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Hm (edit)

I love the fact that many people define their innermost selves, their core beliefs, the most sacred and profound parts of themselves, by other people's creations.

Largely it's the music, and the books, movies, plays, comics, painters and designers. People get passionate about "their music", or musicians they enjoy. At once protective and defensive, as if the songs they enjoy were their own creations, their work. De gustibus non est disputandum.

And yet, with all this passion for their work, Artists are constantly struggling. Grappling with the image/word/chord/etc, struggling for recognition, struggling against society and struggling amongst themselves. "Artist" is not an acceptable career. I hesitate when asked "What do you do?" because people who call themselves Artists are seen as irresponsible, mentally disturbed flakes. Stigmatized and lauded in the same breath.

Think about that.

How do you define yourself? How do you define Art? What is your passion? Are you working on something you care deeply about? If not, why not?

Comments

( 19 uh-ohs — Make a mess )
(Deleted comment)
eastbaysteve
Sep. 16th, 2004 01:12 pm (UTC)
i think learning somones interests in music and books is a definate window into the person they are. but on the other hand, somone defining themselves by the authors they read and the directors they enjoy is just sad. It would be like living somone else's life. I myself define 'me' by the things ive created. True, since im a musician i could define myself by my own pieces of work but i still choose to use the ideas and other works ive done that wouldnt necessarily be consider art to really represent me as a person.

anyhoo, im rambling. but i know what you mean. so many people out there today have this elitest attitude.. and why? cause they spend every waking moment reading a certain author yet have never written a page of thier own work? gah.
23od
Sep. 16th, 2004 01:34 pm (UTC)
I do define myself as a filmmaker. It makes soliciting funds for film a lot easier, and helps me struggle thru the depressing dayjob.

Stylistally, I refer to myself as a mutant, because my tastes in the music and clothing shifts too fast for me to be placed in an existing subcultre.

I define art as a bit of madness that sets us apart from the mundane.

Oh, and I'm working on my film.
lunarpollen
Sep. 16th, 2004 02:41 pm (UTC)
I love the fact that people define their innermost selves, their core beliefs, the most sacred and profound parts of themselves, by other people's creations.

This is very common and it's not only with other people's artistic creations... people ferociously attach their egos to nations, politicians, slogans, sports teams, and lots of other external and superficial things.

It is amusing but sad when people get rabid and defensive when you don't respect their icons
lynxcat
Sep. 16th, 2004 03:56 pm (UTC)
Well, don't confuse artists with media here. Some of the most profound example of art ignored, or have been ignored by the concept that You Need This. I think beyond that artists are crazy, and in many older, wiser countries, the crazy are respected as touched by the archane (gods, angels, demons, or sprites named "pepe") - this said, I think artists, like the insane, should be avoided, respected, and allowed to fill a dim, uncaring world with some bit of joy [or misery] and put some color on Johnny Cash's bow tie.

Me. I like blood. The power is in the blood.
misterfenris
Sep. 16th, 2004 08:57 pm (UTC)
That weirdo who rarely comments.
I've found that the best way to describe myself is with the name I've shaved and pared down to fit me. It works best, in that those who know me know what it means. Those that don't, couldn't understand anyway, so why bother trying to explain it? I'm not unique (anymore then anyone else) I'm just.. really hard to categorize.

Art: Whatever moves oneself. If it doesn't, then it's not art to you.

Passion: I don't know.. dancing and drinking (perferably at once) and getting to really understand individual people.

Working: I'm working to support my passions AND this little thing called rent, and 'not-starving'. So I guess you could say that I am, by extension.
screeamqueen
Sep. 16th, 2004 09:15 pm (UTC)
Me=A GoreHound..always on the search for more gore!

Art- Getting dirty while makin messes!

Passion- Horror flicks, spfx make-up, hair

Workin- Try to: been dollin up hotties left and right lately.. sat going to gore me up and make thee trouble.. I am proud of my accomplishments so far - SO yes yes I am! :)
loin_mcboing
Sep. 16th, 2004 10:18 pm (UTC)
I just wanted to comment because of the "$240 worth of pudding" in your mood.

And because your icon gives me the good shivers.

Oh wait, I meant this is a thoughtful post:


Are you working on something you care deeply about, Caffe? If so, what is it? Tell us tell us tell us.
loin_mcboing
Sep. 16th, 2004 10:20 pm (UTC)
Lessons for me to learn on LJ posting: Don't use angular brackets. Anything in them will disapear. What I wrote, in square brackets, is:
"
I just wanted to comment because of the "$240 worth of pudding" in your mood.

