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  1. #1
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    art

    what is art?
    why is everyone pretending to be called an artist?
    why are we, all of a sudden, surrounded by artists?
    when is it appropriate to publicly declare yourself an artist?


    what do you guys think?

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    what is art?
    I see art as a word failing to communicate the message intended. This is because the definitions are so vague, on top of that the definitions/ideas about art are constantly changing and are often not the same across different countries and cultures at a set time. What happens when the definition of a word is so vague (but still for some reason there is a wish to use it), people make up their own definition/ideas. Therefore what one person is intending to communicate when speaking or writing down the word "art" is often not the same as what is interpreted by the person receiving the input. In that sense it fails to communicate the message intended.

    Just check wiktionary and any other dictionary for some vague and many times contradictory attempts to define it.

    You could also argue that art is the reflection of the establishment behind it. In other words art is what influences within the art community says art is at a given time.

    What is art? A work of beauty or similar project toward the goal of creating a new piece of work that people enjoy looking upon, reading, interacting with or hearing.
    This kind of definition is common in dictionaries. Beauty, I would argue that beauty is subjective to each individual and collectively subject to trend. When the opinion of beauty changes should the creation lose its status as "artwork," I wonder? I would also like to believe that there is plenty of artwork to be found that is not beautiful but still appealing. Even if the work is not appealing I do not see why someone couldn't consider it art, nor do I see a reason to consider it art myself even if it was. What seems to be the key ingredient for an artwork to gain recognition though is not that people enjoy looking upon, reading, interacting with or hearing (it might be those included as well), but rather that people enjoy talking about it. Controversial art is way more recognized than beautiful art if you ask me.

    Another idea some artist's have is that art is the search for what art is. That it's just a phenomenon in constant movement. That's why it's hard to define because of the constant change.

    why is everyone pretending to be called an artist?
    Do you mean to say, "why is everyone pretending to be an artist?" If so, I believe it's because they tailor their own made up definition of art after what they do themselves. Or the other way around, they tailor their work after what they think is art. Of course also some artists just happened to do what they believe art is. Why? One thing that to me seems to remain the same around the world is the idea that art is something prestigous, meaningful, that requires "talent" and yea because of these preconceptions calling yourself an artist might work to get you laid too. It might not be these labels you think of but there is preconception that the title "artist" is desirable i believe.
    Maybe people are not content with or happy with what they are doing and feel the need to put a hotter label on it. Becouse thats all it is, a hot label.

    Nobody is pretending to be called artists. we ARE artists. How do we know that? We produce artworks, like painting and pictures and stories.
    You are just passing on the word artist on to another vaguely defined word, artwork. Which you just defined yourself: paintings, pictures and stories. So according to your definition art is paintings, pictures and stories. Here is where the word's communicating ability fails i believe because i have a hard time thinking that your definition matches the majorities. What about sculpture, video, installations, readymades and so on.. It's ok to not call it art, just realise that you are making up your own definition.

    I could think of a bunch of words describing what i do better than the word "art": concept designer, painter, sculptor, creator, free creator. Yes, becouse art has such a vague definition i could just lump all of these words into "I am an artist" but it wouldnt save me the need to say those words if i really wanted to communicate what i do anyway. Have you ever answered the question "What do you do?" with "I am an artist" without the same question all over again in different format "Oh, what kind of art do you do?".

    So...
    why is everyone pretending to be called an artist?
    Either becouse they are in a bussiness where they need to present themself as an "artist" in order to be accepted and/or appreciated, maybe they are desperate for an identity accepted by society or they just want to because of their preconception is that being an artist is something desireable, or maybe they just want to get laid. I know that many people actually think they are artists. Guess what, they are!! But only to themselves, the people sharing their idea about what an artist is and also the people they succeed in convincing so. I could start calling myself the king, if i believe i am the king then i am. If i convince the whole world what i believe in i become the king of the world even to you. It doesnt need to have anything to do with my position or what i actually do, it could just be me convincing you that the word means something else!

    why are we, all of a sudden, surrounded by artists?
    I would have said becouse of the entertainment industry among others.. But.. You are only surrounded by artists if you believe that all of them are artists. If you dont believe them it might just a bit frustrating being surrounded by people telling you that you are wrong.

    when is it appropriate to publicly declare yourself an artist?
    For different reasons:

    When you for whatever reason want to start convincing the world that you are an artist (disclaimer: different strategies may be more effective than others, tip: you might sound more convincing if you fool yourself that you are an artist before you try with anyone else). When you are too lazy to actually tell someone what you do. When you feel you would like to be a part of defining or changing what art is and how it's precieved (or simply, create more confusion). When you want your friends to call you an artist. When you want to feel good about yourself given you believe being an artist is awesome. When someone of influense within the artcommunity recognises you. When you want people to find your website when searching for artists online. When you want to get laid.



    If you got everyone on this board to air their belief in what art is then you would get lots of different oppinions. It's only a word that for some reason people want to be connected to, maybe becouse of some famous people in history has been called artists or becouse we are being told that artists are great and worth looking up to. Part of our culture i guess. Thinking about it, art could be an effective institution for controlling creatives.



