What is an Artist?

I’ve been working on a series of posts that dive into what it means to be an artist. The subject has turned into a much bigger undertaking than I had imagined. I have begun looking into the links between mental illness and artistic talents as well as really asking myself what I think it means to be an artist. I also hope to interview other creative minds to get better insight into the topic for future posts.

What I’ve got, so far, is listed below. I really hope that you’ll check them out and perhaps even give me some feedback in the comments section. This particular project may not be “visual art” exactly; but it’s something that I am pretty passionate about and I’m really excited to share all of these thoughts and insights with you.

As someone who has spent most of their life as a member of the global art community, I have heard my fare share of untrue "facts" about artists and the art world. The real problem with these myths about artists is that some of them have the potential to plant seeds of doubt in up and coming creative minds. Not only can these myths be harmful to the potential futures of young artists, but they can also effect how people approach buying artwork. I'm hoping to put some of these myths to rest by clearing up a few of these false facts ...
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The first artist that I asked to help me out with my "What is an Artist?" Project is an instagram artist by the username of criticismandpotatoes. I was initially captivated by this artist's work because of the hard-hitting and provocative nature of the artwork I was seeing on their instagram feed. This artist creates very bold political and societal statements with these elegantly simple, yet entirely complex illustrations. I was intrigued and interested to know more about the mind behind these artworks. The whole idea behind this project is to find out what makes other artists feel like an artist. Initially I was worried about how other artists would respond, but was pleasantly surprised at the responses I received. With this particular artist, I got very lucky. I was asking very difficult to answer questions of someone I was to find out was not only young, but also hailed from ...
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What is an Artist? Can you define an Idea?
Philosophers and theorists alike have long speculated as to what really defines something as a work of art. That, of course, leaves the issue of "what is an artist?" even more frustrating. As an occupation, it seems that the concept is more of a judgment of value. Tattooists, comedians, exotic dancers, graffiti workers and chefs often claim the title of "professional artist" at some point or another. However, does this limit the concept of what an artist is to those who are actively working in an industry that allows for creative expression? Open Ended Definitions of Artist Even the dictionary definition of the noun "artist" seems to leave a lot of room open for interpretation. The first part is pretty simple; someone that creates. It even states that the creating could be done professionally or as a hobby. The bullet point below attempts to be slightly more specific, mentioning that ...
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Are Creative People Crazy?
Over the years it has been said that people who suffer from mental illness tend to be more creative people than those who do not. Whether this is a fact, or not, remains to be indisputably proven. I, personally, suffer from severe depression and a generalized anxiety disorder. Does this make me a better artist? The first literary connection between mental illness and creative talents was made in the 1970s. However, the notion that there is a link between "genius" and "madness" can be dated back to, at least, 300 B.C. Let's take a look at the history of mental illness and creativity and how they relate to each other. Different Types of Creative People People can be creative in all sorts of different ways. Novelists, play-writes, Poets, Painters and Musicians have all been known to suffer from mental illness while managing to display acute creative genius. The fact that ...
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Questions of a Creative Mind: What is an Artist?
Sometimes, I find myself really thinking about what it means to be an artist. This sort of philosophical journey into the inner depths of my creative mind usually leads to some pretty interesting pieces. However, the journey there can sometimes be troubling. I often wonder what really validates an artist as an artist. Is it something that someone decides on their own that they are and self declares it to be so? Or is it something that needs constant reassurance as fact to remain a truth? Am I an artist because I make images? Or am I an artist because I have been paid to create "art"? Does the market value of my work define my success as an artist? Or is it something only I can define for myself? Is my Creative Mind enough to validate me as an artist? It's hard to struggle with the validity of a ...
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Artist Insight

Let’s delve a little bit deeper into why I decided to take on such a massive ongoing project. “What is an Artist?” is probably one of the first projects I have felt passionate about on more than a few levels. No only does this allow me to feed my desire to grow as an artist, it allows me to gain insight into what other artists go through and deal with in order to create their art. This is a very philosophical question at it’s root. I aim to dig into why it’s so hard to define an idea such as what makes people artists. It’s not just what I think makes someone an artist, it is the fundamental basis for the question its self that I am seeking.

Perhaps this is a project doomed to have no end. I’m okay with that. There is always another artist to interview and a new opinion on the topic to look at. I’m looking forward to seeing where this journey takes me and maybe taking a few other artists with me along the way. If what I am doing here can help bring insight or inspiration to other creative minds, then I feel that I have accomplished my goal in some way.