Wednesday, December 9, 2009

How much talent makes an artist?

I'm not trying to be sarcastic with that title. I'm serious; when do people get titled as an "artist" instead of just billed as a hobbyist?
If it's based on the about of time spent working at said art, then I'm a hobbyist, since I only get to it rarely these days.
If it's based on the amount of said art pumped out, then I'm surely below even hobbyist levels.
If it's based on quality over quantity, then who's judging the quality? The internet?? Almost all "artists" seem to be very critical of their own work (and I know I surely am), but since art is usually turned out for some sort of commercial appeal (I.E. so you don't starve), then how can that label even be justly given out?
If it's based on the level of thought behind said art, the amount of imagination before the physical representation exists, then I hope I'm at the "artist" level of this... because I'd hate to think that I'm just crazy.

I have all these ideas in my head, my imagination spills over with colors and visuals, things I can decorate in my mind that will never be able to see paper, because who else could make them but me, but I don't have the talent to bring them to life. I've tried though. I've tried to explain them in endless details,
but words can't paint a full picture. I've tried to draw them, to doodle them, but all I get are stick figures and abstract shapes; hard lines when soft curves are required. I've even imagined new tunes without words, but because I can only play an instrument with one hand (no I'm not missing a hand, I just can't coordinate with both at the same time like that), anything I play is very monotonous and bland, childlike. I wouldn't even call it childlike, since I've heard little children play better music than I could ever manage. I love to sing, but my voice is such crap (bronchitis, asthma, and no vocal coaching whatsoever) that people who hear me tend to wince. I only sing nicely when I sing too soft to hear above a whisper.

So what can I do when creativity strikes up a wildfire inside of me? I can't draw well, I can't play well, and I can't sing well. I've tried (VERY) amateur painting before, and while it's fun it's not what I tried to do or be. When I draw/paint anything, I keep trying to make things look realistic (Realism), but what comes out is never even close, so you get
Surrealism instead. That's a terrible way to describe surrealist art, as a realist who sucked at drawing, but that's one of the few things I seem to do right.

So, without further ado, here is July Cornfield

The clips on the side were part of my sophisticated home-made (read: cheap) hanging system to keep the fabric taunt and straight. It consisted of 6 medium binder clips, plastic straws, craft wire, and whatever thin rope I had around at the time, to make the red cotton/denim fabric stay straight while the acrylic paint dried.

And yes, that is a sun AND moon in the same sky. If you never seen that happen then you haven't looked up enough. I chose the red denim for two reasons. 1, it reminded me of sunset, and 2, it was the largest fabric piece I had around and I initially was just doodling with cheap paint.

Now, before I fall asleep at my keyboard, here's a quick setting. It's dusk in the middle of July. The corn is knee high and you decide to take a break from playing within it, and sit back in the dirt. Looking up between the rows of stalks, you can see the sun setting and the moon starting to rise. The stratus clouds over head are scattered in a slight breeze, and the sky itself has just started to take on the colors of dusk. If it were darker out, the corn stalks would look like giant green hands trying to grab you, but it's still much to bright out to be afraid of them, and they're still much too small once you stand up. Once the sun goes down, you're going to chase fireflies...

Also, I hope my Moto Droid took a good enough picture (although I had to edit for size) for you to make out the details.