    Last edited by FrozZT; June 22nd, 2010 at 01:03 PM.
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    ART is our world expression through colors, images, imagination.

    Any person is an artist, and this is true....the more knowledge you have the professional you become, but without proficiency you are an artist too.

    Imagination plays a great role in art, because it makes you motivated and excited about your works.
    Also practice and experience play a great role, because it's always fun to catch the idea of the artwork..

    oh...there's so much to talk about.
    ART is life... that's it

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    Quote Originally Posted by James Dussqe View Post
    well as you said, it's an over generalization. But if you must get right down to it, there is many kinds of artists, artwork, and some is not beutiful at all, look at my jersey devil concept by Aaron wolf. But I certainly do not buy into the crap that I am making up my own definition. I copied and pasted that from an online dictionary.
    By saying that you arent making up your own definition do you mean that you dont believe the statement you pasted to define the word art or do you think it being taken from an online dictionary makes it a valid universal definition that you didnt decide for yourself to be true?

    How come you buy into what an online dictionary is telling you, accepting statements from one dictionary to be the single truth doesnt make sense to me when most of them have different explainations that doesnt add up to defining anything. Unless the statement contains all that is art it is not a definition it's simply an example of what art can be. So to represent your idea you used that definition, in the later post you then added your own content, the following:

    But if you must get right down to it, there is many kinds of artists, artwork, and some is not beutiful at all, look at my jersey devil concept by Aaron wolf.
    Is this defining art in any kind of way? "there is many kinds". If you believe that i am wrong in that you made your own definition up then prove me wrong. Even if you took that discription from a dictionary it's still your choice to be content with that description, which is not even trying to give a definition. Actually we decide for ourselfes what to believe in no matter what the subject is, the difference is that words usually are there to communicate a message and the meaning of words are in most cases widely known.

    I have a suggestion, If you dont buy my "crap", then give me a good definition that enables me to understand what art is and what is not art. Think about this now, even if you come up with a definition it would'nt match mine and probably not most peoples, so you can never communicate an accurate intended message to me or to those not sharing you definition by using the word art.

    ---
    I figured out a solution to this i think, here it is:
    Would you agree that you either know what art is or you dont know what art is? Here's the challenge for everyone who has a problem with this art discussion.

    Options:

    1. Either admit that you dont know what art is if you feel like you simply cant grasp it.

    2. If you feel like you know what art is, define it and share your definition with the rest of us.
    ---

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    Quote Originally Posted by SusanMart View Post
    ART is our world expression through colors, images, imagination.

    Any person is an artist, and this is true....the more knowledge you have the professional you become, but without proficiency you are an artist too.

    Imagination plays a great role in art, because it makes you motivated and excited about your works.
    Also practice and experience play a great role, because it's always fun to catch the idea of the artwork..

    oh...there's so much to talk about.
    ART is life... that's it
    hey!

    ART is our world expression through colors, images, imagination.
    Maybe we should ask the question what is not art? Because no one seems to want to define what art is. True or not, the above quote only states an example of what art can be, unless you believe ART isnt our world expressed through shapes.

    Any person is an artist, and this is true....the more knowledge you have the professional you become, but without proficiency you are an artist too.
    You believe every person is an artist, which is true, for you. Not everyone believes that to be the case. If every person is an artist then the word artist would equal human. artist=human
    So when people who knows me present me to new people, they make sure to tell them that i am an artist, just incase they thought i wasnt human?
    If all of us are artists then what is art?

    ART is life... that's it
    Art is life.. is that really it? Since Mona Lisa isnt alive and breathing does that mean the painting isnt art? I must admit i have no clue what you are trying to say. So much confusion over a silly word like "art". I guess it sounds so awesome and holds so much value to us that we must go on and use it anyways? :p Even though we have no clue what we are actually talking about when we say it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by James Dussqe View Post
    Well I am fairly sure your "Definition" of art as the word goes is flawed. To grasp the definition you have to grasp the English language (as we are speaking it here) and realize that a 'definition' in the sense you perceive, is not a dictionary definition at all. You have a "stance" or an 'Opinion' of what art is, I was merely relaying the definition from some online dictionary to what "the word' meant.

    And to clarify yes- I am an artist and know exactly what that field of art and study is. I am ALSO fairly certain that this particular forum is about the discussion and displaying of "entertainment design & concept art" as the name implies. Since when was vague, overly-winded philosophical waxing any part of that subject?
    Well I am fairly sure your "Definition" of art as the word goes is flawed.
    I'm not even trying to define a meaning for the word, I'm simply argueing the difficulties in defining it. Also the words incapasity to communicate an intended message. Why dont you try to actually read what im writing instead. If you are "fairly sure" some of my arguements are flawed though, please let me know how they are flawed.

    I am ALSO fairly certain that this particular forum is about the discussion and displaying of "entertainment design & concept art" as the name implies. Since when was vague, overly-winded philosophical waxing any part of that subject?
    So now i have to defend myself for trying a serious discussion? Maan... Concidering the questions the author of this thread asked he obviously wanted some sort of discussion around the subject? He did not ask us "what is concept design?" did he? And that surely wasnt the question you were trying to answere either in your first post. Why dont you stick to the discussion, if you dont like it dont take part in it. Ask for it moved to the Art discussion forum, i would agree it does belong there.

