AnimationNation Forum

AnimationNation


Post New Topic  Post A Reply
my profile login | | search | faq | forum home
  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» AnimationNation   » SideTopics   » What exactly IS an artist?

   
Author Topic: What exactly IS an artist?
Trondheimfan
IE # 169
Member # 2282

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Trondheimfan   Email Trondheimfan         Edit/Delete Post 
I've always thought of an artist as someone who devoted their life to become better and better at either drawing, painting, sculpting, ANIMATING, or all of the above.
But time and time again I am being proven wrong.
Now, I realise that your ideas and concepts are what makes your art work in the end, but shouldn't you at least also be able to make something that's nice to just look at? I'm getting sick of having to know the underlying stories of artworks to be able to "appreciate" them, when I could also appreciate a beautiful drawing, painting, sculpture, or animated movie, without knowing it.
It's also happening at my school, and every other school I've been to. The idea becomes way more important than the endproduct. My animation classes have become boring talkshows. I miss the old days when we would actually DO something. But that's my problem.

One more thing, do you guys think of animators as artists?

--------------------
Tekenen is schrijven en spreken tegelijk.

IP: Logged
ColorInAble
IE # 68
Member # 1444

Icon 1 posted      Profile for ColorInAble   Author's Homepage   Email ColorInAble         Edit/Delete Post 
You know, I used to think of animators as artists, and I don't anymore.

And the reason is the same issue that spured you to start this topic.

While a few animators are artists, most are devoid of the ideas that raise the work from "Craft" to "Art".

I love art. I'm in L.A. now, and "Painting" is my "Movies". While most people go out to the movies every Friday and Saturday night, I go to galleries and look at paintings. I go to a lot of openings where the 2 most surprizing things I can say to people are "I'm a 3D Effects animator for a living" and "Cartooning is my art".

Many can't believe it. I used to be puzzled by this, but in the almost 2 years I've been going to art events here in Los Angeles, I rarely meet other animators, and I see very little work by animators displayed in the galleries here in L.A.

There is a part of me that understands. I'm asked all the time (because of my unique creative aura) where my work is in the show, which it isn't because I do comics, and don't have time to do "Fine Art". I'm also finding that even in progressive L.A., where there is a lot more lattitude in what falls under the art umbrella than in many places, the fact that I'm doing interactive pieces that are Flash on the web, doesnt really qualify as art either.

Here is my latest example of both the COMIC and the INTERACTIVE FLASH PRESENTATION, and it's all about art patronage...

But I never got into animation because I could draw up a storm. There are many who did because of thier drawing and painting ablilty, but they are for the most part very very absent from the L.A. art scene. The reason why is that they aren't artists. They don't have the drive or passion to make "Art".

I know, this is one of those things where we have a word being used for more than one thing.
Some people call a pretty drawing "Art".
Others call a great idea, whether it manifests itself as a pretty drawing, or the countryside wrapped in plastic "Art".
I call the first definition "Craft" and the second definition "Art", though "Craft" can be an important part of the art.

I've got to say, this realization is one of the biggest dissapointments I've had with the animation community...

--------------------
 -

IP: Logged
Jennifer Hachigian Jerrard
IE # 8
Member # 2280

Icon 7 posted      Profile for Jennifer Hachigian Jerrard   Author's Homepage   Email Jennifer Hachigian Jerrard         Edit/Delete Post 
Don't fret, Trondheimfan. Labels don't matter.

--------------------
 -

IP: Logged
Bruce
IE # 1
Member # 36

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Bruce   Author's Homepage   Email Bruce         Edit/Delete Post 
In my opinion, an artist is a person who trains in and masters a technique or a set of techniques and then employs them expressively to communicate an emotion, an idea, a vision or a point of view. Animators are artists, as are dancers, painters, filmmakers, musicians, actors, writers, and on and on. This isn't really terribly debatable, except in art schools where students are critiqued and pressed to defend their work and therefore find themselves having to invent justifications for not only what they're doing, but for the level of expertise at which they're doing it.