And because your icon gives me the good shivers.

Oh wait, I meant this is a thoughtful post:
[Insert deep insight on art here]

Are you working on something you care deeply about, Caffe? If so, what is it? Tell us tell us tell us.
"
djdigit
Sep. 16th, 2004 10:50 pm (UTC)
> "Artist" is not an acceptable career.

Of course, it depends on who you ask, but I think a lot of people would consider being an "artist" an acceptable career. Like, to me the "acceptable-ness" of a career is does it meet your needs... does it work for you? Does it make you happy? Give you satisfaction? Pay your rent? Note that for me, I've framed how I view the acceptable-ness of others' careers in terms of them, not their particular career. That is, if someone thinks her career is acceptable, I'm inclined to agree. In my opinion, the only person who can make a career unacceptable is the person doing it.

> How do you define yourself?

I am. Sweet Jesus! I don't define myself, not actively or explicitly. I live, I do, I exist, I react, I observe, I act. Those define me, in some sense.

> How do you define Art?

I think it's largely subjective and personal. I'd consider it analogous with spirituality. Spirituality means something different to each person and that's good. I think Art is the same way. Something you consider art might not be art in my estimation and vice versa. I think any particular thing, considered art by at least one person is, in some sense, art. By definition. But you might say, "but if one person says it's art and the other 4.5 billion say it's not, then it's not art." And it's true that for many purposes, it's not art at that point. It wouldn't make its way into a dictionary as art, or an encyclopedia, or popular culture, or even an unpopular culture larger than one person. It wouldn't sell. But it's art (to someone, at least).

So that's a very loose definition, but it's what I operate with. I understand the usefulness of a generally-agreed-upon objective definition of "Art." It allows multiple humans to communicate with a word where each knows what the other is talking about. It allows you to separate results of effort into "Art" or "Not Art." But personally, I don't think in terms of "this is art" or "that isn't art," but rather in terms of "I like this" or "I don't like that." If I like something, I don't care if it's art. I don't care if someone else doesn't think it's art. That's not what's important to me.

> What is your passion?

Solving problems and enabling. I like helping others create... I like removing the roadblocks in their way. I'm passionate about music (it goes to the core of me). I'd say dancing, but that's just a physical extension of my love for music—an inevitable byproduct.

> Are you working on something you care deeply about?

I care a lot about my company and our product. I work on other things from time to time, but they tend to come and go.
caffeina
Sep. 16th, 2004 11:04 pm (UTC)
hm. One distinction.
Art, for me, is a process. For everyone else it's the end product, a quatifiable commodity. Commodifiable quantity.
dfors
Sep. 17th, 2004 01:43 am (UTC)
Re: hm. One distinction.
i'm glad you like the process. i like the process as well, but for this orderly, lawful world the only way to "measure" an artists' "progress" as a marketable commodity is to use that artists' sales figures as an indicator. because we're all bloody capitalists...if the artist is not selling any work than that artist is considered as not "producing"...and is catagorized as an average "fuck-off" by the community at large...and in a society where you become dominant by comforming to society (i.e. joining military or striking it rich somehow) then the people who join the establishment ultimately have a more influencial voice in determining what makes art, they become the patron-- and in this country- at least right now they want marketable art, that can be used as editorial pieces or in ad campaigns and in blockbuster movies and for prints....on and on...
caffeina
Sep. 17th, 2004 02:12 am (UTC)
Re: hm. One distinction.
Thanks for the good cheer.

You, too, are a product of the art school system, so it's no wonder you're bitter. At least you sound bitter.

Why don't we all have passions to do, you know, honest lucrative work, like becoming plumbers.
dfors
Sep. 17th, 2004 02:21 am (UTC)
Re: hm. One distinction.
that's a pretty big generalization that you think i sound bitter. i was just stating the obvious, how the systems seems to be working right now...

anyway there is alot for people to be bitter about right now...not that i'm saying i'm bitter...i prefer realist.

i never said i wasn't a product of the art school system, but you can't dismiss me for being part of that system...there's no harm in wanting to finish something.
caffeina
Sep. 17th, 2004 04:52 am (UTC)
Re: hm. One distinction.
It's not a generalization, it's, more accurately, an opinion, an observation - I am sensing bitterness.

Finishing Art School is schweet. Go for it, a degree is a great thing, it opens doors. I wasn't being dismissive, I think Art School is valuable, obviously, having gone myself. I learned a great deal.
foundsound
Sep. 16th, 2004 11:47 pm (UTC)
I tried to respond to this earlier this afternoon, when it was still fresh and new. I had to stop because I had to go to work.

