are artists born or are they grown?

All things outside of Burning Man.
User avatar
Phydeau
Posts: 19
Joined: Mon Oct 06, 2003 2:13 am
Location: The Branch Phydidian Compound, Texas.
Contact:

are artists born or are they grown?

Postby Phydeau » Tue Oct 28, 2003 12:41 am

I've found myself experiencing something new to me and hope that others have been through similar experiences and can offer wisdom to help me understand what's happening.

Yesterday I had the pleasure of experiencing Julian's [url=http://www.supersnail.com/concept]
collection of images[/url]. Well, looking thru the images and reading about his project ideas triggered a flood of ideas of my own. I sent a few off to him (thanx for the positive reply, Julian) but the ideas keep coming. Many express emotions I feel towards society or my interpretation of it and are recurring with exponential intensity. There are many ideas that have come to me that address issues that have affected my life deeply and I feel very passionate about (some are actually emotions/events that I've struggled to not harbor bitterness over) I suspect that this is what it means to be inspired. (did someone hire a muse to stalk me?)

Here is my dilemma; I am no artist (or didn't know I was?). In all my years, other than scripting/coding on my computer, I have never been creative and have suddenly been flooded with ideas for interpretive visual expression of these feelings. Now that these ideas have come to me, I feel a nearly overwhelming need to express them. it's like it's ... (ugh, after 5 minutes of staring at this flashing cursor, this is the best metaphor I can come up with and it's not even close to expressing the actual feeling properly) it feels like I have a voice in my mind telling me to say a magic word and that if left unsaid, it will echo in my mind forever, but if I say the magic word, it promises to reveal some valuable secret. (this is metaphorically stated. The only voice in my head is my own) It's a very abstract and unfamiliar feeling and I'm having a very hard time putting it into words. So, please, forgive me if I'm not making much sense. It's not that I want to have/own the end result. I'm certain I'll keep and share them with others, of course, but having the images to "show off" isn't really that important to me. However, the expression of these destructive emotions through the creation of something feels strangely important to my own quest for sustained inner peace.

I had always thought that artists were born with their creative gifts, but am now wondering if the complete character/life transformation I've experienced this year (and am still experiencing) included creativity as one of the many gifts that are being bestowed upon me while emerging from my cocoon. All this being said, I must ask; Is this what it means when I've heard artists say "I didn't choose the art, the art wanted to be created and chose me to help it come into being" or should I seek a professional mental help therapist?
Image Phydeau

actiongrl
Posts: 637
Joined: Fri Sep 05, 2003 12:22 pm

the way of art

Postby actiongrl » Tue Oct 28, 2003 1:10 am

The thing about art is that if one doesn't open up the portal and let the thing flow through, there's a big hole in the world where a piece of art would have been. A shame, really. Whenever I have written songs or made a piece of art, I hadn't really a clear idea what I was setting out to do, or whether or not it was a valid idea in the first place, but I just tried to get out of the way and let the thing flow through me. I'm not claiming to have been successful at it, entirely (observe the not insubstantial lack of "huge body of work" to accompany my advice) but once in a while, something has come of it. And the artists that I know that have brought something into being report something similar....that they often feel that they're just a channel through which their art travels of its own accord.

Sounds like you've got something welling up that you should attend to, to me.

User avatar
DE FACTO
Posts: 1263
Joined: Fri Oct 10, 2003 12:02 am

Postby DE FACTO » Tue Oct 28, 2003 1:42 am

I like this topic but don't have enough time to answer it the way I want to right now because I'm working on the internet-radio site right now, but at least not only does it get sent to the top. It also is in my pager for me to look at later and remind me that I need to give my opinion here.

thanks for the thread. very good.
even though...........

