Some days, I question the validity of calling myself an “artist”. I still struggle with the definition of this term. Is there one definition or is the definition less solid, almost fluid in nature, morphing to meet the individual it is applied to?
Now I don't question my talent or the quality of the pieces I create. I question how I fit by definition in the art world...and also whether I want to or not.
This started churning around in my head when I attended an opening last week...and what I encountered was a room full of snobs...well with the exception of the 5 of us outcasts that banded together, looking for an escape of this pedigreed group.
Why do we consider ourselves to be outcasts? None of us had a formal "art education". My only "so called" formal education were the art classes I had in high school. However, that has never stopped me from learning, researching and experimenting. Nor does it stop me from churning out works of art to rival those with "formal" art educations. Once the "degreed" attendees learned that we didn't have that formal training, have not been featured in "such and such" gallery, been published...or yada, yada, yada we were pretty much ignored. So as such, we a group of strangers banded together and enjoyed the showing.
Now, I am not taking anything away from those that have pursued and completed art and advanced art degrees. I admire that they had the will to make it through the art appreciation, art survey, art history, etc classes. I am more of a jump in hands on person. Looking at slides and listening to lecturers just won't hold my attention for long. As a matter of fact, I nearly went mad with the lecture, listening classes required for my BS in Computer Science. That being said, there are people in the IT world with not degree whatsoever, no college courses or advanced education that I would trade my degree in a heartbeat to have the knowledge that they have. I'm serious as a heart attack about that.
I am a self-taught artist...and a proud one at that. Well...I guess that answers my question. I am an artist. Maybe not what this group would define as one...but instead one of my own definition.