July 8, 2009

Artful


Frequently the conversation is heard as to whether someone who is crafty is actually an artist. My answer is a hearty "yes!". In my simple definition, art is an expression of your soul. It can't be helped...it just happens that way whether you try or not.

It would seem that there are two differing ways to look at the word artful. One, which I definitely prefer, is exhibiting art or skill, or skillful in accomplishing a purpose. I believe I am being artful when considering a project or design, using my imagination and searching for the most interesting way to display a certain subject-matter. I like to think outside the norms of what is expected or anticipated, to provide an element of pleasure or surprise in what I create. I want to think that I am artful in this pursuit.

The other definition is not so flattering, I'm afraid. It is simply to be artificial. To be honest, I never considered artful to mean artificial, and I certainly don't think that anyone trying to create, at least in my circles, is seeking to be artificial. Hmmmm...must be an old English use of the term.

Do you consider yourself an artist? I never truly did until challenged by a friend who happens to be an art teacher. I'm not sure why I didn't consider myself so. It's kind of like calling yourself a singer; somehow you cannot claim the title unless you have gained the favor of those enjoying your efforts. Well, if that is the case with the artist title, then anyone who creates with their heart, and shares it, has earned it.

That brings up another aspect of being an artist. Can you truly be an artist if you don't share it with others? Not comparing or competing, but sharing. Sharing involves taking that risk of rejection, to be sure. Art is a subjective thing and not all will appreciate your work. But you must take that risk. Somewhere inside all of us is that need to be united with others, to share a common thought or emotion, to inspire each other. To that end, we must share our art.

Art is a mirror of your soul.

Create artfully.

Share generously.

Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.
~Thomas Merton

A picture is a poem without words.
~Horace

An artist is always alone - if he is an artist. No, what the artist needs is loneliness.
~Henry Miller

Art is not a study of positive reality, it is the seeking for ideal truth.
~John Ruskin

1 comment:

Ari C'rona said...

Well, I guess the way you describe it, I have to admit I'm an artist... Okay, you win! :o)

That phrase - "you can't claim the title unless you've gained the favor of those enjoying your efforts" - wow, I have to think about that...

Love it when you get philosophical, my friend!