Who is an artist? The standard definition would be this: A person who creates art (such as painting, sculpture, music, or writing) using creative imagination.
Yes, being in the loop of consistently creating something out of creativity is the 1st and most important criteria that qualify someone as an artist. An artist’s duty is to make his creative thoughts, emotions, memory and any form of self-expression into a tangible piece of work – an artwork.
But I believe that creating should be followed by sharing! Creativity is about experience and expression. Creativity is about serving! Sharing your work is that force that fulfills all of these ways of seeing creativity.
So my definition would be this: An artist is one who constantly serves himself and the world through his creativity and imagination.
CREATE and SHARE! If you’re not doing that, I know it might seem harsh, but, you’re not truly an artist! Creating merely qualifies you as an artist but sharing ensures you’re staying true to that qualification. By sharing you’re truly being an artist. And it’s also true that if you’ve created something truly creative, then the automatic tendency would be to share it with people, right?
The 2 trends I’m currently seeing:
1. First trend (Skilled but not creating): People get skilled in some kind of art form and never attempt to create and share anything truly out of their creativity and imagination. They keep their art for themselves. At most, they may try to share one or 2 pieces of work a year. In other words, they are satisfied and settled with the incentives and benefits that the skill has got them. Being skilled is not enough, the society may revere you for being skilled, but don’t stop there, do not settle, seek to serve by creating something out of your creativity, you’ll be fulfilled. Beethoven was not just an exceptionally skilled pianist, he was that and was revered for that, but he lives till today because of what he created! Right? Sri Tyagaraja was not just a highly skilled vocalist, he is revered to this day because of his compositions which were the byproduct of his true creativity – self-expression (which was bhakthi here).
2. Second trend: People, skilled or unskilled create and share a lot of work, but all to gain traction. Merely to gain fame and/ or money. They are not trying to be true to their creative self. Is there not any difference between mere imitation/copying and creating something original?
Creativity is not just a skill or just another job you do, please try not to see it that way.
I encourage you not to be part of any of these 2 trends instead stay true to the creative genius in you. Take the best of both these trends! Get skilled, create work truly by your creativity and share to serve more. If you start seeing creativity in this perspective you’ll never feel sad, burnt out, left out, anxious to beat your competitors because you won’t have competitors as you’re making something truly out of your creativity and nobody else can be you.
For better understanding, you can try visualizing this – 3 dimensions.
** It’s about to get nerdy!**
Imagine this 3 axis graph:
- Skill Level ( If plotted with time as x-axis, you’ll have a curve that plateaus at some point and stays at the same level)
- Staying true to your creative genius ( You can’t measure creativity quantitatively but you can definitely indicate its presence, so its graph would be like a square wave, On or Off State: Creatively blocked or Creativity overflowing)
- Sharing Your Work ( Only this is the dimension that can be measured and you can even attempt to make a linear increasing straight line)
See, the skill level is just one dimension of the three that qualifies you as a true artist. The spot where you stand in this 3D graph tells a lot about you as an artist, use it to grow in which you’re lacking.
Consider this the wake-up call for all artists! You’re worth being called an artist, only if you’re doing the duty of an artist! CREATE and SHARE!
Sanath Kumar Naibhi
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