Since then, you've altered the post.
christe_eleison
Sep. 17th, 2004 09:44 am (UTC)
what's so amazing about really deep thoughts?
I have trouble with the tendency of many people to define others (and themselves) by what they do... currently, as far as employment. It is that conversation-picker-upper that I dread, too, because of my chronic unemployment and slackerism, not to mention disillusionment with my former career in the technofreak industry of cyberspace. I am almost incredulous with people who can't think of a better way to get to know me. "What do you do?" "uh, nothing?" "oh."

I am always willing to blather endlessly about music I like, celebrities, movies, saints, places and stuff-to-do. I guess it helps define me because I find a little (or a lot!) of myself in those works. You identify with a mood in a song, you see a scene played out from your own life, you admire qualities in someone because they're an idealized version of your own. These shared experiences build up an oral tradition among people who enjoy the same stuff, and you end up running into the same cool people at all the right concerts, nightclubs, churches, bars, outings, whatev.

I am inches away from defining myself as a musician... it's almost by default, as if I can't do anything else? But I can't embrace it that way. I prefer to view it as a breakthrough, a vocation that I've had for a long time that I never had the courage to follow. In much the same way I found a career with computers; I diddled with them as a hobby and for fun, and yeeeears later, people recognize my talent and offer to pay me the big bucks, because suddenly that's in demand, and I was in the right place at the right time.

So I don't know what the future holds yet. I may spend more years of starving and picking up temp jobs and grunt work while I wait for an A&R man to hand me his card. I may go into the seminary and learn how to play the organ, become a monk and shut myself into a cloister for the rest of my life. Mmm, not likely, but possible.

Right now I'm still learning that vital task of survival. How to live my life in balance without falling down again. Or at least building those safety nets that will cushion the blows. I do a little better every day. I didn't expect God to solve all my problems when I found him again. I just need him to show me the right way.

Right now I have two musical projects going. In conversation I can generally deflect interest from gainful employment to this stuff, for which I am not being paid in cash, but the fulfillment and joy I receive every day I show up. I wish I could do more, and it's partly a matter of finance and partly a matter of the right connections. I would be pleased as punch to find paying work in the music industry, but I'm not looking particularly hard right now. I guess I would be hit with a lot of disappointment and rejection, because I lack experience and I have scruples. Finding a compatible job would be a miracle.
(Anonymous)
Sep. 17th, 2004 08:40 pm (UTC)
t. rev
The point is to give humanity something it never knew before.
foxtail_star
Sep. 20th, 2004 10:28 am (UTC)
i am. who am i?
well, as humans we have to have a word for everyting. it helps to communicate. there probily nothing on this planet that doesnt have a name designated to it. we can understand it better if it has a name. and that includes our inner self. gay, bi, male, female, goth, punk, freak, bitch, whore. we can understand those words becasue we can assign a picture to it. we dont have to explain what we saw or heard in larger words because we have one word to describe a person. if someone describes themself as a "rapper" we automaticly picter a man or woman wearing sport jerseys that are very large with very large jeans that are half way down the ass and sideways baseball cap with lots of jewelry. we only have to see an example of "rap artist" or hear a discription, to understand that thts how a rap artist might dress...right? or have i totally lost my rocker?

now, thats not to say having a label placed onto you is wrong. mos times we dont assign ourselfs the label. its society who does it. they dont know us personally, dont know what our inner voice looks like. they see the outer expression of us and slap a label. to explain. to understand. and most oftentimes-it's incorrect. just because you see someone wearing a cowboy hat doesnt mean theyre a cowboy, just means theyre wearing a cowboy hat. thats why if you take the time to look at someone you will at least see a little more into them. for a split second parhaps but that may be all you need. you might see that the local hardcore looking "punk" with all his leathers and mohawk should actually be called a caring father of two. just have to look.

*sigh* okay sometimes i dont make sence, so i hope i did......and didnt sounds quite stupid doing it. lol.. oh well! :D

> What is your passion?
many things. lol.....knitting to writing, to acrhery, to photography. lol.....i cant decide and i dont htink i should have to. if you follow all your passions maybe down the line something will come a long where you can say hah! i *can* use all these at once! eheheheh i'd like to see how i can use archery and knitting at once! lol...

> Are you working on something you care deeply about?
my life. really. life. i need to work on it. seems like a daunting task but-i thin i'll just keep doin it. yeah eyah yeah sappy. bite me oui? bon.

( 19 uh-ohs — Make a mess )