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Why is this?

Discussion in 'Art and Writing Forum' started by Arj, Nov 24, 2011.


Is it art?

  1. It's art if the 'artist' says it is! Everything is art!' :D

    11 vote(s)
  2. Not if it isn't exceptionally creative, exceptionally skilled, or an okay amount of both. e__e

    4 vote(s)
  3. I don't really know. >___>;;

    2 vote(s)
  4. I'd like to comment on this, but you can't say anything bad about art. Cute! Fav!

    1 vote(s)
  1. If you're an artist, this text wall is worth your time, I promise.

    So, imagine your shower breaks, and it's something in the plumbing. That it's a pipe somewhere in the wall that needs to be ripped out and replaced. You get a plumber to come and fix it, and when you pay him and he leaves, your bathroom is trashed, there's a hole in the wall, and your shower still doesn't work. You would say that this person is a bad plumber, yes?

    Why can't you tell someone they're bad at art or not an artist?

    I've never understood this. Take two examples. Etsy and deviantart. On Etsy, you're not allowed to say anything negative about anyone's work ever. Even if it's terrible. You can buy a paper lantern at the store for twenty dollars, put it up as hand made lighting, and sell it for 80 or however many dollars, and you can't say jack.

    Both of those examples have used money though. On dA, excluding prints, art isn't put up for money. You post art because you want to post art. Also not counting commissions. Just, art. If someone publicly posts their art, is it wrong of you to say, "Your lines on shaky. You might want to work on your shading and lay off the photoshop effects?" Is it wrong to say something isn't art when it's the 28th in a 50 piece series of crotch shots? The first in the series?

    Consider this, for a moment. I've always been told, all through school, by jaded art teachers, that art is everywhere and everything is art. 7 art classes later, I support one half of this theory. Art is everywhere. In truth, just about anything can be art.

    But everything definitely is not art.

    Even if you draw it. Even if you paint it. Even if you dodge and burn and lens flare it. Even if that 28th flaccid penis is posed so artfully. And don't mistake that for me saying that nudity = not art. I'm referring to the overwhelming amount of straight up porn that makes it on to dA.
    origins virtual pet site origins kickstarter
    In addition to this, I also believe that, no, not everyone can be an artist. You need creativity, which a lot of people have, yeah, but you also need skill which a lot of people do not have and do not have the patience and discipline to get.

    Don't mistake this as an I'm-such-a-good-artist-give-me-your-love-now post. I personally find myself decent with a hell of a lot of room to improve. I post this because an acquaintance of mine recently entered an online art contest and posted it all over facebook to get her friends to like it so she can get 1000 dollars for college or something. There isn't a lot of good stuff in it, but the amount of utter crap her entry was plus the fact that it has sixty something freaking likes while most have two just makes me rage.

    #1 Arj, Nov 24, 2011
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2011
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  2. I feel the same way, almost.

    However, one person's trash can be another person's treasure.
    What you think looks like utter garbage... may be a masterpiece to the client that had commissioned the artist, or something along those lines.

    I don't know why it's so frowned upon to tell an artist that something is wrong with their art.

    I honestly think it has to do with maturity, and the mental capacity of the person you're critiquing.
    Some people don't know how to handle critique, and thus freak out and say you're just "jealous" or "mean" and stuff like that.

    However, I think it all comes down to common courtesy and personal judgement.

    If someone asks for critique, give them it.
    If you see something extremely off, and they haven't asked for critique- ask them if they'd like some.
    If they ask for no critique- don't give them it. It's their loss and they will fail to grow as a better artist.

    On the topic of contest fails, and such...
    I entered a contest to design a logo for a local hot spot in my town.

    This was my entry:

    This is the entry that won, because of voting:

    The contest was to design a logo for a CLASSY - SLEEK - NIGHT CLUB/ HOTSPOT.

    ... I don't know at all HOW that logo represents the entertainment centrum at all.
    It looks like a logo for a yearly medieval festival... or some comedy club revolving around jesters.

