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  1. #1
    Senior Member raincrow007's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Usehername View Post
    Let's hear 'em.
    The very first? -- A bird. Then a trauma surgeon in some wretched far away country where I'd work for free.

    Instead, I wound up as an artist.

    I'm surprised to see so many would-be artists listed. S'interesting.
    Last edited by Ivy; 09-07-2007 at 02:33 PM. Reason: copied from "what did you want to be" thread

  2. #2
    Strongly Ambivalent Ivy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by raincrow007 View Post
    The very first? -- A bird. Then a trauma surgeon in some wretched far away country where I'd work for free.

    Instead, I wound up as an artist.

    I'm surprised to see so many would-be artists listed. S'interesting.
    This reminds me of something very thought-provoking I once read. I'll paraphrase it:

    Ask a classroom full of 30 first graders how many of them are artists. See how many hands go up. It'll probably be most of them.

    Now ask a classroom full of third graders. The number has likely gone down, but it's still probably at least half the class.

    Now ask eighth graders. A smattering of hands.

    Now ask adults. One, maybe two hands will go up, if you're asking in certain areas. Some places no hands will go up.

    What happens to us between childhood and adulthood that we lose that natural inclination towards the arts? Is it just a side effect of natural processes of specialization, or is education killing our artistic impulses and instincts?
    The one who buggers a fire burns his penis
    -anonymous graffiti in the basilica at Pompeii

  3. #3
    Senior Member raincrow007's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ivy View Post
    What happens to us between childhood and adulthood that we lose that natural inclination towards the arts? Is it just a side effect of natural processes of specialization, or is education killing our artistic impulses and instincts?
    Perhaps you should start a thread on it, Ivy.

    I think there's a fair amount of societal conditioning and bias towards "doing something productive", and unfortunately being an artist seems to be one of those things that people find charming in theory or as a hobby, but heaven forbid one attempts to make a living actually doing it.

    Honestly, I always viewed my artistic ability with a certain level of nonplussed-ness -- sort of like being able to tie my shoes. Big deal, right? I certainly never thought it was important, or even very interesting. Why the hell would I want to wind up selling sofa-sized paintings for $19.95? That sort of mentality. No idea where that particular party line of brainwashing came from -- it was just too nebulous to nail down its origin [at least for me].

    It was only later that I came to the conclusion that it's a valid way of life, and just as important [perhaps even moreso because it's a fading sort of tradition] as other more lucrative professions.

    Some people just need more fiscal security than others, I suppose. It's just a trade off people make, perhaps. For myself, I'd rather put a bullet in my brain before I'm stuck behind a desk. Some people call that courageous. Some call it stupidity.

    At this point, I just call it my life.

  4. #4
    Strongly Ambivalent Ivy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by raincrow007 View Post
    Perhaps you should start a thread on it, Ivy.
    Sounds like a plan to me!

    I'm gonna ruminate on your comments and come back to this.
    The one who buggers a fire burns his penis
    -anonymous graffiti in the basilica at Pompeii

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ivy View Post
    What happens to us between childhood and adulthood that we lose that natural inclination towards the arts? Is it just a side effect of natural processes of specialization, or is education killing our artistic impulses and instincts?
    Probably the same reasons people don't end up going on to be astronauts, veterinarians, etc. They find out that these job ideas take a lot more energy and/or skills (or something else.), that they don't want ot develope.

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    Strongly Ambivalent Ivy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zergling View Post
    Probably the same reasons people don't end up going on to be astronauts, veterinarians, etc. They find out that these job ideas take a lot more energy and/or skills (or something else.), that they don't want ot develope.
    I'm not sure they're comparable. I don't notice a whole lot of kids who would say that they ARE astronauts, veterinarians, etc. And those aren't professions that also lend themselves to being a hobby-- they require years and years of training and doing little or nothing else professionally. It's the same for professional artists, yes, I'm not meaning to denigrate professional artistry to the level of child's play here. But people could continue to get joy out of doing art without pursuing it as a profession.

