Saturday, February 4, 2017

“Defending Yourself as an Artist – Part 2”

Yesterday I started covering this topic about standing up for ourselves for our art. What are the parameters for someone being a professional artist, a real artist? Is it those who have the courage to say they are an artist? Are people only considered an artist if they have been juried into an art association or group? Are real artists only those who have studied for years under another artist or those who have gone to a credited art school? Are real artists only the ones whose work sells? Are real artists those who fit into the traditional art styles? Or is the real artist the one who just bends to the task of their work?

I’ve been asking these questions for years. I question the psychology behind the rules and beliefs because I want to understand. Are rules made to make certain artists more special than others? Is it for a sense of belonging? Is it to exclude some to make those in the group feel more important? 

Art has evolved much over the years and the doors have been blown open, and with technology, almost everyone can be some kind of an artist. Does this threaten the traditional artists? How does a painter feel when someone manipulates a photograph on the computer to print it to look like a painting? Is that real art? Is it deceiving the buyers? Or is it just another form of art? How artistic is it to push a button and have the photo look like a painting or a pencil drawing? (I’m a photographer and I question doing this, but do I have the right to say it isn’t art?)

I can certainly understand the competitive market is inundated with art. I understand that it must be tough for those who have studied for years, done the practices, honed their styles, paid their price, only to find up-and-comers jumping in without going through the years of development. I know what it’s like to work hard on a piece only to have the area so inundated with art work that is just as good that it’s almost impossible to sell unless you have built a following. 

What is it like for the traditional artists to be competing with the newer styles and media? And, if you’re in that field of the untraditional styles, how do you make your mark in the art world? What if your creative passion takes you in another direction? Does that mean you are not an artist?

I’m curious to know what others think. What questions do you have?

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