What makes an artist an artist?
Is it simply someone who creates something? It has to be more than just that or else anyone that has ever made anything is an artist. Is the child that stacks some sticks on top of each other an artist?
Typically today, we limit artists to only those who create fine art and do an amazing job of it. But, even with this definition, we still get into many vague subjective points. What is considered fine art? And what it is “amazing job” or a “creative job”?
Does an artist have to create unique things? Does an artist have to make something that evokes their creative impression? Does the art have to be something universally appreciated?
Consider this scenario:
There is one man who painted a Rocky Mountain landscape on a canvas. The other man painted a living room a soft green.
Which one is the artist? Typically we would think of the first one as an artist and the second as simply a painter.
But what if they are both artists?
What if the man that painted the living room also painted an accent wall? Or maybe he painted stripes or chevrons on the walls?
And imagine an interior designer—that person is an artist, right?
In one of my writing classes, my professor presented a new definition of an artist. This definition has little to do with what sort of art is actually created. Instead it focuses on how the artist approaches his or her specific art. And so my revised definition:
An artist is someone who zealously continues to develop his or her skill as it relates to the creation of art.
The great part about this new look at an artist it that it focuses on just continuing to work at it, rather than being stressed about creating the most amazing piece that will rival the other fine masterpieces of art.
Now, to relate all this to the art of writing, my goal is to continue to write. All. The. Time.
Practice, practice, practice.
My professor has challenged us all to write 20 minutes a day, every day… but more on that later.