User avatar
JezebelinHell
Posts: 762
Joined: Wed Sep 24, 2003 3:29 am
Location: Reno

Postby JezebelinHell » Tue Oct 28, 2003 2:22 am

I think it's a little of both. I see art in everything, and I can make art out of almost anything. Part of my brain is constantly analyzing everything around me, looking for something creative to do with it. I've always been this way, but before I just had a billion ideas and not enough skill to make them a reality. It took a lot of work to get to a point where I could take something from my head and make it into a solid piece of art. The drugs probably helped a bit too.
"The future is a whore, she promises herself to everyone."
--Poe

User avatar
stuart
Posts: 3328
Joined: Thu Sep 04, 2003 10:45 am
Location: East of Lincoln

Postby stuart » Tue Oct 28, 2003 12:01 pm

Ouch me

In any given medium, if you have a language and aptitude for that medium the feeling of 'channeling' can give way to more of a doing or forming. We all have creative ideas, we do not all possess an equal amount of skill in achieving them. If you lack the language, whether it be from a lack of training or the fact that you are breaking new ground, or some combination, your process may require quite a bit of improvisation in order to achieve a result you are happy with. This can have that 'channeling' feeling because the idea is present but you have to flail a bit to bring it to fruition. I suggest you grow your inner artist by experimenting as well as educating yourself on the language of the medium you choose. I think you will find this much more satisfying.

Jane Eric
Posts: 138
Joined: Wed Sep 03, 2003 10:42 pm
Location: Planet Goleta
Contact:

Postby Jane Eric » Tue Oct 28, 2003 12:19 pm

A creative exercise for you: Take five things, whatever. Make two things, whatever. Burn them. Don't attach yourself to them. Just make, whatever. Doodle. Play. Do it again next week, whenever.

User avatar
TawnyGnosis
Posts: 126
Joined: Wed Sep 03, 2003 7:31 am
Location: Los Angeles
Contact:

Postby TawnyGnosis » Tue Oct 28, 2003 1:06 pm

Throughout my life I've constantly had the desire to express myself artistically, but having tools to help that channel open has helped me dramatically.

I can't say how creative I would be if I hadn't been able to grow up around other artists, or if I been forced to study math for four hours a day from the age of three on up.

Burning man is such a great way to open up those channels I think, there's almost too much stimulus for thought and creation that I can't bear it sometimes. It's an interesting idea to compare seeing very little and understand most of it( "reality") and to see a great deal more without really understanding it, only knowing that it is opening your horizons up in new ways.
Heaven's going to burn your eyes

User avatar
Alpha
Posts: 766
Joined: Fri Sep 26, 2003 4:55 pm

Postby Alpha » Tue Oct 28, 2003 3:37 pm

You're all wrong.

Artists are grown in a light- and humidity-controlled environment in Marie Osmond's basement. They are then smuggled into hospitals and swapped out for real babies while no one is looking. Tipper Gore keeps an eye on them to make sure they stay in line throughout their artistic career. If not, they are tricked into taking jobs at Wired and Rolling Stone.

User avatar
antron
Posts: 240
Joined: Wed Sep 03, 2003 1:00 pm
Location: on your screen

Postby antron » Tue Oct 28, 2003 4:11 pm

artists?

there groan

User avatar
juliansnail
Posts: 14
Joined: Wed Oct 08, 2003 9:15 am
Location: San Francisco
Contact:

Just do it

Postby juliansnail » Thu Oct 30, 2003 5:32 pm

Humans have a need to express themselves. We just do.
Making visuals are one way. I remember this guy who was wearing
one of the most outragous outfits I'd seen at Burning Man.
He was saying how he wasn't an artist.

If you wanna make art, do. Doesn't have to be "good".
It's about expressing what's in you (or even just trying).

Have an image in your mind? Try drawing it.
Or taking a photo that creates it.
Try writing it in a way so that other may be able to feel it.
If it ends up looking lame, that's okay.
Maybe try again. and again. and again.

I think I've taken about 50,000 photos at Burning Man.
40,000 just wasn't enough. Still hadn't gotten quite what
I wanted. Hundreds of hours of messing with the photos
each after the event. Always more planning and thinking.
Why? Partly cause I'm dumb.
Partly cause I'm absurdly driven. Partly cause it's a blast and
I love collaborating with burning man folk.
Some because I have a need to make that which my mind pictures.

