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Thread: When can you call yourself an artist

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    When can you call yourself an artist

    At what point do you believe one deserves the title of being called an "artist".

    Or do you believe there is no specific point, so long as you draw regularly (for fun or for building skill).

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    Do you draw/paint/sculpt/etc all the time?
    Then you are an artist.

    One can hardly call someone that rarely picks up a pencil but decides one day to doodle in their margin an "artist". But I also don't think it's fair to say someone is NOT an artist if their skills are not master-level. So I think the definition should be if you can often be seen spending your time doing art...then you are an artist.

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    We had the same discussion aside from the fact it was about "Web Developer"

    As I'm sure is prevalent in the field of art, many people who showcase mediocre-at-best skills nor do they progress the field in and standardized or substantial method feel they are noteworthy enough for the title.

    For example, if someone made a website in Geocities, they would call themselves a web developer. Yet ask them to create a custom guestbook application and they had no idea what you were talking about. It was "cool" to be a web developer, since the web is trendy, and it's "cool" to be an artist, since art can be a very powerful force.

    So, while the novice calls themselves "artist" or "web developer" for the sake of holding the title and nothing more, I personally feel you're really only one if you strive to better your craft, advance your comprehension and skills within it, and rely on others to know you as such than for you to deem it yourself.

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    Everyone has an artist inside of them, so if you want to call yourself that then go ahead. The announcement itself is enough.

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    Well, for tax purposes, you call yourself an artist if you're making a significant portion of your income off art.

    Otherwise it seriously doesn't matter, call yourself whatever you want. But if you spend a lot of your time making art of some kind (good or bad), you can probably call yourself an "artist" and not be laughed at. Contrariwise, if you spent a lot of time talking about art to your hipster friends without actually making anything, you'd more likely be called a poser.

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    Artist as in someone skilled in the trade: Whenever you make some art.
    Artist as in the title douches appoint themselves to sound deep and emotional: whenever you like. Especially at parties where nobody knows you. Also talk about how outraged you are at anyone who wants to put limits on your "expression." By expression, I mean opening a can of Spaghetti O's and declaring the world to be shit.

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    It is one thing to think of yourself as an artist, it is another thing to call yourself a professional artist. Professional meaning you derive your income from it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MatthewHD View Post
    At what point do you believe one deserves the title of being called an "artist".

    Or do you believe there is no specific point, so long as you draw regularly (for fun or for building skill).
    Whenever it's appropriate to the context, I guess. When do you call yourself a cyclist or a reader or a cook? There are many levels to identifying yourself with a thing you do. You might be a cook because you happen to be cooking right now, or because it's your primary hobby, or because people are discussing cooking and you are a person that sometimes cooks or because you get paid for it. Nobody seems to have any existential crisis about when to call themselves a cook or a driver, though, but lots of people seem to question whether they have a right to be an artist or writer. It's kinda weird, if you think about it.

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    For others, it's whenever.

    Personally, as time goes on, I prefer the title: Commercial Illustrator.

    "Everything must serve the idea. The means used to convey the idea should be the simplest and clear. Just what is required. No extra images. To me this is a universal principle of art. Saying as much as possible with a minimum of means."
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    Waiiiit a sec...you don't have your artisitic license Mathew?! Send me $19.95 immediately and I'll drop it in the mail. Then you're good to go.

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    Oh man, nice pun!

    "Everything must serve the idea. The means used to convey the idea should be the simplest and clear. Just what is required. No extra images. To me this is a universal principle of art. Saying as much as possible with a minimum of means."
    -John Huston, Director
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    On the serious side...I think people tend to identify themselves by their career or job title in this context: I'm an insurance agent: I'm an accountant; I'm a coach; I'm an X...They may have hobbies such as fishing, hunting, golf, etc. but they wouldn't say they are a "golfer". So in that sense I've always thought it a bit pretentious to say you're an artist unless that is your career.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JeffX99 View Post
    On the serious side...I think people tend to identify themselves by their career or job title in this context: I'm an insurance agent: I'm an accountant; I'm a coach; I'm an X...They may have hobbies such as fishing, hunting, golf, etc. but they wouldn't say they are a "golfer". So in that sense I've always thought it a bit pretentious to say you're an artist unless that is your career.
    I've met an awful lot of Actors who were waiters and Writers who were... well I don't know what they were, but it wasn't writers.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Elwell View Post
    I've met an awful lot of Actors who were waiters and Writers who were... well I don't know what they were, but it wasn't writers.
    Key word there is awful cause if they were good they would be working at what they wanted.

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    Wow people sure race to label themselves. Does it really matter?

    In the end there is no quantitative level that makes somebody an artist... do you feel like an artist? Go ahead and call yourself one!

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    I sure like music too...and I even have a guitar...I know! I'll call myself a musician!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Elwell View Post
    I've met an awful lot of Actors who were waiters and Writers who were... well I don't know what they were, but it wasn't writers.
    Exactly!

