Deep Thought Thursday

Everyone is an artist.

–Joseph Beuys


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14 thoughts on “Deep Thought Thursday”

  1. Does being an artist/making art require intent? 🙂 Or is it defined only by the viewer? (which is how we now consider some ancient artifacts art, that were not in their own time) Does classification as ‘art’ change over time? Interesting…

  2. I have also heard it said that anyone self-declared an artist is. But, my favorite recent one was from the fabulous kid’s movie Ratatouille: (I paraphrase)”Although not everyone will be an artist, an artist may come from anywhere.”

  3. Alyson B. Stanfield

    Tina: You just gave me an idea for another DTT. Tune in next week. Casey: Yep, I caught that, too. I’m not sure I buy it that everyone is an artist. Doesn’t that devalue your special place in the world? On the other hand, if everyone were an artist, wouldn’t it be that much easier to relate to about your art? Or is it that everyone has the potential to be an artist?

  4. Everyone is not an artist anymore than everyone is a scientist or vegetarians or poets. There is widespread ignorance on any subject and art ignorance is rampant in society. To say that everyone is an artist is just intellectual hyperbole.

  5. Alyson B. Stanfield

    Lisa: Don’t you believe that everyone has a special place in the world? Gerald alludes to it above. We’re not all doctors, lawyers, philosophers, or politicians. Why would we all be artists? I love this debate. I’ve had it on numerous occasions and I can see both sides. Ever say to anyone that you’re an artist only to have them respond “Yeah? My Aunt Mary is an artist.” And you know Aunt Mary is a Sunday painter. You want to say, “But I’m a REAL artist.” Or are there different degrees of being an artist?

  6. I think that artists are no more special than those that are other things. We all have a place in this world. I read your use of the word special as implying superiority. I’m not sure what is gained by feeling better than any other group. Maybe the sunday painter is superior than artist that show and sell their work as she doesn’t feel a need to prove anything to anyone and is happy creating away in her studio for her own pure enjoyment. I prefer to think that we all might be different but no one is necessarily special just because of the occupation or vocation they have chosen.

  7. Art reflects a society -the stuff that has been dug up over the past 500 years gives a lot of importance to the roll of the artist as unique in all societies past and present, as well as feeding an artistic continuum. Where would we be without the great art of the past not to mention our understanding of history and it is the artists who provided this legacy? Even in prehistoric cultures the artist was held high and rightly so. Yes, others are needed in contributing their part to making a whole society but artists are unique. Is it too much to say that the true poets and artists in a given culture are necessary for great cultures to exist? Maybe we should consult our (art) history books to find the answer.

  8. Where would we be without the people that cooked and cleaned or took out the trash for these great artists? Where would we be without our teachers? The parents in the world. Everyone contributes to society in their own unique way.

  9. Alyson B. Stanfield

    Gerald: The world needs all kinds to make it go around. We have to recognize and value everyone’s uniqueness. Lisa, I agree. That’s why I think everyone has a special place. Artists are no less nor no more special. But it is a place that no one else occupies–a “special” place, if you will. I understand you don’t like that word and that’s okay. Perhaps it is semantics.

  10. I can call myself a rocket scientist, it doesn’t make it so! I think the problem here is that the word art is so very broad – within our culture it encompasses so many things from ways to describe good craftsmanship (‘he’s a real artist in the kitchen’) through Sunday painters through to professional artists trying to make a living at it. That a whole lot of stuff for one little word to carry! For that reason, I use the term ‘professional artist’ to describe myself, not because I think there’s anything wrong with the other uses but because being a professional artist does require a different skillset and approach.

  11. I like the Zen take on this–as long as I think I’m special I have lots more work to do to understand what is…..

  12. “To all viewers but yourself, what matters is the product: the finished artwork. To you, and you alone, what matters is the process: the experiences of shaping that artwork. The viewers’ concerns are not your concerns (although it’d dangerously easy to adopt their attitudes.) Their job is whatever it is: to be moved by art, to be entertained by it, to make a killing off it, whatever. Your job is to learn to work on your work.” –David Bayles & Ted Orland in Art & Fear …more art quotes:

  13. You are not an artist unless you “DO ART”. All children are born artistic but it is ground out of them by the time they reach high school and is practically non-existent by the time most people reach 30. Because our society is caught up in the belief that talent is something that a select few are born with too many kids give up their artistic dreams way too early. Creating art is no different than being a talented writer, dancer or salesman. The more you practice, hone your craft and “plug away, the better you are.Most gifted artists work at art every day – hour upon hour. “Do Art” don’t just talk about it.

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