I find what Trondheimfan is describing goes on in a lot of places, not necessarily art-oriented, and respresents a variant of the "Emperor's New Clothes Syndrome" -- that is, I'll call your stuff art and agree to find it meaningful if you'll agree to do the same for me. It's a way for academics (and movie executives) to consolidate and hold onto positions of power and authority without having to demonstrate much in the way of technical expertise, let alone meaningful communication. Ultimately, an artist has to look not to his professors or even his peers but to the audience he seeks to address for confirmation and acknowledgement that he has communicated what was intended.

IP: Logged
Nickolas
Member
Member # 1830

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Nickolas   Email Nickolas         Edit/Delete Post 
True artists create for themselves and don't care what others think of their art. [Smile]
IP: Logged
fishmorg3
Member
Member # 1906

Icon 1 posted      Profile for fishmorg3   Email fishmorg3         Edit/Delete Post 
One rule that I've seen in some of those "Murphy's Law" type of books: "You can claim that you're an artist... and nobody can prove you aren't." [Wink]
IP: Logged
venusboys3
Member
Member # 2553

Icon 1 posted      Profile for venusboys3   Email venusboys3         Edit/Delete Post 
I agree with Nickolas. It's all about personal motivation and vision. If your schlogging away to create someone else's vision then you are doing 'craft'... but anything of yourself you put into it beyond the basic project description is the 'art' part of it.
Animation can be art or craft just as much as painting, film, photography.
That being said, amongst my fellow students I'm seeing mostly craft. They are creating stuff that they think might get them hired and in so doing are all but burying their own ideas and aesthetics. Part of this is driven by the fact that studios are famous for hiring based on portfolios that look like what the studio product looks like. I sat in on a portfolio review where the art director kept berating the artists work because he had a CGI demon... 'well, we don't plan to be animating any DEMONS!', thing is it was really good animation and more than showed he was competent. She couldn't make the leap in imagination to see that he was capable of doing whatever we put on his plate. I think so many things are run by limp minded middle managers that we are doomed to see the same garbage recycled forever until some daring soul gets out there and makes a few bucks while also expressing his own values... in other word... makes 'art'.
I don't know if it's 'art' but I took it to heart when George Lucas said about Star Wars, 'I made the movie I wanted to see.'

IP: Logged
Twedzel
IE # 102
Member # 122

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Twedzel   Email Twedzel         Edit/Delete Post 
"True artists create for themselves and don't care what others think of their art"

Which means most animators (or comercial artists) are not artists, because they largely only create for other people.

My definition isn't so narrow as most peoples here. It doesn't involve reason skillsets etc etc. To be an artist is to create. The rest are far too subjective qualities to justify any form of labeling. A chair maker who makes the same old chair over and over, but does it really well.. is a craftsman. The chair maker who pushes the bounds of they think chairs are about, and is driven to create new chairs... that is an artist. So in my little box of the world, many animators are artists, and many are craftsmen. But who am I to judge?

IP: Logged
OFFBEAT
IE # 39
Member # 873

Icon 1 posted      Profile for OFFBEAT   Author's Homepage   Email OFFBEAT         Edit/Delete Post 
Simply trying to define it takes away from what it is.

Why ask why?

IP: Logged
skellener
Member
Member # 43

Icon 6 posted      Profile for skellener           Edit/Delete Post 
You can find art/artists in all kinds of fields of work. There is art in brick laying, there is art in computer programming there's art in race car driving, etc.

It may not be defined as such, but if you look for it, it's there.

IP: Logged
Michael
IE # 179
Member # 104

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Michael   Author's Homepage   Email Michael         Edit/Delete Post 
The late, great Marshall McLuhan defined Art as:

"Whatever you can get away with".

--------------------
 -

IP: Logged
Nickolas
Member
Member # 1830

Icon 7 posted      Profile for Nickolas   Email Nickolas         Edit/Delete Post 
Twedzel -- When you work for others, you are consciously choosing to collaborate with said studio/client/entity. Michelangelo might be considered a commercial artist because he did all his work for patrons or religious groups. Irregardless, you are still an artist but you have chosen to work with a group/client rather than pursuing your personal vision. You might have to compromise at times, but perhaps you'll still be lucky enough to have a client who will allow you to pursue your unique vision.
IP: Logged
Dan P.
IE # 248
Member # 893

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Dan P.   Email Dan P.         Edit/Delete Post 
Why do I feel like we've had this conversation a million times here? And what's the point really?