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    Quote Originally Posted by JeffX99 View Post
    On the serious side...I think people tend to identify themselves by their career or job title in this context: I'm an insurance agent: I'm an accountant; I'm a coach; I'm an X...They may have hobbies such as fishing, hunting, golf, etc. but they wouldn't say they are a "golfer". So in that sense I've always thought it a bit pretentious to say you're an artist unless that is your career.
    There's nothing inherently wrong or weird or pretentious about a hunter declaring himself a hunter or a golfer declaring himself a golfer. It all depends on the context. If you don't understand that people typically expect you to introduce yourself with your primary occupation (i.e. source of income) then you're probably brain damaged. You might be an artist too but that fact may be irrelevant depending on the specifics of the interaction. It's not a value judgement on the way you spend you life, it's just a social convention.

    The baggage that comes along with the word "artist" is another can of worms altogether. It's not the fault of the artist, but there's no denying the baggage is there. Maybe there's a better word. "I'm an arter" has a nice ring to it"

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    Quote Originally Posted by JeffX99 View Post
    On the serious side...I think people tend to identify themselves by their career or job title in this context: I'm an insurance agent: I'm an accountant; I'm a coach; I'm an X...They may have hobbies such as fishing, hunting, golf, etc. but they wouldn't say they are a "golfer". So in that sense I've always thought it a bit pretentious to say you're an artist unless that is your career.
    Yeah. Not that there's anything inherently wrong or weird or pretentious about a hunter declaring himself a hunter or a golfer declaring himself a golfer. It all depends on the context. If you don't understand that people typically expect you to introduce yourself with your primary occupation (i.e. source of income) then you're probably brain damaged. You might be an artist (or a hunter or a golfer) too but that fact may be irrelevant depending on the specifics of the interaction. It's not a value judgement on the way you spend you life, it's just a social convention.

    The baggage that comes along with the word "artist" is another can of worms altogether. It's not the fault of the artist, but there's no denying the baggage is there. Maybe there's a better word. "I'm an arter" has a nice ring to it. When someone asks you what THAT is, you can simply reply, "Why, someone who arts, of course."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lamp View Post
    If you don't understand that people typically expect you to introduce yourself with your primary occupation (i.e. source of income) then you're probably brain damaged.
    Well put. I think it would be weird to meet someone and have them say "I'm a hunter"..."Oh wow! That must be an interesting way to make a living."..."Well, I don't do it for a living per se."..."Ah, I see. I need more punch."

    It's just kind of one of those things that people identify themselves byhow they make their living. Sorry, I don't make the rules.

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    I can see it from both ways from what Lamp and Jeff said. Though, I ultimately agree that one shouldn't use the label until the time is right.

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    It boils down to semantics.

    We need to define art first and than define who is an artist.

    Defining art through, as most people think, is quite hard because art is objective.Everyone has their own definition and trying to generalise those definitions is hard.But as with general Relativity and Quantum Mechanics there much be a theory where we can sum it up all in once.

    I once wrote a 10 page report on the now infamous Roger Ebert Debate expressing my thoughts on the subject.In that one i mostly spent 5 pages trying to define art as i see it,in an attemt to define all of it (I havent putted the report on the internet).

    Now because i dont want to be here summing up all 5 pages and because i want to eat dinner let me sum it up here:Art can be defined as anything that induces any emotional ,physical or psycological response to the human mind.
    And since everything has in some way stimulated human emotion, everything can said to be art.

    So in return an artist is anyone who has at some time in their life,either because of expression or for others, created something that has in fact stimulated human emotion than everyone is an artist.

    The main difference through is not who is an artist but who is a good artist and who is a bad artist.Que another 2 page summary where i explain the main difference of good art and bad art.

    Through now im hungry and this will get of hand if i continue.P_P

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    "If you don't understand that people typically expect you to introduce yourself with your primary occupation (i.e. source of income) then you're probably brain damaged."
    If by people you mean men of other men, then yes, I have observed this. It's very funny. Women typically don't do this. I suspect it's the whole Imperialist Collectivist habit of defining oneself by one's place in the collective and how you contribute to society (rather than just being a creative individualist) and evolved before women could assume other roles.

    You can't define art by income or money. For example, would you call the cave art at Lascaux art? Yes? No one was paid....how about Banksy's painting of the cave art at Lascaux...graffiti...he was not paid. The premise that "if you get paid to do it, it is art" is falsifiable. Art is rewarding in itself. It's not a vague term, it's a broad term. Art does have a very specific definition when placed within the context of everything.

    Someone brought up musicians. Now if you are a musician you are skilled in a craft - art is much more general. You may be a dancer, a performer,a musician. These are all artists. They don't have to actually create material objects to be artists, although you can do so as part of your craft. You don't have to have the "popular opinion" to be an artist. I would say that many people argue for the idea of the artist as a "craftsman" when this is only one branch of art.