    Public voting is very biased in art contests.
    I just cease to enter them now, absolute garbage always seems to win. .____.
    Not to mention the people holding the contests pay out $500, for over $10,000 worth of work.
    It's just ridiculous.
  3. ...ew. I mean, it's not a bad logo. They know what they're doing. But you're right. It doesn't seem at all applicable for the establishment.

    The entry in question:

    "You did so good! I'm so proud of you." "I think this is pretty beast."


    She's 18. And she entered this in an art contest.


    The prize is 1000 bucks and a computer and 5000 for your school's art program. She doesn't go to a school. She graduated high school last year, and she told everyone she was going to Vanderbilt (expensive, I think it's probably the most respected in TN) but never bothered filling out an application. She's convinced she's going to be an artist/musician/actor, but she can't sing and she's never picked up an instrument and can't dance at all, and she's got such an awkward/forced personality that she could never act if she wanted to. I still peer mentor at the high school she went to, so I'm thinking about telling all the art teachers about the art competition Monday, so our school's budding new art program can get the 5k - after years and years of just offering art I, art II, etc as the only art classes, we now have painting and drawing, printmaking, 2D design, clay, and they want to add more. I'd rather it all go to them.

    The whole thing just feels like an insult to art. She's selfish and not in the least bit artistic. She was lazy in school, so she has a bad transcript, and she has no initiative, but she's got one of the leading entries in the contest right now because it's decided by how many people on FB like it/people on twitter tweet it. Fuuuuuuuuuuhthischick.
  4. ಠ____ಠ wat.
    I definitely do not like this voting stuff.
    I am at a loss for words.
  5. In the statement that accompanies it, she also claims to be an honor student (she wasn't) and to have multiple part time jobs. With an s. Jobs. She worked a couple nights a week at a mexican restaurant for a couple months. D| She doesn't even go to a school for the 5k to go to. e ^ e
  6. I wrote a huge post, decided it was too wordy and I'm starting again, simply.

    What is THAT THING? That 'entry', that 5 minute doodled piece of so called artwork or scrawl? That isn't even art by most contemporary standards, I mean, the faces are drawn on lined paper. I go to a design college and we recently got contemporary art magazines to cut out, and even the worst line drawings in there didn't equate to the sub-standard of this piece of artwork. If I find that image, I will give it the gratitude it deserves.

    Perhaps I'm being too serious, but art this like makes me angry because I go to college with a LOT of people like the person above, and have been for two years. They whinge, are half-assed, and don't want or try to improve. They think their art is the greatest, and their judgment must be clouded by their overly huge ego. Everyone can improve in art in some way or another, and to know that there are people like this just makes me want to resort to violence or something.

    But then again, art really is in the eye of the beholder.

    I drew a really, really bad contemporary style art image of pigs the other week, as a parody, infact, and my classmates actually commented me on it, how 'cute' and 'nice' it was. I just don't get it. It was like a childs drawing, yet they probably prefer it over my serious art. o.o

    Edit: I'm on the page now and someone has apparently submitted an image of NARUTO. What.
  7. Honestly, I agree with you both. xD
    I dont think critique is wrong, but often I'm too intimidated to give it. In my art class alone most people there.. hate drawing. They cant draw and dislike drawing, but if they do one image they think its amazing and I just want to tell them to get a grip because its so terrible their children can do better <_>

    And I never enter contests either. The last one I did was on subeta where the contest starter actually added me on msn and told me I'd win, but could she just have a few edits. I worked so hard on one picture for $50 and when it came to it, she stopped speaking to me and let someone else win entirely that was the polar opposite of mine. Not saying it was god awful, but for how long i spent.. ughghh

    But bexxy summed it all up for me 8)

    If someone asks for critique, give them it.
    If you see something extremely off, and they haven't asked for critique- ask them if they'd like some.
    If they ask for no critique- don't give them it. It's their loss and they will fail to grow as a better artist.