As Offbeat said, artists create, and we all create, therefore we are all artists. Yay.

IP: Logged
Twedzel
IE # 102
Member # 122

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Twedzel   Email Twedzel         Edit/Delete Post 
You could call it collaborate, I call it prostituting my artistic talents. However, to persue the argument... when you choose to 'collaborate', you got to start caring about what they think. In fact since they are paying the bills, and you are the one recieving the bills, you have to care intimately about what they think regardless of your personal feelings. Which doesn't really jive with your lack of concern for what others think about what you do.
IP: Logged
Fasty
IE # 97
Member # 2124

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Fasty   Author's Homepage           Edit/Delete Post 
Artists, or entertainers? Or both?
IP: Logged
ColorInAble
IE # 68
Member # 1444

Icon 1 posted      Profile for ColorInAble   Author's Homepage   Email ColorInAble         Edit/Delete Post 
I can throw a poptart in the toaster over, that makes me a master chef!

I can put on a bandage when I get a paper cut, that makes me a doctor!

I can argue my case before the Supreme Court of the United States, that makes me a laywer!

I don't think so...

And I don't ever remember this conversation happening at AN before...

"Art" has someting to do with ideas and vision. It can be colaberative, though I don't particularly feel like an "Artist" when I'm painting shadows on cheerleaders in a movie. I do feel like a craftsperson though, and there is nothing wrong with that...

And there are many "Artists" who make the art more for others than for themsleves, at least some of the time.

I'm really glad my definition didn't include any skills or education requirements. And I agree, there are many diciplines that can include "Artists", including things like computer programming (there is a Gallery here in L.A. run by the university called "Telic" that features computer programmed projection art, link at the links section of my site).

And I've got to say, in the arts, as much as one of the goals is to expand the boundaries of perception, working in a new medium like web or flash or interactive, or working in a low brow medium like comics makes it very very tough to be taken seriously as an artist...

--------------------
 -

IP: Logged
JoeP
IEcm
Member # 2738

Icon 1 posted      Profile for JoeP   Email JoeP         Edit/Delete Post 
Great art presupposes great craftsmanship.
Period.

IP: Logged
Twedzel
IE # 102
Member # 122

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Twedzel   Email Twedzel         Edit/Delete Post 
I've seen lots of great art that had little craftsmanship... but alot of great craftsmanship with little artistic merit.

But I like ideas better than pretty pictures.

IP: Logged
Tobias A. Wolf
IE # 250
Member # 383

Icon 12 posted      Profile for Tobias A. Wolf   Email Tobias A. Wolf         Edit/Delete Post 
An Artist is a Tsitra, only spelled backwards.
IP: Logged
papercut
Member
Member # 161

Icon 1 posted      Profile for papercut   Email papercut         Edit/Delete Post 
Caveman probably had this conversation. [Wink]

Art has defied definition,for thousands of years, but it sure is fun trying to define it.

Here's my contribution...

Art is insight.

[I have a lengthy diatribe that goes with this statement, but I won't bore you with it.]

I also like this quote from the Tao Te Ching.

"The tao that can be named is not the eternal Tao"

[Tao=art]

IP: Logged
Trondheimfan
IE # 169
Member # 2282

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Trondheimfan   Email Trondheimfan         Edit/Delete Post 
Wow. Great replies everyone.

Anyway, I think I'll just stick to my own definition of what an artist is, even if they might even be craftsmen. [Smile]

--------------------
Tekenen is schrijven en spreken tegelijk.

IP: Logged


 
Post New Topic  Post A Reply Close Topic   Feature Topic   Move Topic   Delete Topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:

Contact Us | Animation Nation

Animation Nation © 1999-2012

Powered by Infopop Corporation
UBB.classicTM 6.5.0