Define artist

Voice Card  -  Volume 16  -  Larry Card Number 3  -  Tue, Aug 28, 1990 3:08 PM

This is ONE OF 2 responses to Vol 15 John 20 ("EXACTLY!")...

We have seen a lot of talk about artists and creativity and suffering and how these interrelate. Now John brings up non-artists and average Joes (and I suppose above average and below average Joes exist too).

So - who are the artists? Are they only those people in the fine or learned arts? Many proclaim great athletes to be artists (poetry in motion, etc.).

I've met a lot of people in this world who have talents that amaze me - including one guy in Jamaica who could do balancing tricks on a bicycle that you wouldn't believe. I'm sure he worked hard developing those skills, as do many inner city kids on the basketball court, the great fly fisherman of the world, chess champions, and on and on.

Most people who are good at something have put a lot of effort into it. Each has gone through their own "painful self examination and struggle" while developing the skills.

I strongly agree that there is an artist in each of us, just as there is a lot of average Joe in each of us. I guess that I just don't understand why it is that a writer of great literature is an artist while a great computer programmer is just very good at what s/he does.

Isn't every thing each person produces or creates an expression of him/herself? Perhaps this expression may be more obvious in some products than in others. Is this the definition of artist? A person who creates something that is easily distinguishable as expression of feeling.

It feels that I've been rambling now for awhile with no real direction. And that's how I feel. But, I guess I've always been confused by who it is that gets to define art as art and artists as artists. And why some people are never recognized as artists, no matter how good they are, because of the nature of their medium.