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What makes an artist...?

*waves* Yupp, still here... ^__^; Just busy, busy.


Came across an interesting thread on Y! today. One of the artists that I watch there had referred to a discussion that was going on on one of the boards that his art had been posted on. One of the commenters criticized the artist: "All he does is commissions".

Let's ignore the fact that the commenter probably knows as much (or as little) about this artist as do you and I, meaning not much, so we don't know what *else* this artist does.

This started a discussion on Y!, on the artist's journal. One commenter said: "Plus ... only does commissions? Uh ... do people not know the term "Freelance" how the fuck do they expects us to make any fucking money? " A sentiment I heartily agree with.

And then there was this answer:

"*Raises hand* Working back-braking honest jobs and all of that?
Not saying taking commisions doesn't take work or is wrong, but. Yeah. There are artists that just draw because they enjoy to share their works with others as they love the process and outcome of drawing/painting, and hardly ever take, ask or do commisions. Once again not saying everyone has to apply to it, but... yes, there are alternatives, and no, not everyone that knows how to draw whores his/her skills for money. *Thumbs up*"

Hm... was my first thought. I allowed myself to ask this person what s/he thought artists live from?

Answer:

"Depends on your definition of art, artists and so forth. Quite subjective, I tell you... Doubt I can call someone that does his/her trade for money an artist, perhaps a sellout drawer, writer or painter, but certainly not an artist. I suppose within my definition of artist, personal and subjective as it is, an artist is likely to pay his/her rent and food with whatever job she or he has in this adorably decadent society of ours as s/he paints, draws or writes for enjoyment and escapism.
Sprouting from that someone might actually pay interest in what s/he has done for, once again, enjoyment, escapism or to manifest his/her feelings/thoughts, purchasing it in the process were the artist willing to part ways with it.
Now, just doing what you are told for money? Might be art for someone, for my own definition of art; it doesn't work that way."

and then adds in a second comment:

"My definition of art is for the sake of pleasure, self-expression and sharing, not for monetary benefits. "

So, dear FList, what do you think? Is art only art when it's done for pleasure and self-expression? Is an artist only an artist if they don't earn money from their work? Do you *stop* being an artist the moment that you take money for what you do?

Comments

( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
kracken
May. 15th, 2011 06:15 pm (UTC)
I really do get very tired of people who think that they are entitled to everything for free, and that, when they don't get it, they then must call people sellouts, greedy, etc, to make their own greediness less apparent.There is nothing wrong with someone making money from their gift. And, yes, they are still artists in every way.
lil_1337
May. 15th, 2011 08:08 pm (UTC)
^That, right there. The same goes for writers, musicians and anyone else with a marketable talent.
ravensilver
May. 15th, 2011 10:10 pm (UTC)
Yes, you're so right!

I just didn't get the reasoning...

Paint/write/draw/make music/whatever for 'pleasure' and 'escapism' and 'enjoyment' and, of course, for free = artist doing art

Do the same to make a living = sell-out and art 'whore'

Like... WHAT? >.>
(Deleted comment)
ravensilver
May. 15th, 2011 10:20 pm (UTC)
I agree with you there.

Interesting thing is, this person keeps harping on that this is 'only' his/her opinion, and the way s/he is seeing this... but makes these statements right there *in the artist's journal*!

If this were some random blog entry, on their own Y! page or whereever, then it wouldn't matter. But to actually answer an artist's blog entry with that kind of comment, is more than just impolite.
amarissia
May. 16th, 2011 12:22 am (UTC)
Art is self-expression that incites emotion, whatever the reason it's made. That's what I think, anyway.

Good to see you, by the way. :)

Cloud: "RAVEN! Ravennnnnn! The butterlfies are back!" *bounce*
ravensilver
May. 16th, 2011 10:04 am (UTC)
Indeed! And it shouldn't be constrained by whether it's done for money, or not.

Same here! ^___^ I've been reading, but haven't had time to post or write comments. *sigh*

Hi Cloud! *HUGS* Oh... you're so lucky! I've only seen bumble-bees, so far, no butterflies yet. Right now we're going through what's called the 'Ice Saints' days. Where it can go right down to freezing at night. When these are over (by the end of the week), the danger of frost has usually passed and we can expect to see the first butterflies.

What I *do* have is a second set of blackbirds nesting right next to my bedroom window. We already had one a few weeks ago, but the little ones grew up and flew off, so the next was empty. Now there's a second pair in there, nesting. Looking forward to seeing that develop. ^^
amarissia
May. 16th, 2011 02:15 pm (UTC)
Cloud: "There are bees here too! Amarissia is scared of them, but I think they're nice." *bounce bounce* "A nest! So there'll be baby birds?" *twirls*
ravensilver
May. 16th, 2011 06:31 pm (UTC)
We had lots of bees when the apple and the plum tree were in bloom! I have to see whether I can find the picture with the bee in it. ^^

Yes, I'm sure there will be baby birds. Unfortunately, it's so well hidden behind the leaves and branches of my rambler rose, that I can't take pictures... ;__;
amarissia
May. 17th, 2011 03:53 pm (UTC)
Cloud: *bounces excitedly*

Expect him to be visiting. :)
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )

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