    And to clarify yes- I am an artist and know exactly what that field of art and study is.
    Is that so. Then why dont you try to actually contribute some of your thoughts on the subject? Or did we change topic to "what is concept design?" all of a sudden becouse we couldnt answere the question "what is art"?

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    Somewhere in your rant there is a valid point FrozZT lol. Though I think you went off track and started to overemphasize the hopelessness of defining art, forgetting perhaps that Art has to be defined to even be considered a word. Your argument doesn't draw a line between valid definitions and the mangled use of words in everyday life. If we are discussing valid definitions, then lets remember what a definition is to begin with...

    A definition must be generally agreed upon within some group, that's why it exists. A definition that can be changed by anyone would be a pretty useless one. For a definition to exist, lexicographers and experts from a group come together and say "let us from here onward refer to all things of such and such a nature as [word]". The word does not exist before the definition, and it therefore cannot possibly extend the definition until the definition itself is officially extended. If people within a group use some word to describe things that are not included in that word's agreed-upon meaning for that group, then they are quite simply using the word incorrectly. We do not owe it to them to extend the definition to their liking! If a definition is to have any sort of utility in communication, then its boundaries must be respected. If someone says, "couldn't Art also be this...?", the general answer is no it cannot. And that might seem strange, but if we concede quickly and say yes, then the definition becomes useless. Indeed, this kind of "yes attitude" with definitions is what leads people to think that something is hard or even impossible to define. It's not hard to define at all, because a definition only defines precisely what it intends to. We simply have to restrain ourselves from using the word incorrectly, but many people don't do that, which leads to words becoming completely meaningless. This is what you mentioned FrozZT, but that fact has nothing to do with the definition of art at all. It has to do with how people disregard definitions, which is not what the OP asked. Art's definition remains clear and unambiguous, although quite complex, despite people wanting to use that word for anything and everything. That is (as I already mentioned) the very nature of a definition.

    The caveat to all this is that different groups agree on different definitions. In Law, the term "capacity" means something totally different than in Mechanics. For this reason, we usually need more than one definition for a word, and similarly we also (ideally) should provide a context when asking for a definition. The vast number of definitions among different groups and sub-groups might cause us to think that words like Art cannot be defined, but I assure you that among a given group they can and are.

    I'd say dictionaries, while not entirely in agreement with each other, still provide the best clue as to the valid definition of the word Art. As for how it's used in real life, well, that's a different discussion.

    Lastly FrozZT, before you jump into a discussion with a "technically speaking" type of argument, consider that perhaps the point of the discussion is to get varying perspectives, not to determine something as a fact

    cheers

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    Quote Originally Posted by James Dussqe View Post
    I think you're dwelling a little too much on twisting words and trying to cast the illusion of being a sage when in fact it's a silly argument. Any second grader knows what art is. My personal definition of art in general is very broad- I am a lover of art. There's kinds I don't care for, like any person, but as far as the 'definition" of art, generally there is still a wide conception that it involves artists who produce art. You're arguing mere semantics now. Not a very solid or frankly worthwhile discussion.
    I wrote up a long answere to your post but then i deleted it when i realised how much i agree with you about one thing, this discussion between the two of us, is not very solid or worthwhile at all. So lets stop it. Please dont respond to my posts and i wont respond to yours. Thanks.

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    meDrawUC!

    Hey! Thanks for taking the time!

    Yes i agree with you, i did go off track, what i wanted to say was all along in my first post.

    The vast number of definitions among different groups and sub-groups might cause us to think that words like Art cannot be defined, but I assure you that among a given group they can and are.
    I very much agree with you that you can define it within a group, if i am not mistaken i think you can do it for yourself even to create a reference point as to what something means to you alone. That's what i was trying to argue in my first post actually that people make up their own idea of what art means.

    I think this might be what you are basing your post on:
    I'm not even trying to define a meaning for the word, I'm simply argueing the difficulties in defining it.
    I didnt quite express myself well here, its not hard to actually define it, i can make up a definition right here and now, but it wouldnt be true to most of you.

    Lastly FrozZT, before you jump into a discussion with a "technically speaking" type of argument, consider that perhaps the point of the discussion is to get varying perspectives, not to determine something as a fact
    Yes that is what is so interesting about it, everyones connection to this word is based on perspective, i was just trying to make people realise that is what they are going to get and that that is what they are expressing when talking about what art is. Their own idea of what art is.

    I really feel like I've spent every post since my first one in this thread explaining what ive was trying to say in my first post. If there is anything anyone dont understand, dont agree with, do agree with or have thoughts about from my first post please refer to that one! Instead of the rest of them. To save some confusion

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    I believe you can declare yourself an artist of a certain trade once you've mastered the fundamentals of that trade. On the other hand, you can be an innovator that brings new forms of art, without training. I guess what I am trying to say is that I don't know anything, and that I don't really think anyone does. It's one of those funny "ya can't know it all" kind of things.

    BYYYUUUAAAAAHHHH!!!!!!
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