Friday, May 25, 2012

i'm not an artist

"are you an artist?"

every time someone approaches me with "are you an artist?," i'm not quite sure how to answer them. most of the time, my "no, not nearly" doesn't really satisfy, particularly after they've coaxed out my hobbies during conversation. once i tell them that i'm pretty much horrible in anything artistic and just take pictures, immediately i'm hit with a "oh, photography! that's an art too, you know." at this point i just smile, give them a friendly shrug.

i guess, by definition, i am an artist. certainly, my different hobbies and interests confirm that. however, the word "artist" has a different meaning to me.

i believe art is more than just making pretty things that appeal to the eye. it's more than just the use of color, it's more than composition, and it's definitely more than the cool things you take pictures of. you're not an artist because you paint breathtaking landscapes, or take beautiful photography. i believe art goes beyond superficial appreciation. beyond the "oh, that's pretty" or "what beautiful composition". beyond the attractive models of portraits, the use of color, it goes beyond being pleasing to the eye.

art is a reflection of society, a challenge to accepted conventions. the norm. and sometimes, it's an insult to our ignorance. it pushes boundaries, makes people uncomfortable, question, dig deeper. it makes people aware. art is the greatest, most effective weapon, but it's been reduced to nothing but a fleeting pleasure.

for me, personally, you're not an artist if you don't stand for anything. that's probably the most offensive thing i can say during a time when everyone is exercising their creativity, when everyone is exploring their imaginative sides. but, that's just the problem.

nowadays, everyone's a photographer. everyone's a painter. everyone's an artist. what it means to be an artist has been lost in the sea of people who participate in the arts. art in every form has almost been commercialized, even to the point where graffiti can be categorized as pop art. what do all these artists stand for? what have they contributed to change anything? challenge anything? i feel like everyone just follow guidelines for mass appeal, when the whole point of art (in my opinion) is to go against the grain.

"are you an artist?"

let me clarify right now that no, i am not an artist, not nearly. i am nowhere near skilled enough to execute my intentions successfully, nor have i really even showcased anything of that caliber. i merely just capture moments onto photographs, share what i see, because i enjoy doing it. i merely write fiction and portray my own life through words. my pen has not been mightier than the sword, and i've yet to contribute whatever talents i can to the ideals i stand for.

so no, i'm no artist.

not yet anyway.

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