    Edit: Me and becca go to the same college, so what she said sums eeeeverything up. save me now
  8. As artists, we're all full of silent, wordy rage. |D

    I know. And I love your work, Becca, you're skilled as holy hell. o A o I don't know how I'll stand it when I'm in college, as the same people in my high school are making me want to rip my hair out as it is.

    :I The rage has actually convinced me to speed enter the contest with 4 days left. Here's hoping.
  9. @ElzElz I can't imagine. And what's worse, I think, than people who can't draw at all, is the people who kind of can, and think they're better than Jesus-Superman-Batman. Because they can draw such a good eye. They can draw just the best freaking eye. Not much else though.
    #9 Arj, Nov 24, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 16, 2013
  10. I think that everything can be art, just not everything can be a professional level of art. While someone with less than stellar work could, say, rent out a gallery for a day or something, they probably couldn't get hired for say studio work.
    But sadly a lot of it isn't just skill, it's marketing yourself as well. Someone fantastic loses out to someone mediocre because they don't know the right people or how to put themselves out there.

    As for the contest, initially I was like 'well good for her' until I got down to the part where she doesn't go to school and is doing this just for the money/she lazy ect wat. I agree it's rediculous. There's actually a Wacom contest going on that a semi popular online artist entered with her animu art, which is fine and all but the way they're dooming it is 'give me votes and I'll let you see this porn I drew!'
    The prize is for money towards art workshops, but they're based on photography not drawing. I asked them about it and they were like 'oh well it's just geared toward photography doesn't mean I wont get drawing digitally advice!'
    I face palmed.
  11. Everything can be art. Art, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. It's what you feel when you look at something that makes it art, those of us who work hard to perfect our skill in art are often confounded, and sometimes even hurt when something that we do not see as having the skill we worked so hard for, is being admired by somebody. But in truth, the person who admires the art has every right to admire it. They may see something in the piece that you do not, despite a lack of technical skill. While personally the piece you used as an example is not to my taste, I know many people who would appreciate the vision behind the piece, as it does have a very distinct vision and message. It's definitely referencing, and saying something about pop culture. It's much more of a collage piece, but I would call it fine art for sure, because I see a message, a point the artist is trying to get across.

    And this is why most people feel it is not okay to say somebody is bad at art. Because in general, it's impossible to be either bad or good at something that is subjective. With a plumber, either the pipes work in the end or they don't. But with art, every single person who views it will see it differently.

    On the other hand, every artist should be willing to take critique. But a critique should be relevant to the piece, and to what the artist is trying to accomplish with the piece. An illustration for a children's book cannot be critiqued in the same mindset as a pop culture fine art piece, or a realistic painting, because you need to consider the audience, the view of the artist, and what the artist is trying to accomplish with the piece within the critique. This is why fine art often comes side by side with an artist statement. Because while you want the art to speak for itself first, you also have to have a dummy guide sometimes.

    I also believe anybody can be an artist. I don't believe in being born with a magical thing called talent, or creativity. Art is all about ideas, and skill. And you don't always need both of them to be an artist.
    For Example...
    Jackson Pollock had an idea.
    Let's be honest, his 'paintings' were paint dribblings. They didn't use professional quality paints (in fact because of that, they are falling apart). He walked on his paintings, smoked over them (dropping ashes in them), and even dropped cigarette butts in them. And yet he is a famed abstract expressionist because he had an idea.

    Degas had skill.
    But his ideas for art were often kind of boring. There was nothing particularly special about the subject of his work, and I truly believe had he not gone on to his pastel paintings of the ballerinas, he may not have been as well known as he is. He did those works for money though, only because they sold, it was less about a message and more about the skill he had. He was known for using a camera obscura to come up with his unique compositions. Where Pollock had an idea, Degas had skill.