I'm feel like I'm just saying the obvious, but here it is...
Yup, poke at it. Give it a shot. If you don't like the results at
first, try something else. Maybe get your friends involved.
If you don't like the process (or you're not getting what you
want), do it different.

- julian the ranting snail

User avatar
BlueBirdPoof
Posts: 629
Joined: Tue Sep 23, 2003 11:44 am
Location: SF Bay Area

Postby BlueBirdPoof » Fri Oct 31, 2003 8:00 am

I think that the "born v. made" thing is one of those false dicotomies that this culture is prone to. We have a constant need to sort things into mutually exclusive catagories that can be very damaging on all sorts of levels. Born artists challenge this mind set at every opportunity.

I think creativity is a very natural part of the human animal. In a "properly ordered sociaty" everybody would get to do art throughout their lives. (Although, a lot of people do--disguised as craft or hobby.) I don't think that art is as seperable from science or religion as we pretend either.

For me, the best thing about Burning Man is that there's a broad understanding that we are all creative and a strong encouragement to do that--and publicaly, because we do it for praise from our peers, among many other things.

All that said, there's a whole lot of truth to the talk about "finding your voice" and "perfecting your craft." Of course, ultimately those depend on jumping in, doing it, and seeing what you learn.

User avatar
DE FACTO
Posts: 1263
Joined: Fri Oct 10, 2003 12:02 am

artists are born

Postby DE FACTO » Sat Nov 01, 2003 4:01 pm

IMHO great artists are born. classic examples are artists that clash with scoiety for doing what they do best. Imitating life.

Another example would be idiot savants.

(and sorry if that is spelled wrong. I am not at my computer currently.)

However; that is not to say that the talent cannot be aquired.
even though...........

User avatar
Angry Butterfly
Posts: 458
Joined: Wed Sep 10, 2003 12:00 am
Location: Fremont Ca
Contact:

Postby Angry Butterfly » Tue Nov 04, 2003 11:19 am

Ok, this is my chance to post my favorite Picasso quote that I use all the time, particularly when I am teaching:
"Every Child is an artist, the trick is remaining one when You grow up"
I took the road less traveled, and now I would like to go back and find the paved one.

User avatar
Rob the Wop
Posts: 1814
Joined: Mon Sep 01, 2003 4:06 pm
Location: Furbackistan, OR
Contact:

Postby Rob the Wop » Tue Nov 04, 2003 10:51 pm

a) Define artist.

I have heard all sorts of people claiming the title of artist. Surgeons, DJs, teachers, etc. Personally, my definition is more along the lines of the capacity to create "gallery" work. I also include writers of prose, screenplay, songs, or stories. But that's pretty much it.

b) Define art.

Even worse one here. Place a hard boiled egg on a plate. Call it art. Boom. You're now an artist. Personally, I define it as somene that puts forth a serious effort and creates something entirely new from nothing or raw materials. The purpose of this new thing must be to stimulate the senses in some form on another.

I believe that many have the capacity, but no effort was made to seriously develope the right side brain (I think it's the right side) functions. Most people can only draw at a 5th grade level. Don't exercise, you lose the muscle. Don't exercise the various brain functions, you lose them too. The crime is that most schools don't seriously teach art, writing, and music with the same vigor as the logical functions. So those "muscles" never get developed.

But just as some musculiture is stronger in some due to genetics, I believe that some brain functions are better in some people due to genetics. Though that one is an infinately tougher theory to prove.
The other, other white meat.

User avatar
Isotopia
Posts: 2848
Joined: Fri Sep 05, 2003 11:26 am

Postby Isotopia » Tue Nov 04, 2003 11:02 pm

I hate the word 'artist.'

Seriously, I hate it more than almost any other word in the language except maybe for ''frapacinno.'

In my view anyone who uses the word to describe themselves almost by default implies an exclusivity that suggests that they have somehow cornered a market on vision and creativity while others are, by default incapable or deficient in such things.

User avatar
DE FACTO
Posts: 1263
Joined: Fri Oct 10, 2003 12:02 am

Postby DE FACTO » Tue Nov 04, 2003 11:05 pm

Isotopia wrote:I hate the word 'artist.'

