By Summer Foovay
Eternal wanderer & wonderer, writer, drawer, witch, mystic, lover of science, animals, and nature, reiki healer
Ohhh... One must comment here instead of there. Very well. .Years ago I realised that the following fact: REEAL Artiste = Reality estrangedQuite simple, really, and then not. I don't understand this paradox of living a Bohemian life and art. Like everyone corrected my father all the time: You can't call Norman Rockwell an artist. He was an illustrator. There's a difference. Really? Yes. Rockwell went to illustrator school, not art school. Oooohhh! So only REEEAL ARTEEEESTS attend art school? Correct. Hmmmm... What about Claude Monet?Ooohh! He was a REEEAL ARTEEEST. Really? But he only took drawing at high school. He didn't attend art school.Yeah, but that's different. Back then they didn't have art schools. Oh. And Vincent van Gogh? Yeah, he was a REEEAL ARTEEEST, too.But Vincent didn't even have a drawing class. He taught himself. Yeah, but that's different. That happened a long time ago. Before art school? Yeah. .....Yeah... right. I think I'll watch the "Razor's Edge" again, where Bill Murray is in search of this illusive Bohemian REEEAL ARTEEEST life he never finds. ....In the meantime Summer, sell your works to whom ever finds pleasure in them and to hell with the REEAAL ARTEESTS. Blind egotism has no survival value in a free economy.
LOL - you are so right. And yeah, I get it because I am self taught also. And I can reel off a list of self taught "reeeeal arteeests" so there hah LOL. Something else I like to point out to these "reeeeal arteeests" is that everyone knows who Norman Rockwell is. Pretty much any scifi/fantasy fan knows who Frank Frazetta is, or Amy Brown, or yeah - all "illustrators" or EWWW "commercial artists". All artists who people know and love and enjoy their work in their homes and on "things" they love. So which would I rather be - an artist who people know and remember fondly, or one of those rarified types whose work is sold for millions in NYC or whatever that only ten people know of, and only five of them can afford to buy work from. Hah. Easy choice. I think I've gotten worse about the whole thing since I've lived in T or C, NM which has an ARTEEEEEEEEEEEST community. I thought it would be a nice place to settle down and join in. Sadly, I didn't realize I had to be an art school graduate who could drop names of this one and that one I studied under, yadda yadda yadda. Pffft. HHHH Thanks for commenting.
I got news for your REEEEAAL ARTEEEEST friends. One of the first big-time commercial artists in the world was Rembrandt van Rijn. He did go to art school - but back then it was a vocational training, not something like learning religion, medicine, politics or teaching. And he lived from working for rich merchants, painting what THEY wanted. When he finally started to paint what he wanted later in life he went broke, and died a pauper. It wasn't until the 20th century that artists could afford an inflated ego, and selling this smoke screen of "being somebody special". It's all a publicity stunt. Having an MA in English doesn't make you a better writer, nor does a BS in cinetography guarantee you will be a great director. Commercial artists are smart artists - and successful, something that pisses off REEAL ARTEEEESTS: Reality. We have in the writing circles the same bullshit. No MA in English, then you are automatically a wanna-be writer and can resign yourself to vanity publishing. What is it about have a piece of paper that makes you so much proficient that other people? What is this craziness about certification these days? Can some who has an MA or a PhD in art hold a pencil better than you? Or has this person simply been feed this artsy-fartsy mystique longer than you have?
Amen amen and amen and yeah, I get it over on the writer side and even on the webdesign side - same thing. No degree, well then you can't possibly do this. I tend to rub their nose in this - I have a GED from high school and I do all these things and even make a penny or two at it. Self-taught all the way - mainly because school bored me to tears plodding along at the pace of those who now have degrees ;)DaVinci, also, went through an apprentice system and spent a good many years painting what he was directed to paint by his "boss". Michaelangelo - yeah, commercial artist working for the church. When did it become such a sin to do commission work, or work that sells to common people? I think the whole Reeeeal Arteeeest thing is exactly what you are saying. It is an escape from reality. It is egotism. It is "I am too special to have to make a living like the rest of the humans, so feel sorry for me." Isn't that the type of thinking that makes us angry about welfare mothers and junkies who want to get disability and social security for being too lazy to work? At least welfare mothers bear and raise children - who might someday be artists, writers, or hard workers to avoid the life they grew up with (I know a few of those kids - they're great kids). So why on earth would I be expected to look up to these people? They ought to be looking up to me and asking me how I do it. But the bottom line is, they are not interested in making a living - they are interested in feeling special about being too lazy to make a living.
It's what we call "comprehensive coverage" bullshit in this country; the basic assumption that there is no such thing as self-education; that no one has enough self-discipline to learn about a particular subject. Theoretically a good idea to have to maintain a certain standard. But when I think about the number of students who had to be re-tested for English proficiency at the university I attended - despite everyone having a high school diploma - it makes me wonder what is this standard really worth? Is it license to belittle those who don't have one? Or an shield you can hold up if someone challenges your authority? Some people have told me that I need to get tested so I can get a PhD for what I carry around in my head. But why? So that I, too, may Pile it higher and Deeper? J.K. Rowling was also a welfare mother, and she studied French - not English at school. She worked as a secretary - not a freelance writer. She admitted it didn't feel ego-boosting when her books received their first rejection letters, because she had no background as a writer. Many of her friends told her to give up because she wasn't really qualified enough to write. Well, she showed them how right they were, didn't she?
Ah yes - would that be J.K.Rowling - first writer to EVER become a BILLIONAIRE? Nah, she isn't qualified to write. Motivated, talented, and smart enough to self educate - but certainly not "qualified". The whole idea of certifications, diploma, degrees - was probably originally a pretty good idea. But I have had licensed, diplomaed, certified "experts" do shitty work for me, and I've had "shade tree mechanics" and "jack of all trades" do great work for me. And a diploma has nothing whatsoever to do with creative ability - in fact, it may be solid proof that you have no creativity or motivation.Somewhere down the line it all went awry. Probably when providing an education became a business. When I was in High School we were urged to attend not to learn, but because lower attendance meant the school got less money. If you attended now and then for five years, my high school would graduate you to get rid of you - a good many of those graduates could not read. I was far more proud of my GED - I had to take a test and prove I could read and write, and do math, etc. When faced with my first few college courses I asked if I could test out and was refused. Because the college doesn't get paid if you test out. So anymore, I think of a PhD as little more than proof you can bear absolute boredom much better than I can - or you are dumber than I am and need to be taught very slowly and carefully. Which isn't exactly a recommendation either.Someday we will learn to judge people on the basis of what they do, what they are willing to work to accomplish, whether or not they are willing to learn - physical deeds rather than a piece of paper they may have either purchased, or just shown up and plodded along regularly to get.