The best description I've seen of what it feels like to make art
So if it's artists being referred to as pretentious, then... yeah. Artists do regularly attempt to impress by affecting greater importance, talent and culture than is actually possessed.
In fact, it's the leap you pretty much have to take to create anything. It's your foolish hope that you might go from not knowing how to do something to doing something, and then eventually doing it well enough that you might want to share it with other people.
The creative process as I've witnessed it is generally plagued by frustration, insecurity, and doubt, alternated by brief moments of pleasure in having made something you think is halfway decent, followed by having to summon ludicrous amounts of confidence in order to have to share that thing with other people, and concluding with night sweats as you wonder immediately after -- and then forever after -- whether you are a fraud and your work is terrible no matter how many people say they like it.
Hearing this is so validating I don't even know how to express it.
"Art is Pretentious* | The Art Assignment | PBS Digital Studios" [9:25]
Despite the number of hours I've put in over the last couple of years it still feels incredibly pretentious to call myself an artist.
And yet, I want to embrace that label.
I think about how the term of address for people performing at open mics and poetry slams is "poet". You do the thing, you are the thing.
re: The best description I've seen of what it feels like to make art
@starkatt a lot of other things are like this, too
@starkatt you make the glow stoles, you do the thing, therefore you are the thing :3
@starkatt what about things that arguably aren't art - are either functional, or whose primary purpose isn't actually to be art?
@starkatt Most of what I make, tbh. The Favor coins; a sauce dish and chopstick rest for my grandmother; a box I plan to make. Things whose primary purpose is not to be artistic, but to be functional, and for which the beauty or the aesthetic value is secondary.
@CoronaCoreanici It's art.
I will always advocate for a super broad definition of art.
@CoronaCoreanici Thinking that practical objects can't be expressive is a quick route to a spiritually impoverished life.
@starkatt Hm. I agree, and maybe the desire to mark what I do for a hobby as "not art" acts as something of a defense mechanism, but I think the crux of it to be that if you cut a long scratch into my sauce dish, I'd be irritated, but if you punched a hole in the bottom, I'd be truly upset. The thing's primary function isn't to be expressive, it's to serve some specific function.
@CoronaCoreanici I designed my glow fox mask to express something. The paint is chipped and starting to flake because it's not really right for that application.
I'm okay with that because the mask finds its life in being worn, and worn in settings where it may be damaged.
@CoronaCoreanici When I make a v2 I'll try to make it more robust.
But even as I wish the current version was more durable, I'm not too upset about its degradation. The wear means it's being worn.
@CoronaCoreanici (oh neat you can use either meaning for either word in that last sentence and it works.)
Consider a lump of clay shaped like a person. If you remove its nose, the statue remains, even if the clay has changed. Mash it up, and the clay is the same, even though the statue is gone.
@starkatt @Aradia I guess the other part of this is, tbh, my gut emotional reaction to it. If I considered the Favor coins to be art, I'd hate them, because they're not perfect. There are blatantly obvious hideous flaws in them. But they do what I need them to and they're pretty enough, in a rough way, so I'm more or less fine.
@starkatt @Aradia I think this is why I had to become a mathematician. if I might flatter myself a little, I've got a pretty finely tuned aesthetic sense, but basically no technical skill, and if I had to spend my time making something *wrong*, something *imperfect*, and then putting it into the world, I'd scream myself to death.
@Aradia @starkatt But if I do math for a living, everything is perfect in some way - either perfectly correct or perfectly wrong. A statement can be used to prove 1 = 2, or it can't. And if there's a minor blemish on my instantiation of Something True, then at least near no one else can even start to see it.
agreeing at length
there's a quote my dad copied out of "The Poet's Handbook" (1980) by Judson Jerome that I really like in this way:
It helps to stop worrying about what you /are/ and concentrate on what you /do./ If you think of a poet as a person with some special qualifications that come by nature (or divine favor), you are likely to make one of two mistakes about yourself. If you think you've got what it takes, you may fail to learn what you need to know in order to use whatever qualities you may have. On the other hand, if you think you do not have what it takes, you may give up too easily, thinking it is useless to try. A poet is someone --- you, me, anyone --- who writes poems. That question out of the way, now we can learn to write poems better.
@starkatt well uh... why not artisan or craftswoman as alternative terms?
@starkatt you absolutely are an artist. Creator 💙
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