    Crowley refers to magick as "the science and art of causing change to occur in conformity with will."

    So if magick is measurable by the effectiveness of your science or art, then how do you measure art? Is art aesthetics? If so it is completely subjective. So is it intentional? How about nature, does it produce art? No. Not even if it is beautiful, since it is a product of humanly immeasurable natural universal order (chaos). Beauty alone is not art, it is merely beauty. A drawing means nothing to a blind man.

    Art is understood as being a human product. We can bring up the elephant who paints, sure...but it was a human who gave it a brush and paint. We can define it as something that is a product of human reaction as the above poster states - so is the person having a reaction to say, a lightning storm, then an artist by way of feeling emotion? Or is the lightning storm the artist? Hmm.

    I would say an artist is anyone who dares to create - you can create art by yourself, you don't need anyone else, not male, not female, not even god.

    "I am alone: there is no god where I am."

    - Ra Hoor Khut


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    Quote Originally Posted by MatthewHD View Post
    At what point do you believe one deserves the title of being called an "artist".
    You can call yourself an artist as soon as there is no one near who is likely to disagree *and* whose opinion matters.

    In all other cases it's open to debate.

    For some the fact that you are making money with it is what makes you one, for some it's a proof you are not one. It's prudent to know your audience before making controversial statements. Here it's a community based around commercial art, so saying that you are artist when you are not actually employed as one is asking for it. In other social circles it may be totally acceptable.

    People give meanings to words.
    If you are uncomfortable with going into conflict with them use less vague expression (I second the "commercial ilustrator" sooo much better, this is how im gonna call myself once I get there...)

    And most importantly, if you wanna impress someone, show em what your doing and let them judge you using their own words, instead of trying to impress them with labels.
    Not trying to say that you are a show-off, its just that word "artist" sounds kinda like self-advertisement.

    Last edited by Reign; February 8th, 2011 at 07:36 AM. Reason: was: people give words to meanings... lol
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    Money is a product of people, so if your art is to make money, well, you are still an artist through and through. You're a moneymaking artist. (I think that's why they call creative schemers who find ways to manipulate the law con artists.)

    There may be more science than art in that...maybe Thomas Kincaid is a money science artist, and we need to invent a new style of art "Moneyism"

    Last edited by Izi; February 8th, 2011 at 07:43 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MatthewHD View Post
    At what point do you believe one deserves the title of being called an "artist".
    God's bodkins, man! Use every man after his desert, and who should 'scape whipping?


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    Anyone can be an artist, but not everyone is.

    Naomi, Crowley was no great shakes as an artist, despite the fact his work now goes for a bomb; but he used his 'art', in the traditional sense of the word, (as he did with publication), as talismanic. It therefore is concerned little with aesthetics. Held up as a technical artist he is a bad example, but as an example of 'the everyman' as an artist he is perfect. He had a low opinion of modern art, yet his own fitted very well with expressionism, if indeed you could give it a name! "...The subject of a picture is merely an excuse for arranging forms and colours in such a way as to express the inmost self of the artist."

    However using art as a vehicle for ideas is not the same as being a 'good artist', but it's easy to get rather elitist with this line of thinking... methinks... There is too much baggage associated with the word 'artist'... Personally I don't think it devalues professional artists if anyone wants to call themselves one. By your deeds so shall you be judged: you're either good at it or not.

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    It took me 20 years of drawing and studying to finally feel like I could call myself an artist, in fact only the last couple of years I've felt comfortable saying it after I realised a year went by and I always seemed to be working on a commission or obsessed about a personal project.

    P.S just want to add that even though I expected earning money through my artistic skill would be gratifying it was actually the opposite, it's nice to get money don't get me wrong, but it's the possibility of making someone smile with a funny portrait of themselves or of their late father that really inspires me to carry on.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Elwell View Post
    God's bodkins, man! Use every man after his desert, and who should 'scape whipping?
    Throwing down the Shakespeare? Nothing like a little Hamlet off the cuff.

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    God's Bodkins?

    Hey Aly - Lady Frieda Harris painted THOTH, not Crowley. Crowley is generally considered to be an occultist and a writer, not an artist. His writing is annoyingly flowery but technically very good, he was quite well educated. So your comment about his technical ability is confusing, I can only think you are referring to Lady Frieda's really bad anatomy. I can't remember a thing he drew or painted, except in a academical capacity to illustrate the Sephiroth, Abrahadabra or other technical drawings. In that case his use of a compass and a ruler is passable, and his Hebrew lettering is not bad.

    I looked up some supposed paintings by Crowley and they're not good at all, which is why I suppose he hired someone else to execute THOTH. In any case I'm not sure they're really his. He never mentions being an artist in any of his books that I can remember.

    I would like to see some citation on where Crowley is shown to not be a fan of modernism, if you could. I would be interested in it.

    sehertu mannu narāṭu ina pānāt šagapīru ningishzidda
    abrahadabra
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