Seriously, I hate it more than almost any other word in the language except maybe for ''frapacinno.'

In my view anyone who uses the word to describe themselves almost by default implies an exclusivity that suggests that they have somehow cornered a market on vision and creativity while others are, by default incapable or deficient in such things.


are we feeling a little anomosity here because of our little fashion statement?Image I love this pic.

User avatar
Isotopia
Posts: 2848
Joined: Fri Sep 05, 2003 11:26 am

Postby Isotopia » Tue Nov 04, 2003 11:14 pm

You are not worthy to comment on ANYTHING related to my sense of fashion fabulousness you grovelling, little dirt chewing neophite.

Now shut your fucking mouth and start licking my cha-cha pumps.

User avatar
DE FACTO
Posts: 1263
Joined: Fri Oct 10, 2003 12:02 am

Postby DE FACTO » Tue Nov 04, 2003 11:16 pm

Isotopia wrote:You are not worthy to comment on ANYTHING related to my sense of fashion fabulousness you grovelling, little dirt chewing neophite.

Now shut your fucking mouth and start licking my cha-cha pumps.


ooooo, yes mame.

User avatar
stuart
Posts: 3328
Joined: Thu Sep 04, 2003 10:45 am
Location: East of Lincoln

Postby stuart » Wed Nov 05, 2003 11:31 am

b) Define art.


the skillful execution of a creative idea in order to communicate




i always liked that one

User avatar
Lydia Love
Posts: 1569
Joined: Mon Sep 01, 2003 8:01 pm
Location: Seattle

Postby Lydia Love » Wed Nov 05, 2003 11:38 am

I like that one too Stuart...

though sometimes a naive or unskilled execution of a creative idea speaks to me very strongly as well.
It's all about the squirrels.

User avatar
DE FACTO
Posts: 1263
Joined: Fri Oct 10, 2003 12:02 am

Postby DE FACTO » Wed Nov 05, 2003 11:38 am

stuart wrote:
b) Define art.


the skillful execution of a creative idea in order to communicate


Wow that was simple and straight to the point. much simpler than mine anyway.

User avatar
Angry Butterfly
Posts: 458
Joined: Wed Sep 10, 2003 12:00 am
Location: Fremont Ca
Contact:

Postby Angry Butterfly » Wed Nov 05, 2003 11:58 am

as soon as I saw "define art" I was ready to post "YAWN" but I do like that one too.
I took the road less traveled, and now I would like to go back and find the paved one.

User avatar
Angry Butterfly
Posts: 458
Joined: Wed Sep 10, 2003 12:00 am
Location: Fremont Ca
Contact:

Postby Angry Butterfly » Wed Nov 05, 2003 12:02 pm

Isotopia wrote:I hate the word 'artist.'

Seriously, I hate it more than almost any other word in the language except maybe for ''frapacinno.'

In my view anyone who uses the word to describe themselves almost by default implies an exclusivity that suggests that they have somehow cornered a market on vision and creativity while others are, by default incapable or deficient in such things.


BUT I HAVE! And THEY ARE! heh heh heh! :twisted:
I took the road less traveled, and now I would like to go back and find the paved one.

Guest

Can drinking beer with friends or an old fiat be art?

Postby Guest » Fri Feb 13, 2004 9:10 am

I thought this morning's article in the Chronicle raised some good questions...
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/chronicle/archive/2004/02/13/DDGQO4UFRA1.DTL&type=art

robotland
Posts: 3795
Joined: Tue Sep 09, 2003 8:29 am
Location: Kalamazoo

Postby robotland » Fri Feb 13, 2004 10:35 am

One of the things that I really enjoy about BRC is that it isn't a city full of artists, it's a city full of people who realize that everyone's an artist. I have been a professional artist (definition: I have consistantly sold my work, and I have a day job.) for 25 years, exhibiting in galleries and fairs, curating for the local arts council and behaving in an overtly artist-like way. I have more artworks around my nest than I have ever made and then sold, because I have always been compelled to create things and enjoy having them around. The compulsion part fits the "nature" or "born" model, while at the same time I have many colleagues that, after living longer than I have without creating anything at all, suddenly take a class and start cranking out watercolors or glass or what-have-you, and end up as regularly exhibiting artists. A large majority of these "nurture" or "grown" artists produce work that is unremarkable. So do a lot of the artists that have been pumpin' it out from Day One. Some just make things that are pretty, and some plumb the depths of sociopolitical psychohistorical rhetoric to mixed results. I think it's just a matter of having something to say or a feeling to express, and we all carry the innate capacity and even the desire to create given a comfortable, supportive environment in which to do so.
Howdy From Kalamazoo

