Are You a “Real” Artist?
Is there such a thing?
Every now and then, I read comments on various social media sites where somebody tries to tell an artist whether or not they are a ‘real’ artist. They say things like, “You need to use such and such materials to be a real artist,” or “You’re cheating if you do art this way,” and many other similar comments.
In my opinion, these people are royal turds who either a.) are artists themselves and think the way they do things is superior or b.) they are art critics that think tearing down creators will make them sound good or c.) they are just trolls.
Of course, there may be other reasons for telling an artist they aren’t a ‘real’ artist, but I think those three scenarios cover most of them.
I apologize for my sassy tone at the moment, but it really grinds my gears when other people try to crush the spirit of an artist. Intentionally or unintentionally.
What makes you a real artist?
I have a more inclusive perspective of what makes someone a real artist.
1.You make art.
This can be with photography, digital design, collage, painting, drawing, sculpture, architecture, cooking, printmaking, song writing, dancing, and so much more. There are no limits to the materials and media you can use to create art. If you make art, you are a real artist.
And it doesn’t even have to be ‘good’ art.
2. You put any amount of time into creating.
There are no time requirements for being a real artist. You don’t have to put in ‘x’ amount of hours. If you enjoy making art and put any time into it, you are a real artist.
Now, if you want to be a skilled artist, the amount of time you put in does matter…
3. You fall anywhere between having no skills, and being an expert at what you do.
Skill level honestly doesn’t matter when determining if you are a real artist or not. Critics will disagree with me. Some might say you have to create skilled work in order to be an artist—but I say your skills only come into the equation when you want to be a financially successful or accomplished artist.
If you are doing the work, you are a real artist. But, if you want to make money with it, you should probably work on your skills…
Titles often don’t determine if you are good at something. So being an artist does not necessitate that you create skilled work. Hence my general distrust of medical professionals and people who prepare my food. A phlebotimist that can’t find your vein during a blood draw and wiggles the needle around until you want to pass out is still a phlebtomist. Just not a very skilled one… *true story*
‘Fake’ artists and Impostor Syndrome
If you didn’t create the work, but put on a show that you did–then you are not a real artist. Like Milli Vanilli! Or the assholes on Instagram that take your art and repost it as their own.
If you do the work, but feel like you still don’t belong in the art world or deny yourself the title of Artist, then you my friend may be suffering from Impostor Syndrome. Like me! I still feel like I have to prove to myself that I am an artist.
Haters, Trolls, and the Need to Assert Dominance
It’s the sad truth of the internet, but there is a veritable cornucopia of trolls roaming around. If you are excited about something and put it out there, chances are pretty good that someone will come along and try to take that away from you.
Because you actually suck as an artist? No.
Because your work is really bad? No.
It often has nothing to do with you or your art. When someone makes a negative comment, they are opportunists that are just taking advantage of your work to promote their negativity. It’s best to ignore them.
The haters and trolls only win if they succeed in making you feel bad about yourself or your art. Don’t let them win! Be defiantly optimistic and keep creating with enthusiasm!
The point is…
It doesn’t matter what art supplies you use, how good you are, how big your following is, what styles you practice, what medium you prefer, or anything else really.
If you make art, you are an artist. And if you are an artist—you’re a real artist.
Simple as that.
But, in case you need proof, I’ve made a quiz for you.
Thanks for reading! I hope you enjoyed it! Stay tuned for the next post. I release a new blog every Tuesday.