    To a kid, doing art is being an artist, and they're almost universally pleased with what they produce. Or maybe it's the process; I find that my kids almost instantly lose interest in something once they're done working on it. Once they've finished it and shown it to someone, they're on to the next thing. Maybe as adults we're too wrapped up in the results instead of the process.
    The one who buggers a fire burns his penis
    -anonymous graffiti in the basilica at Pompeii

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    Senior Member Kyrielle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ivy View Post
    To a kid, doing art is being an artist...
    One of those moments when children are actually correct. If you create something that you see is art, then you are an artist. That's all there is to it. However, being recognised by other people as an artist often requires something more. I suppose that would usually be what causes someone to go from an artist to a 'professional' artist. (Professional meaning someone who sells their work.)

  8. #8
    Senior Member raincrow007's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kyrielle View Post
    One of those moments when children are actually correct. If you create something that you see is art, then you are an artist. That's all there is to it. However, being recognised by other people as an artist often requires something more. I suppose that would usually be what causes someone to go from an artist to a 'professional' artist. (Professional meaning someone who sells their work.)
    I'd agree with this to a point. Kids get the whole "in the moment" aspect of being an artist a little more naturally. And I mean that in the Zen-sort-of-fortune-cookie way of in the moment; their whole being is distilled in an honest sort of fleeting focus when they make something. That's harder to capture later on when one is more jaded to the nature of existence, I think.

    Of course I'd like to disagree about the rest somewhat; there are plenty of artistic frauds out there doing their song and dance and garnering public attention for it. I don't think sales or flash-in-pan publicity stunts is a fair yardstick for marking the line between amateur and professional.

    Unfortunately though, that tends to be the general outlook on the subject. I just tend to think there's a little more to it than that.

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    Senior Member htb's Avatar
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    Part of the mystery comes from a narrow understanding of those occupations of which artistry is comprised -- one that emphasizes the traditional "fine arts." While I studied under the painting department, classmates were in illustration, visual communications (market-based graphic design), advertising, interior design and even a five-year curriculum for industrial design. In the workforce, carpenters, landscapers and other craftsmen at least arguably qualify for status as artists.

    Where do all the little Rembrandts go? The answer seems to be that young artists mostly turn into practical young adults, leaving art for a) those who are talented enough to live off their work, or b) those who are obstinate and starving.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ivy View Post
    I'm not sure they're comparable. I don't notice a whole lot of kids who would say that they ARE astronauts, veterinarians, etc. And those aren't professions that also lend themselves to being a hobby-- they require years and years of training and doing little or nothing else professionally. It's the same for professional artists, yes, I'm not meaning to denigrate professional artistry to the level of child's play here. But people could continue to get joy out of doing art without pursuing it as a profession.

    To a kid, doing art is being an artist, and they're almost universally pleased with what they produce. Or maybe it's the process; I find that my kids almost instantly lose interest in something once they're done working on it. Once they've finished it and shown it to someone, they're on to the next thing. Maybe as adults we're too wrapped up in the results instead of the process.

    I am not going to speculate on what happens to most kids without the aid of statistics, because I've proven myself to be a horrible judge of what is "common" among people. I have somehow managed to surround my slef with people who are not common for most of my life.

    I agree with the other statements made, in a way. I still do consider myself an artist (whose "media" changes from moment to moment). But, I wouldn't raise my hand if I were asked "Who here is an artist?" in most cicumstances. Because, I know in most circumstances, there will be a "proximate meaning" to their words. In most cases, I am a horrible guesser at these arbritrary proximate meanings, so I will be very conservative in including myself in the categories the words conote (e.g. "artist").

    Not that anyone would ask the question, but I would not raise my hand if people asked "Who here is not an artist?" either. Since the "proximate meaning" of "not an artist" will also be interpreted conservatively.

    I hope that made sense.

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