Sunday, February 10, 2013

if you knew what you were doing you wouldn't be an artist

eeebee print
A friend of mine was recently interviewed by a jewelry making magazine and one of the questions she was asked referred to her as an artist.

This word artist made her uncomfortable and she changed it to craftsperson.

I have done stuff like this myself.

(I love the word craftsperson, too, and grew into that one with calluses and hand tools and time - I earned that one, but artist ... )

The word artist always resonates inside me as ARTIST!!! Capital letters and exclamation points and expectations

and the probability that if I dared to claim this word for myself it was only a matter of time before someone would come along and yank open the curtain and there I would be on a step stool and my tippy toes all wobbly and sweaty and stammering about how I really was an artist .... really.

This is some scary shit.

"art is difficult, risky and frightening -
it's also the only option if we choose to care."
-seth godin

The first time I visited a museum I was in the 4th grade. I was uber excited for this class trip and wore a green plaid vinyl raincoat with a green corduroy collar and carried a Josie and the Pussycats lunchbox.

(that unbeknownst - is that a word, I think so, I just love those 11 letters-to me housed a cheese on white bread sandwich, although I had begged my mother for anything except a cheese on white bread sandwich and she had assured me that it was most decidedly not a cheese on white bread sandwich)

I wandered past the African art and the Asian art and the art of Ancient Egypt and the paintings and sculptures of the European masters.

The paintings were hanging behind ropes and men with uniforms and stern faces stood watch. They were beautiful and amazing and flawless and they were untouchable.

After lunch we clamored into another wing. The boys were laughing and pushing and pointing and pronouncing this stuff was definitely "not art - we could make this stuff", they laughed.

I was mesmerized - this stuff I could understand, this stuff I could touch, was art? I asked the teacher, "what do you call this art?" and he said, "this is called modern art - this is art that has something to say".

Modern art - art that had something to say - I liked the sound of that and I definitely wasn't laughing.

If modern art was something that everybody could make then maybe even a little girl with a crooked hair cut and a Josie and the Pussycats lunchbox with a cheese on white bread sandwich still lying uneaten inside could make it, too.

Part II - what are we saying?

3 comments:

DancingMooney ♥ said...

I had a customer once say that my soap making was an art, and while I appreciated her sentiment, I have a hard time considering myself an artist, when there are so many others out there creating and making and doing things such bigger and more beautiful than what I do. I consider myself a maker, and a wearer of many hats. A craftsperson yes, an artist, I am not so sure... unless the art is, "helping someone find something that they need"... I am quoting your recent post here, heheh. ♥ What am I trying to say? Celebrate life! But I still don't think that makes me an artist. LOL. ;)

Catherine Ivins said...

oh but it does my dear :)

Catherine Ivins said...

I can see we all need proof of this! ha!