Do I have the right to call myself an Artist?

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Today my right to call myself an artist was called into question by someone and it has wound me up completely.  It was during a conversation about the festival I am attending where I was told that they do not want to let standards drop by ‘letting in’ people who are not professional artists (while she gestured at my artwork) nor do they want to turn it into a ‘craft fair’.  The last comment was not aimed at me but at a venue near to me where professional artisans and craftspeople are showing traditional and modern crafts.

The same lady went on to say that ‘these people’ would attract the wrong kind of visitors as they do not want ‘day trippers’.  What is a ‘day tripper’ It is someone who visits a place and then goes the same day…..how does that make someone undesirable.

Not only do I feel insulted as an artist but also as a buyer….I often go on a ‘day trip’ to visit an art fair or a gallery and buy or appreciate art.

This is a rant!!

Art is for everyone.

Art is for sharing.

I still found it difficult to say ‘I am an artist’ as I felt that I had not really earned that right yet….but this woman (no longer a lady in my head) has made me say why not??

I think I have done enough to say I am an artist.

I am a natural artist, I have no training to speak of but my drawings and paintings bring people pleasure, they evoke emotion….that is what art is!

My artwork is created with passion and enthusiasm, people have seen that – commented on it, payed for it and they trust me to do commissioned works for them.

My art has been seen and shipped all over the world.

What else do I need to call myself an artist?!?

So…….I am an artist and I am proud to call myself an artist, I do not need a professional qualification to tell me I am.

but

I belong to a group of artists who love to share their work with art-lovers whoever they are.  I am an artist because I love to create art but also because I love to see people’s reactions to my artwork…….whoever you are.

That is my opinion on the matter but I would love to hear yours. 

Do I (and others like me) have the right to call ourselves artists?

Comment

9 Comments

  • Heather Townsend
    August 3, 2009

    I can’t believe that someone would say something like that at an art festival. You are a fantastic artist – the amount of people that buy your art and tell you it is great, these are the people that you need to listen to.

    As appreciation of your ‘product’ is very personal, you are going to have to get used to people ‘not’ appreciating what you do. Some people don’t appreciate the value of my service – however, they are probably not going to tell me to my face that they don’t like what I do… Many artists and creatives did not get widespread appreciation of their work until they died.

    Professional qualifications don’t make an artist. People appreciating what you produce makes you an artist. You definitely qualify as an artist.

    Plus, craft is art…

  • Paul [W] Campbell
    August 3, 2009

    You create art, therefore you are an Artist. It doesn’t get any-more complicated than that. The opinion of this person you are talking about has absolutely no baring upon the matter.

    You don’t need anyone’s approval. If you only created your art and never let anyone see it, you would still be an Artist. The audience, or lack, is not the one that decides.

    I describe myself as a writer. I write, perhaps not nearly often enough but I do, therefore I am a Writer. I’ve never been paid for what I write, but that’s irrelevant to whether I’m a writer or not. The act of writing is what makes me a Writer. The act of creating art is what makes you an Artist.

    That fact that you are so good at it and that people are willing to give you money for it attests to their opinion and your obvious talent.

    There are 6 billion people on the world. You don’t need the ascent of a single one of them to call yourself an Artist.

  • Amy Kenyon
    August 4, 2009

    I think the word ‘Artist’ is meant towards anyone who can use any kind of media and make something of it. Whether it be gorgeous life size Oil Paintings or cute little crafts. I , like you, have had no formal training. I believe some people have creativity and Art running through their veins. I have taught myself alot of what I know. Ive had a pencil or paintbrush in my hands since I can remember. I think I might have called myself an Artist when I was 5 years old! haha!

    You are so right about our “drawings and paintings bringing people pleasure, they evoke emotion….that is what art is!” It makes my whole day to see someone smile at one of my pieces! That sparkle in their eye keeps me going! It makes me feel as any ‘Artist’ should feel.

    You, my dear, are definitely an Artist! I like what Paul said about not having to have an acsent to be caleed an Artist! So True!

    See you on Twitter sweetie!~~Amy (simplyamee)

  • Chris Bellinger
    August 4, 2009

    I am so upset by the comments this woman has made!\you have done more than by selling stuff around th world.People like what you do and it is all very well to say turn the other cheek.This person should not get away with her undermining influence sounds a bit of a control freak.
    i know that once you put your head above th wall you might get shot.
    YOU ARE A ARTIST AND A BRILLIANT ARTIST AT THAT YOU KNOW YOU ARE.
    sorry but I am upset now for you>

  • Chris Bellinger
    August 4, 2009

    Also if you want to write something to her i will back you up!

  • Jeremy
    August 4, 2009

    Your question. Do I (and others like me) have the right to call ourselves artists?
    My thoughts are who has the right to tell us we are not an artist? No one. In sports the difference between a professional and an amateur is the money. Since, you are making money probably more than the woman you mention. If you needed a scale you could use that. I believe, you are an artist and also poised to do more wonderful work in the future. Thanks for all your post, and sharing.

  • Detlef
    August 4, 2009

    Aw, Pamela, that’s the hard thing about being an artist. You put your heart into your art and so your art becomes an open door right into your inner sanctum. In walks the hippo with her muddy feet and lets go a smelly vegetarian fart. Pooo! What can you do? You either have your people for that or you have to clean up and restore the air yourself.

    Sorry to the hippo, I already refrained from taking an elephant, but elephants are far to nice for this analogy.

    Keep up the good work, you are second to no one, Pamela!

  • Gareth
    August 13, 2009

    I believe the artist to be more in the mindset of an individual. A passion and motivation to create, regardless of media or form. It’s someone who isn’t content with merely observing or accepting something, but instead feels a need to capture the emotion of a moment, or create something which questions that which many take for granted.
    It is therefore a title open to anybody who has this passion and excitement.
    Like one or two of the other commentors, this women’s words frustrate me, largely because I can’t share my opinion with her myself.
    But I’d like say that she no doubt fell into one of two personalities.
    A bitterly sharp tongued old battle axe, devoid of emotion and common sense, due to her own short fallings as to what she deems “an artist”. Dis-satisfied with her own pieces.
    Or secondly and perhaps more likely given the environment, a self made dictator or what art should be, based on a narrow minded and pompous understanding in the first place.
    Anyway, your work is clearly created because you love to do it, not only is this obvious through your work, but were it not i doubt her words would have cut so deep. I think that is enough to make anyone an artist.

    I look forward to seeing more.
    Gareth

  • Pamela
    Gareth
    August 14, 2009

    Thank you so much for that lovely comment. I am pretty new to all of this and what pleases me most is that you can see the passion with which I work. I think passion and energy is what defines art….for me there needs to be both.

    Thank you again
    Pam

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