User avatar
tonka
Posts: 45
Joined: Mon Feb 09, 2004 6:08 pm
Location: south of CowTown but still way above the burn...

Postby tonka » Fri Feb 13, 2004 1:42 pm

art is an amazing way of expressing thoughts, idea's, feelings, and so on. it can be interpreted in a completely different way from somebody else, triggering more feelings or inspiring them to create as well.

i hate super populular money driven, must-get-my-work-in-everybody;s homes type artists.... anybody who splashes paint on a canvas, even if they have put thier heart and soul into the piece, i dont think should be setting up in a gallary for the rich snobs to sell a few pieces at an insane price so they can tell thier friends that they bought a piece from the famous so-and-so...

i love art, and i love it when people love thier art, but i hate it when its bought or traded like an ikea lamp stand, or used strictly as a way of making money when the real spirit of the art piece has been forgotten.

my advice for the original post in this thread:

if you think you need a therapist, you dont, either that or i, and by the sounds of it half the people on this thread do too.. in my opinion, who doesnt have problems? im sure half of us could goto a therapist and get them to diagnose us with half a dozen different personality disorders or something...

but as for art:

art is a beautiful thing, even if you dont think so, somebody sure will.
baring your soul kinda feels like taking off a PVC catsuit after dancing in it all night at a techno rave party...

User avatar
LeChatNoir
Posts: 5892
Joined: Mon Sep 01, 2003 8:52 am
Location: Louisville, Ky

Warning: typical rambling post from The Black Cat

Postby LeChatNoir » Fri Feb 13, 2004 5:03 pm

Hey Phydeau (et al)

I realize that, comparatively, this is a bit of an old thread.... but I hope your notice and read the revived interest in it. And I also hope you head and heart haven’t exploded from all the pint up creativity wanting out. If I’m understanding you correctly, and I think I am, the “voice” is the creativity wanting out... your muse speaking to you. The “magic word” is like a key you so desperately want to find to unlock what’s in you and let the creativity just flow out, forming whatever thing it is that it wants to be.... a magic emotion-to-art translator. The human hands and tongue are, all too often, crude methods of expressing what is in the heart. They can get close sometimes, but still always seem to be lacking. Never able to step directly from emotion to tangible expression (I think that hot glass work might come damn close though) Well... the best I’ve been able to do is to keep a steady flow of ideas going. Enough to relieve the “pressure” but always just a little bit slower than I would really like.

Art is (to me) an expression of one’s self, or sometimes an expression of another’s self through you. I produce metalwork (sometimes metal art) for a living, and though some have called me an artist, I hesitate to make that leap. Not only because I don’t want Isotopia to punch me in the gut and make me cry, but also that I don't want to be percieved as feeling better than any other. I’m just competent in processes that they aren’t, that’s all. Some are born with gifts, others learn them as they grow but everyone has within themselves the ability to produce works of art, you just gotta find your outlet and have the need to get something out through it.

I too have been (as have many others) through some pretty rough times over the last few years. At some point it dawned on me that there is as much inspiration in painful emotions as happy ones. You just have to learn how to channel it out. I’ve learned, at least for myself, that this seems to be (regardless of good or bad emotion) an exercise in both letting yourself go at a wild rate and keeping a pace too. For me, the muse may strike at 2:00 am and there’s no escaping it, I have to get up and do something about it. It may be a 3 hour drawing session in my sketch book, or may be as simple as a couple of sentences written on the back of a receipt to remind myself of the inspiration until I can better give it my attention. Keep a sketch book or journal for jotting down ideas. I’ve found that rough drawing my ideas and making notes over a period of sometimes hours, sometimes months or even years, more often than not leads to a well executed finished piece. Take your time, think about what you are wanting to express through your work. Write notes, scratch out ideas, take pictures, whatever you feel the need to do. And don’t be discouraged if you don’t always get a final product out of the exercise. I have many ideas that never reached the “finished stage”. The act of simply planning it was expression enough. And most importantly I learned from it and relieved that pressure.

