Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people. - Eleanor Roosevelt

Friday, January 23, 2009

Show, don't tell

I was thinking... people who call themselves just artists annoy me.

OK. Every profession, including that of a con man, could be considered an art. I looked up the word artist to make my argument valid, and though there are several definitions, my argument holds plenty of water.

According to, art⋅ist   /ˈɑrtɪst/ Pronunciation [ahr-tist]

1. One, such as a painter, sculptor, or writer, who is able by virtue of imagination and talent or skill to create works of aesthetic value, especially in the fine arts.
2. A person whose work shows exceptional creative ability or skill: You are an artist in the kitchen.
3. One, such as an actor or singer, who works in the performing arts.
4. One who is adept at an activity, especially one involving trickery or deceit: a con artist.

A mechanic could have perfected his skill of fixing cars into an art. A plastic surgeon could be considered an artist, because he/she sculpts people's faces and bodies into something aesthetically pleasing (usually, anyway). A writer is an artist, because he/she creates an image with words.

Art is such an abstract thing, that to call oneself JUST an artist without specifying which kind, is, well, pretentious.

And it's pretentious, because especially when you take definition number two (A person whose work shows exceptional creative ability or skill) into consideration, you realize that "artist" isn't just an occupation-- it's a level of achievement and skill.

So, all you writers, painters, singers, actors, photographers, tattooists and others out there, who use their creativity to make the world a better place aesthetically-- a bit of advice: specify what kind of artist you are, otherwise, you have a high opinion of yourself which may be in its place; but it's better to let people make that conclusion on their own.

Show, don't tell.

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