I've been in a thoughtful mood today. For some of it at any rate. I've been wondering about these words in the title of this post. How would you describe yourself? When do you earn the right to call yourself an artist; is it something that can be/should be earned? I know many people have blogged about this subject before but it is one which is very pertinent to me as it's something I often think about in my other line of work. I never know how to describe my work here in the blog. So many other people blog about their real lives/proper jobs often in quite negative terms, wanting to give it up etc., which
I totally understand. I have a 'day job' part of singing - school peripatetic singing teaching - sure, but I love singing. I wish I could earn all my money from singing all day, every day. It is my passion; it is where my heart lies and when I feel most alive and fulfilled. I love beading and don't think I could ever or would ever stop but it's not the same as music to me. But I have a real problem calling myself a singer. Musician, absolutely fine but singer...it comes out grudgingly. I try to make myself do it but it does often feel uncomfortable, because although I do make money from singing and my main wage from teaching singing, I am not at all where I want to be with it yet. Yet....an important
word here! I am most likely starting a Vocal Studies Masters in
September which I am hoping will bring me closer to being comfortable with this word SINGER.
Anyway, I deviate.... slightly. Because I think this personal dilemma I have relates very much to this artist/crafter/creator quiestion. I have to say, I would personally feel a bit odd calling myself an artist. I love creating - always have and like I said earlier, I know that I always will -
but there is a big leap between CRAFTER and ARTIST... and yet the two things are of course so close together. The closest I get to feeling like I am creating art (still not 'artist' you see!) is when I am doing bead embroidery which is why I have included these photos. This medium is so freeing, I do feel I can go beyond what I can do with beads/wire/thread. But am I really creating art? Even the fact that I choose to make jewellery - something functional, even it is just functioning as a bodily adornment. I have always made things that have a 'function' - even thinking of the Advent calendars and Christmas cards I used to love making as a child. The act of creation has always been more important to me that the end result. I can't imagine sitting down and just making something to hang up on a wall somewhere. Shouldn't art say something beyond looking pretty? Should it have some kind of
'subtext'? I certainly feel that there is truth and meaning as well as beauty when I look at a piece of Gaudi, or da Vinci, or Klimt, or Botticelli or Picasso...any of these artists, I feel there is more happening beneath the surface. The act of LOOKING is changing and meaningful in itself. I mean, just look at my work next to the Picasso and Klimt I've included here! Which would you call art? I know it's not necessarily an either/or situation but I feel a little silly even putting these on the same page! Does that need to be the case before you can call something art? Is the process of creation as important to a piece of art as the appreciation of the viewer?
I don't know the answers to these questions, I'm just throwing them out there. I think the reason I don't worry too much about this word when it comes to myself is that I don't feel I NEED to be an artist whereas I do feel this with singing.
I need to sing. I need to create...but do I need to create art? I don't need it to go beyond looking pretty at the moment. What do you all think? I am so interested to hear your thoughts on this. How do you define yourselves? Do you feel the need to?