Sunday, February 07, 2010

Far be it from me to keep anyone from doing something they like, especially when it comes to visual art. But i feel like the words "art" & "artist" (& maybe even "creative") get thrown around a lot. Maybe it's just me. And i'm the person who doesn't call herself an "artist" despite years of magnet school + college major classes. It just feels pretentious to me to call myself that. (But i'm also extremely uncomfortable with labeling. Like, i really don't like labeling at all.) And since i find that pretentiousness stupid, isn't it hypocritical kind of be like, "dude, why are you just gluing magazine pictures in your journal/sketchbook & then making little swirly doodles & then writing quotes"? It's hypocritical, stuck-up, & rude of me. I mean, if it makes them happy, right?

To contradict myself even further (liek omigod dont u just luv it???!!!11!!??/), i have discovered something else art related that aggravates me: the whole "oooooooo mystical; ooooooooo muse" thing. I feel like i've read quotes pertaining to this sort of thing. Really, seriously, art is not this ooooo wiggly fingers mysteeeeeerious thing that only certain people can do & ooooo the muuuuse, the muuuuse & diviiiine gifts & inspiration-- No. Really. Seriously. Maybe there's such a thing as talent, maybe not (i once saw, in high school, something in a friend's sketchbook about "What is talent?" & how it probably doesn't really exist; it's haunted me ever since). Maybe talent is dependent on how you take & use (or choose not to use) what you've been taught. Because, honestly, without classes or self-teaching, how many times is someone going to tell you that you have "talent"? Exactly. It's called "taking art classes that teach you stuff, or teaching yourself stuff."

Maybe the fact that i'm such a non-religious heathen also plays into why this idea annoys me, but really, it just makes it seem ohsomysticalandmysterious, when really, anyone who either has access to good visual art programs or the drive to teach themselves can learn how to draw. (And even then, like art in general, "learning how to draw" is probably subjective. Though i would assume that most people take it to mean drawing representationally?) It's not some gift from some god, it's not "divine inspiration." If you want to wax philosophical on the "magic" of something being made that wasn't there before, okay fine, i can see that. But all this new age-y mystical stuff that seems to still persist & surround visual art (&, what do i know, maybe other art as well) is just eye-roll inducing. Maybe not everybody can do whatever they consider to be art, but everybody can probably learn, one way or another.