed and replaced the execution.

    "I have nothing to say / and I am saying it / and that is poetry / as I needed it"

    --John Cage

    I have no quarrel with John Cage's renowned conceptual composition 4'33'', which is played at the piano and is divided into three movements. All of the notes are silent. The composition takes its name from the fact that it requires four minutes and thirty-three seconds to perform. I will admit that John Cage had nothing to say, and said it very well.

    "The more minimal the art, the more maximum the explanation."

    --Hilton Kramer

    I have less patience with the numerous paintings which are all in white, portraying nothing. I am particularly displeased with such vapidity when they are titled "untitled," thus emphasizing their nothingness. Some of these paintings have more texture than others, but all of them display the same level of skill and competence in execution: none. All of these nameless paintings--at least all that I have seen--are accompanied with lengthy expositions on why they are valid and interesting, flying directly in the face of the observed fact that they are neither valid, nor interesting. I am afraid that I do not understand, and am not interested in, Robert Rauschenberg's Erased de Kooning Drawing: an art work that takes the work of another artist and erases it, and then displays the erased drawing as a work of art in itself. This may be a deep and penetrating commentary on the intellectual climate in which these artists find themselves imprisoned, but personally, I don't get it.

    "The history of modern art is also the history of the progressive loss of art's audience. Art has increasingly become the concern of the artist and the bafflement of the public."

    --Henry Geldzhaler

    Rauschenberg's, and similar, extreme expressions of conceptual art leave me cold, and near as I can tell, also do not interest many, many millions of others. When I see, presented in the name of art, a pile of rocks; or wads of crumpled newspaper encased in chicken wire and spray painted gold; or a load of garden dirt emptied out onto a polished floor, my reaction is simple: if this is art, I don't want to have anything to do with it. I don't want to be called an artist or be associated with this gaggle of over-educated, incompetent, tiresome men and women who have nothing to say and, worse yet, say it very badly.

    "It reflects no great honor on a painter to be able to execute only one thing well -- such as a head, an academy figure, or draperies, animals, landscapes, or the like -- in other words, confining himself to some particular object of study. This is so because there is scarcely a person so devoid of genius as to fail of success if he applies himself earnestly to one branch of study and practices it continually."

    --Leonardo da Vinci

    I am a competent technician. I give value for value. I am an honest workman, and I do not want people to think that I am a con-man, running a scam, cheating the king out of his money under the pretense of making for him a suit of clothes that only the virtuous can perceive.

    Therefore I do not call myself an artist. I create flat, representational objects---books, illustrations, posters, stained glass windows, greeting cards, wedding invitations, wine labels--in return for money. I'm glad that people like what I do, because that means that I can go on doing it. I like what I do, and consider it a privilege to be able to make my living doing it. But, I am not, at least in twenty-first century terms, an artist. I'll leave that to those who have no idea at all of what they do, or who they are, or where they are going, and must, for want of any other word, call themselves artists.

    "If something is boring after two minutes, try it for four. If still boring, then eight. Then sixteen. Then thirty-two. Eventually one discovers that it is not boring at all."

    --John Cage.

    Sorry, I don't have the time.

    David Lance Goines,
  17. I wasn't merely joking around. I am quite serious about my question.

  18. jaja, I think he was quite serious about his answer too mate:D
  19. Hey everyone, this is a good discussion. LET'S KEEP IT CLEAN! :D Let's try to be respectful. This is a great topic to talk ab out so let's try not to offend anyone. Good clean discussion is always welcomed here. Personal bashing and rude posts are not and I'm seeing that from a few people in here. Let's try to keep the thread opened for a while, ok? Thanks. ;)

  20. Agreed

    Who determined we didn't have class?

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