General Question

madcapper's avatar

So who's into their own art?

Asked by madcapper (3095 points ) January 31st, 2009

Many people I have met have said “I can’t do artwork” and I always pull hippy shit and tell them that they can make their own artwork because art is relative. I feel that many people don’t believe me. So who is with me in saying that art is personal creativity and not talent? I just think that everyone should be artists….

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24 Answers

NaturalMineralWater's avatar

Depends on what you mean by art really. If you mean everyone can paint than that’s hogwash. Even abstract art, i’ve found, requires a certain bit of artistic ability. If you are, instead, referring to the generic term “art” which is loosely defined.. then sure.. everyone could fit the bill in some form or fashion.

Jack79's avatar

yes, I do that too, though it’s crap. I was pretty good at drawing and painting as a child, and wanted to become a painter. I even won a competition. And all my friends made me draw cartoons for them, which I’d even sell. But in reality I’m not all that good. I don’t have the technique and I don’t have a steady hand. I can really just doodle, nothing more. But I sometimes do it for fun, or when I play with my daughter and I show her things.

madcapper's avatar

@NaturalMineralWater no I truly believe that art is all in the creation process and the joy it brings those that create it. Children, in my opinion, create some of the most interesting art. Yes, everyone can paint, and that isn’t “hogwash”. Do you think you can paint superior to anyone else? I am going to be an asshole for a second so I do believe that most “abstract” art is created by addicts with good PR people.

madcapper's avatar

@Jack79 so you believe that art is based solely on ability? I believe that being an artist is based on love of what your creating… and just so no one brings it up I think Jackson Pollock was a talentless jackass alcoholic who got lucky because his work is bullshit and a 3 year old has more substance than that hack…

NaturalMineralWater's avatar

@madcapper so you refer to the generic term “art” which is loosely defined.. in that sense everything is art.. so yeah.. we already covered that

madcapper's avatar

@NaturalMineralWater no no I am discussing art in the form created by pencil, brush, crayon, pen, charcoal, etc. and otherwise. I mean art as in fine art not any other bullshit form of the medium… not the generic. Also where? where did we already cover that?

Jack79's avatar

well I think all art is a combination of 3 things:

1. Original talent (in your genes)
2. Love (which makes you work to improve that talent)
3. Experience (which includes specific training, etc)

for example I think I am a very untalented drummer, but because I liked it and took some lessons, I managed to eventually play percussion at a Philarmonic orchestra. On the contrary, I had a great talent in painting, but because I never got the proper training, I never became that good. My parents actually tried to push me into getting proper training by enrolling me in a course, but I hated it and eventually gave up painting altogether.

I have heard of Pollock but don’t know his work really. My gf had an ex who was an amazing artist in my opinion. But she also has a painting by another friend of hers who is supposed to be good.When I first saw it I thought her 3-year-old had done it, so I decided to not say anything. It’s supposed to be a masterpiece. Gosh, it’s such crap, it’s basically a blank canvas with a blue line at the bottom and some parallel strokes coming out of it. Her ex used to paint these elaborate paintings, with intricate details and also an overall surreal effect. Wonderful colours, symbolism, nice lines…

She considers both her ex and the other guy just as talented. So I guess it’s all in the eye of the beholder.

madcapper's avatar

@Jack79 see I do think that to be a professional artist takes the 3 things you have mentioned, but I think just to be an artist one only needs creativity and a “fuck it” attitude. I have been in so many art classes and as typical college classes goes you have some asshole who think they are more “out of the box” than anyone else so they make crap and everyone is supposed to be impressed. These are usually the kids who crave the attention they missed as children. (FYI I have been around many of these kids and, to be egotistical, I think I am more talented than them. I just didn’t grow up needing more love from my parents or something) So not to sound like an asshole who hates these popularly, retarded, art class typicals I still feel that art is based on creativity and not talent. A Job in art is of course relying on talent but not art in it’s rawest.

Dog's avatar

Great artists are not born- they are made through passion and willingness to never stop learning

I think the most important thing I have learned as a professional artist is that no matter
what is on my resume I will always be a student and always open to trying to improve.

Being an artist does require passion.

I agree that anyone with the desire to learn art can become an artist. Like anything else in life the more work you put into it the more you get out of it.

