An artist is an intellectual, an explorer of worlds, both existing and imaginary. An artist is a unique collection of opposites; as an observer and a creator, an artist pays acute attention to detail and has a keen eye for replicating intricacies. An artist listens to the wind whistle through the keyhole, notices the shapes created by shadows casting on the trunk of an oak tree, and can sense the time of day with a single sniff of the air. An artist is anyone who chooses to indulge in the senses and explore thoughts, preferring to not just “look,” but to “see.” Being an artist simply requires an active mind, no technical skill necessary.
An artist is like a child. An artist sees the world and listens to his or her mind as if seeing and hearing for the first time. Like a child, an artist is frequently caught speechless in wonder at the surrounding environment.
Fearlessly and shamelessly, the artist feeds a youthful sense of curiosity and imagination with utmost confidence, choosing not to prescribe to any one style solely for the sake of reputation. An artist has the self-assurance of an innocent child: in welcoming his or her boiling pot of ideas, a true artist never houses a vacant mind.
As we lose connection to the child within us, however, we become increasingly critical of our own creations as well as the creations of our peers. We develop concrete opinions and form distinctions between a scribble and a clearly defined shape, a doodle and a piece of fine art. Ultimately, we forget that art is intensely personal, and can by no means be defined by superficialities. An artistic creation that I am captivated by, might not elicit the same thought provoking reaction from another viewer. Since the definition of art itself is not a “one size fits all” package deal, the definition of an artist shouldn’t be either.
Art is not about technical skill, accuracy, or precision, and an artist should not feel tied down by these elements, which are often made out to feel like “prerequisites.” Though one’s ability to create the illusion of depth is commendable, this talent alone hardly encompasses the entire realm of artistic expression. Art is simply a reflection of worlds, both existing and imaginary. It is a reflection of what the eye interprets or the mind visualizes. Because life itself is comprised of imperfections, art’s reflection of it should be as well. There is no reason the expressive doodles that fill my otherwise dull page shouldn’t be considered art.
Because art is commonly and continually associated with technical skill alone, many individuals refuse to consider themselves artists and are discouraged from trying. The emphasis of technicalities in artwork gives birth to the typical, universal complaint declared by all age groups: “I can’t draw” or “I’m not an artist.” But one’s inability to realistically portray an image does not equate to an inability to create art, or more importantly, to be an artist. Nonetheless, the immediate discomfort felt from drawing stick figures for a little less than three minutes is enough to turn a world of artists away from art.
Looking beyond the technicalities, however, one will find that every individual is capable of manifesting his or her inner artist. Cliche or not, it is a sentiment that most creative children would agree with. Anyone with an active mind, an ability to recognize the glory of his or her surrounding environment, a willingness to reveal personal ideas, and a confidence to create, is capable of being an artist.
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