Friday, July 3, 2009

what makes an artist, an artist?

All true artists, whether they know it or not, create from a place of no-mind, from inner stillness.::: Eckhart Tolle :::
Okay, this is something I am struggling with, so maybe, those of you who read this blog, can help me out here. What makes an artist, an artist? Where is the line drawn that says someone's splatterings of paint is just a bunch of splatterings of paint, while another's is "fine art"?

I post my version of art for sale on etsy, and I see a lot of other artists there as well. But some I see I wonder about - what makes their 8x8 painting worth $400, while I charge $25 - $45? Is it accreditation? Or just a gutsy move? Does what I put on canvas not hold as much value as others simply because of their value of themselves, or is it their knowledge of the marketplace and my naivety?

I thouroughly enjoy the process of painting, but not the process of valuing and putting my work 'out there'. I am thrilled when someone likes something I've done, and slightly puzzled when they don't. And that takes me right back to where I started - what makes an artist, an artist?


  1. Most artists struggle in obscurity for years and years. An artist is not made by selling a $400 painting or a $45 painting and many certainly do not obtain great wealth as a direct result of their art. Art is passion given a form - a painting, a poem, a sculpture. The artist must ask him or herself if they'd still give their passion form even if they never made any money at all. If the answer is yes, then carry on and damn the rest of the world.

    Today's world requires everyone to sell themselves - and I don't mean that in the fashion of any type of prostitution. An artist, to be financially successful, must still their art - writers to publishers and agents, painters to a collection of patrons, inventors to the investors. How do you value a piece of yourself? Artistic work is a piece of the artist - usually a piece of something deep down from within. Put a price on "soul." I would place an extremely high value on that.

    Ultimately, with or without the financial reward, an artist simply knows they're doing right because their soul is at peace, the passion is burning. The path and the journey along it are the real reward because the artist is working toward a worthwhile goal which has little to do with the finished artistic work. It's the journey of expression and being a creative spirit.

  2. Hey! It took you 6 months to post something, and over a year for me to find it. I really like what you've said here. Makes me feel much better about my agitation at having to market myself. :)