@madcapper Yeah- I have been to those classes but after the first critique session usually those who feel they have already achieved greatness in their minds are brought to reality. If your instructors let the ego go unchecked then they are not teaching.

Of course some think “out of the box” or “expressing angst” to get attention is one way to market oneself. However to really be successful at this it helps to die young and tragically. Not the best business plan since you are not around to enjoy the fruits of your labor.

asmonet's avatar

<—Artist.
I’m with you, jack, and Dog. Kinda.
I just had a whole conversation about this with a guy last night. Anyone can learn to create art, true art does take some real talent and some training usually for the most part it’s relative as you said. Now, you can get douche-y and try to define true art. But almost all professional art world work is douche-y to some degree. It’s like crack to us.

Dog's avatar

@asmonet- You are right- art is so subjective so we could discuss what is true art all day and never agree. Thankfully that would be off topic.

And yes- it is like crack. A complete obsession. When not in studio I am sketching or mentally working out the next composition. To deny me studio time makes me a very unpleasant person to be around.

Regarding being born with natural talent vs nurturing your passion to become an artist is an interesting one. It is the old “Nurture vs Nature” debate:

The nature versus nurture debates concern the relative importance of an individual’s innate qualities (“nature”, i.e. nativism, or innatism) versus personal experiences (“nurture”, i.e. empiricism or behaviorism) in determining or causing individual differences in physical and behavioral traits. Wikipedia

mij's avatar

I was doing art at uni, but had to give it away as my good lady had a heart attack.
I even got student of the year award but can’t afford to go back to study.
Maybe I’ll dabble in it when I retire… Trouble is I was pretty good at all forms and I’m not sure what I would follow now… maybe throwing a few pots on a wheel…

simpleD's avatar

“Art” in the traditional sense died when Duchamp hung a urinal upside down in a gallery and called it a fountain. Since then, art has been about the world of ideas, rather than about physical objects. Art happens when people communicate their ideas in creative and engaging ways, either visually, aurally, tactilely – using any of our senses to reach our brains. To look at Pollack’s objects without considering the dialog that was taking place within the culture at that time would be to completely miss the point.

I agree with @madcapper. Children are great artists because they are not afraid of convention or bound by what others might consider “good”. They are purely expressive. Everyone possesses the power to be expressive, if they allow themselves to be.

Dog's avatar

@mij Perhaps you thought I meant student in the literal sense. I graduated nearly a decade ago from traditional studies. What I meant was a student in regards to learning from fellowship with peer artists, reading books and attending informal critique sessions.

Regarding your desire to continue creating I would encourage you to find a medium that fits in your current lifestyle. As an example I have several travel pochades ready to paint anytime anywhere with minimal setup and breakdown example link.

One is under the passenger seat of my car, another travels with me and is set up for easy airport security screening, another is on the fireplace mantel etc…

Sometimes I will only have about 20 minutes to work and this allows me to make the best of it. Back when I held a second job all my work was on the fly in small time increments. You would be amazed at what you can do in short bursts.

I encourage you to treat yourself to continuation of your work by setting yourself up for easy quick access to the medium of your choice.

By the way- Kudos for mastering the wheel. I admire those who create such lovely work when my best attempts rendered doorstops.

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

@simpleD what Duchamp did was start a phenomenon that gave birth to Dadaism. And Dadaism in turn gave birth to mail art. Mail art’s credo was “It is the artist who is fine, not the art.” and “The museum is the mailbox”

Mail art was/is based on art as a form of expression, not something to be sold for ‘filthy lucre’ I love that term Mail art was about making a connection with another person, not about making them pay for the opportunity to experience your ‘vision.’

Art is whatever you want it to be. Art is in the eye of the beholder. According to one of my artistic heroes, da Vinci, he proclaimed that art should disturb the viewer. So in other words, pretty pictures of little girls in fields of flowers are not art. Art speaks to the viewer, in my opinion, and if it doesn’t speak, it isn’t art. But that’s just my opinion, your results may vary.

wundayatta's avatar

We had this discussion recently, and I think we agreed that the decision that something is art is made by the perceiver of the “work.” It doesn’t matter whether there was an artist who intended it to be art, or something purely functional, if you see it as art, it is art.

