Everyone is an artist? Well, everyone is capable of being an artist. Most people are already artists in their own right. I feel like acknowledgment of this is important. The challenges can be daunting. The rewards for pursuing the artistic path are incredible. I'm going to talk about these ideas.
Dictionary.com has several definitions for an artist. Some are media specific and others are more general. I want to focus on the general definitions.
1. “a person who produces works in any of the arts that are primarily subject to aesthetic criteria”
2. “a person whose work exhibits exceptional skill”
The first set of definitions beg for the word “art” to be defined. Dictionary.com defines art as: “the quality, production, expression, or realm, according to aesthetic principles, of what is beautiful, appealing, or of more than ordinary significance”. I love this definition, especially the last word “of more than ordinary significance”. So, the combination of these definitions speaks to why I believe everyone is an artist: “a skilled person who produces works of more than ordinary significance that are primarily subject to aesthetic criteria”.
Do you consider yourself an artist? I am glad if you do! What if you don't? Is there something you can do that people appreciate? I think there is something.
Why acknowledge a universal artistic capability? I believe that recognizing the breadth of artistic abilities both motivates the beginning artists and provides societal recognition for established artists. Artistry is not a flaky pursuit that only societal outsiders pursue. Artistry is part of the everyday world. Acknowledgment of the artistic masses strengthens the arts as whole, and benefits upcoming and established artists.
Artistic expression can be challenging. Being an artist, in whatever way you want to be, takes time and resources. The output of artistic efforts may be unimpressive at first. People around you may not be supportive. The artist can struggle for self and group acceptance. I believe that the challenges of being an artist are outweighed by the rewards.
The rewards of artistic expression are incredibly personal. Therapy of life's ills is typical. An artist's soul is fed by their creative output. I believe that these benefits hinge on a single requirement: that the artist loves what they do. A loved art pursuit pushes back the darkness, strikes down the walls of restrictive convention, and buoys the spirit. Everybody's reward will be different, but all should be positive.
I hope that a larger recognition of mundane artists emboldens society to support all artists, both small and not small! The healing touch of artistic pursuit should be nurtured by society. Everyone benefits personally and as a larger tribe. Do something of more than ordinary significance! Push yourself to be skillful! You are the artist that we need.