    Not everything can be commercial art though. But there is a huge gap between commercial and fine art, you don't tend to see a lot of crossover. And these seem to be two artist mindsets, Idea artists tend to lean more toward fine art, while skill artists tend to lean more toward commercial art.
    This is not to say that Commercial artists have no ideas, and fine artists have no skill. It's just what they often find more important.
    You can be the most boring artist in the world and get hired as a commercial artist, because they often want to hire you to draw something specific, so the artist doesn't often need an idea.
    Fine artists are all about the message, what the art says, they have to have an idea.

    Over here at vpl, we're mostly commercial artists. It's why we don't tend to be of a mindset to enjoy the kind of art you showed.

    If I really think about that piece you showed... I think of kids... Doodling in their notebooks at school. I see right and left which makes me think of politics, and they are on the opposite site (right is on the left side, left is on the right side), and kids are often faced with politics before they truly understand them. There is 'hate', and 'bomb' and 'big brother is watching you' all ideas that kids of this generation are growing up knowing about that kids from the last generation weren't as highly exposed to, the darkness of the piece is balanced by the playful innocence of the heart confetti. Because kids don't know what to make of all this stuff.

    I would say the piece was intentionally made, and while it's not to my taste, I don't dislike it. I kind of wish I could look closer.
  12. Jokie, I can't see much of it being intentional aside from the sides of the brain...And I don't really think that either Jackson Pollack or Degas are really good examples of our perceptions on modern art now. Jackson Pollack was one of the first to do that kind of stuff, and Degas is known for his ballerina images. Now there are so many people in art, and no specific movement, and it just has became overcrowded in a way.

    I find it hard to find a good idea and good execution and that to me, is what makes art. I think commercial artists need a good degree of creativity, as the client can't project their mental image other than in words. Contemporary/fine artists also need the same, as they need to find away to successfully project their ideas into something that we can understand or interpret without having to worry about the skill level.

    I think a lot of people really read too much into the art people make. I don't know if Jackson Pollack thought about the images he made, or if he was just saying things about the images after he made them. I could take an image and see it however I wanted. We had someone come into our college who works in the fashion industry and his art had a good mix of contemporary and skill flair for him to become successful making his niche creations, and I don't mind that. It's the beauty and bane of art, but it does annoy me that this entry is for selfish reasons.

    Online I am surrounded by a group of people who want to become commercial artists, but in real life, I'm surrounded by contemporaries and future contemporaries. I really can't see the point to this art, but I can see the point in the work of fine artists, the ones I see in the magazines or who give lectures, the ones who have done something from their hobby, and used the skill to back up the idea.
  13. Becca, they are perfect examples, because they represent strengths in different areas. You don't need to be perfect to be an artist, Degas' work wasn't super creative, and Pollicks was super different. I was saying if you are skilled you don't always need to be super creative, and if you are super creative you don't always need to be very skilled.

    But that is my point, you need a good idea and good execution. But to somebody else, they may think an idea you hate is great, they might love the execution you dislike. That's why it's impossible to say art is good or bad, because it's subjective, which was also my point.

    Everybody deserves the chance to be an artist, all they need is to truly believe in their work. Whether they be highly skilled, highly creative, or a mixture of both. I always encourage those who truly want it, because I honestly believe all it takes is passion, and if you truly love art, if you truly love creating, you are an artist. You don't have to have other people accept your art, you don't have to be highly skilled or making money, or being professional. All you have to do, is love it, love creating, and believe in your work.

    I don't believe in magical talent. I think people use the word talent to discourage people. Somebody is told they just aren't talented, so they never try. People think they should be good when they start art, completely forgetting that when they started walking they fell, when they started swimming they sunk, when they started math they got answers wrong, and they couldn't read the moment they picked up a book.

    I believe in encouraging people to pursue art even if only as a hobby. If it makes them happy.

    There is no such thing as bad art. Just art some people don't like.

    Art is anything. Art can be made by anything. *Shrug* If it made the person who made that piece happy, if it gives them the feeling of accomplishment, of achieving your vision-- the same feeling I get whenever I complete a piece I am proud of... Then that's all it takes for me to call it art. If the artist believes in it, then I accept it. I don't always like it, but I believe it.

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