Don’t be in a rush to produce any piece and only produce the really emotional pieces for yourself. Not to keep for yourself, necessarily, but FOR your own inner self. Ask what this emotion is and try to represent it in the tangible world with your product.

(did someone hire a muse to stalk me?)


I like that idea... “My muse is stalking me”. I understand exactly what you mean.

“I didn't choose the art, the art wanted to be created and chose me to help it come into being"


Yeah, I often wonder about the forces at work around us that we don’t perceive. And whether or not they are finding their own creative outlets through all of us.

or should I seek a professional mental help therapist?


Ohhh... unless you’re cutting designs into yourself as a form of expression, I’d say skip the professional help. Sounds like you’re only guilty of finding a creative outlet. Hell... the best “Ar-teests” I’ve known were/are all a little whacko. I’m a little whacko too.

I hope my words helped a little. The suggestions are things that work for me, your milage may vary. Hope to hear about your progression in learning to express the curse that is creativity.

Matt

User avatar
Wind_Borne
Posts: 290
Joined: Fri Oct 31, 2003 8:53 pm
Location: Sonoma, CA
Contact:

Postby Wind_Borne » Fri Feb 13, 2004 8:27 pm

So many good thoughts on this thread!

The skillful execution of a creative idea in order to communicate.

That's a decent definition. The word skillful culls those that have not mastered the craft aspect of their medium. Communicate conveys the role of art in society: to inform, elucidate, inspire,... Creative: invention -- that is essential to true art; and it is what separates Art from Performance. Example: a songwriter may be an artist; but the singer is a performer

The notion of artist has been so devalued of late by all sorts of people trying to claim the title that the word is at risk of becoming purely ironic. I find is nauseating when a simple performer like B. Spears is called a "recording artist". And as skillful as a bricklayer or surgeon may be, neither is focused on communication or creativity.

In addition to the above quote I might add something that a friend I went to school with noted about artists -- she said they seemed to have a certain hunger, a certain longing that is hard to even explain to those who do not feel it. As a fellow art student, I knew what she meant; but I'm not sure I know how to explain it. Maybe communicating that longing is what art is actually for.

Born or Made ?
    If you feel the hunger to make art, you'll make art by whatever means you can.
    If you don't feel the hunger you can't make art, even if you're born with all the skill in the world.
"Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master."
-- George Washington

User avatar
Last Real Burner
Posts: 943
Joined: Mon Sep 01, 2003 9:34 am
Location: Heaven
Contact:

me. I'm just here for the chocolate cookies...

Postby Last Real Burner » Fri Feb 13, 2004 9:28 pm

I dream invisible dreams does that make me an artist?Image

"Kiss my ass, that's art if I ever saw any."

irridescently,
mr smith
"Do you know what happened to the boy who got everything he wished for? - He lived happily ever after".

User avatar
Bob
Posts: 6762
Joined: Wed Sep 03, 2003 10:00 am
Burning Since: 1986
Camp Name: Royaneh
Location: San Francisco
Contact:

Postby Bob » Fri Feb 13, 2004 10:14 pm

I'd suggest that art is anything, or anything done, perhaps with no obvious use, but with intention.

I made ten-foot-tall T-shirt & shorts and hung them on a similarly-scaled clothesline one year.

After the event, the clothes were gone, and so was the Man. My intention was that he realize he's naked, after all.
Amazing desert structures & stuff: http://sites.google.com/site/potatotrap/

"Let us say I suggest you may be human." -- Reverend Mother Gaius Helen Mohiam


Return to “Open Discussion”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests