Oct 25, 2010


I am not an artist.
I feel the need to clarify this even though the fact that I can not paint, sculpt, draw, play an instrument or take a picture should have made this alarmingly evident.

This might seem like a silly thing to clarify, since so very many people in the world are not artists. Infact, if I could formulate a guess, I'd guess most people are NOT artists.

Except in my world. I have the fine pleasure of being surrounded by painters, sculptors, musicians and photographers. If I passed out odds are an artist would catch me. While we waited for a doctor I'd be surrounded by visions of beauty, breathtaking sounds in the background.

I intend not a note of sarcasm when I say that I suspect, in this manner, I am blessed. Lucky to have access to so much beauty.

And yet. Sometimes I think people forget I barely possess a creative bone in my body. I mean, don't get me wrong, I can (probably) create a nice flower arrangement, or decorate a room, and have been given props for "creative decision making".

But lets face it, that is not what we are talking about here. We are talking about the ability to create something solely there to inspire, entertain and titillate.
I can't do that with my clothes on.

I am not an artist.

And sometimes this is hard for me, when inspired by people who spend so much time creating these amazing things. Especially when they realize how little time I spend doing that very thing. Sometimes there is a desperate din: what will we talk about? Sometimes there is pity for my sad and empty soul. Sometimes I know they respect me just a little less for all the meaningless things I must fill my day with that are not art. All the uncreative things I do. And what do I think about anyway? Is my head filled with numbers and pragmatic ways to arrange a kitchen or organize an office? Maybe I just think about Grey's anatomy and new ways to roast a chicken.

And from nine to five, yes, generally, if I am being honorable, I am thinking about pragmatic things. Because that is what they pay me to do. Sometimes even when I leave the office. And yes. sometimes I think about ways to cook something, or even just love and life and sex and food. Just like artists do when they are not thinking about their art. But sometimes, guess what: I am thinking about art.
How it sounds, how looks, how it effects me. Even though I am not able to create it. Even though I am not drawn to add my ten cents to the pool. I can appreciate it.

But then, sometimes, I wonder if maybe I really can't. Maybe in the same way I can never imagine what it is like to have a kid without having one or live through a war in my peaceful existence I don't truly belong in an art gallery, I don't truly understand what I am hearing when I turn on the radio. I mean, sometimes I enter a group of artists I can tell they respect me just a little less, because I am not one of them. I can tell I am a tourist. Or even worse. A patron, who's interest in their creations will hopefully extend to a bursting wallet because lord knows I have nothing else to offer, lord knows I can at least invest, if I can not understand.

I don't know. I always thought art was created to communicate to even the simplest of creatures. That art, if well wrought, would reveal the impulses and intensities too sublime to illustrate mundanely in a pamphlet. That art could move a plumber. Or even a healthcare analyst. Maybe I am wrong.Maybe I just don't understand.

After all, I am not an artist.


rif said...

You goofball. Of course you're an artist. Writing is an art.

daff0dil said...

well, that is sweet rif. but ya know, I BLOG. and if that makes one an artist, we have an army of artists growing to maturity in the form of every teenage girl with a blog and a twitter account.

ps. my "prove you are not a spambot" word is "vagisity". wtf.

Mischief Maker said...

I second the first comment though. You are an artist with your words. Always very moving.

Snowcap said...

I don't even know what art is. Is it moving, seeing, thinking, hearing, tasting? A hand on his back, an ear for his problems? Using your words to build resolution between friends who are having a conflict borne of simply not meeting eyes? I think that yeah, it probably is. But if it's not, then who cares? Art is meaningless, then. It's just a word for the things people squeeze out of experience in life.