Of course, if you see it as art, who is the artist? This is particularly a problem when we consider things that are not created by humans. Like, say, Yosemite valley. And consider the issue of the urinal. Is the artist Duchamp, or the person who designed the urinal, or the person who made the urinal, or some combination of all of them?

My view of art pisses off a lot of artists, who believe you have to be trained to be an artist, and only trained artists can create art. Everything else is folk art, or crafts or something like that. Seriously, I’ve seen a fight over this issue break apart a group of people who had been meeting for years. Some artists take themselves horribly seriously.

I guess there are people who consume art as a statusy thing. They have a vested interest in their art being officially considered art by those with power. Then there are people for whom art is something you do as a part of ordinary life, and it decorates your life, or sometimes it adds to the functionality of a tool or object or whatever.

In my opinion, art is meant to be lived in. When I go to museums, I have this feeling that I’m in a zoo full of caged animals. So it goes.

simpleD's avatar

@daloon: Do you have the same zoo-full-of-caged-animals feeling at a library? You’re right, art should be lived in. Or perhaps, art should live in you. You can find it anywhere when your mind is ready to receive it. And then it will forever become a part of you.

Darwin's avatar

I did get formal training as an artist, but I strongly believe that the training only allows you to make art that other people can understand. The courses only teach you the current language of art and how to use the tools to express it. You cannot be taught the intrinsic need to create, which is what fuels art.

What is truly art is the process of creating something that appeals to the senses and makes the mind work. It can be as simple as a stack of small stones or as elaborate as a towering bronze statue with motorized bits and horns noodling away in the background.

The process is the most important part of it all, and that can only be experienced by the artist. In that sense almost anything can be art, from whistling a tune to making pancakes as long as the creator is enjoying the process.

Now if someone else enjoys the end product, that is very nice and is how people make livings, including folks who don’t make art at all but merely shove it around from one place to another.

That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.

jonsblond's avatar

@madcapper I wish you could have been my son’s art teacher in 7th grade. She gave him a “C” which made him ineligible for National Junior Honor Society.

Darwin's avatar

@jonsblond – I had a teacher like that in high school art, only that teacher gave me an F. However, my parents went in to discuss things with the teacher. Turns out he thought that because I was good in math I wasn’t good in art (how does that work?). The principal agreed with my parents, especially since I had done every assignment plus additional work (it was the additional work that I think the teacher really didn’t approve of).

In college I always got As in art, but constantly got comments such as “You break every rule we have taught you but your piece still works!”

madcapper's avatar

@jonsblond yes I would have passed him because until your old, art is all about creation and not the actual process…

francescadellacruz's avatar

I agree that this answer has to start with defining art. I have to say work that gives me pleasure, evokes emotion, stirs me in some way is not only “creative” in its idea/form/ but demonstrates some craft, discipline, understanding of the medium. It is not a helter skelter happened upon thing. Children produce beautiful drawings without all that. True. But a sumi master who executes a stunning piece in a couple of minutes does that because she/he started with learning how to hold the brush and grind the paint. Same with music. I take “art” to mean something made by humans. I’m not talking about Yosemite…but even there, Yosemite is the result of millions of years of raising/folding and erosion of the earth’s surface. So maybe it takes time and patience to make a really stunning, artful creation. More than 7 days, anyway.
A caveat: one can be technically skilled and “create” unpleasing or boring work. So there is that. No guarantee.

fathippo's avatar

There’s so many different ways you can express yourself and create small worlds with ‘art’ i think that yeah everyone can do it in their own way that shows the way they’re mind works and can find one of the ultimate ways to express yourself (well maybe not for everyone if they don’t like it but ya know).
But there’s lots of different categories like if you take accurate still life, that must take lots of practice and then some people are better and some are worse, but if you’re looking at just being expressive then most people who want to must be able to i guess, in one way or another…

gottamakeart's avatar

For me, i’m like my own worst critic, all my works feel “unfinished” while I like many of them, I don’t always get the appeal of certain pieces, and most people just have a sort of generalized liking for this painting or that drawing, but don’t tend to articulate what about it does it for them. I know I’d enjoy hearing some insight into what the art made someone think or feel when they saw it or why they liked it.

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