The Artist and the Art

February 11, 2011 § 1 Comment

I recently started my first semester as an art student. When I arrived at CU Boulder four years ago I came in as an Ecological and Evolutionary Biology major and thought it would be the way to go for my life. As time progressed I found that I really wasn’t passionate about the actual practice of Biology and more of the aesthetics of bio. I also realized I didn’t quite belong in the science community.

It was until the fall of 2010 that I found a Bio class that I truly enjoyed and felt comfortable in, and that class was taught by a woman who not only had her doctorate in EBIO but a background in the arts.

The idea of adding an art major wasn’t a new one, my mother had tried to convince me my freshman year, after I had failed Chemistry 2 and had my first “break down” about science, to be the artist that she always new I was.

I was raised in a family of artists, my mother a painter and illustrator, my dad who loves photography, my sisters who love painting and cooking, all of my aunts and uncles have some sort of creative bone in their body that they allow themselves  to express, so why was I suppressing myself?

I thought a Bio degree would bring in money, or it was more credible than an art degree. I was unhappy though, why continue? I was also stubborn. I was taught to never give up and I found myself fighting the urge to “give up” my bio major.

So here I am nearly done with one degree and starting another, constantly thinking of how I can integrate both into a fulfilling career.

My photography professor gave my class a reading from “Art and Fear” a book about creating art. I thought this strange at first, but then when I read it fully I realized as long as I am happy with the work I create I am creating art. If I feel fulfilled it doesn’t matter whether or not I am making millions of dollars, as long as I can put food on the table and a roof over my head and if I can call people my friends and family, I am living a fulfilled life.

So what does this have to do with my title? Well, it brings me to my philosophy of art: if the artist feels fulfilled in creating their art, it doesn’t matter if the whole world recognizes it as genius, they put themselves out there and created something with an intention. Someone somewhere will see it and be touched as long as the artist was true to their point of view and weren’t blocking their “voice.”

I feel like my school, or at least the professors I have, are very open to that and are here to help us reach that point in our own work where we have a voice and the confidence to share it with the world.

I want to know: what do you think about the purpose of art and the artist?

Check out my next blog on the role of artists in society!

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§ One Response to The Artist and the Art

  • Vickie Leigh says:

    What an insight at age 20. I began my “real” art career at the age of 49. You article touches on something poignant, especially when we live in a time where money and “having” seem so important. I agree with every word you have written, and they are just what I need to hear. I become fearful that my art is too weird, or that I put too many dots in my painting. I had an art opening, and I woke up the morning of my opening worried about my dots, and whether or not I needed to explain them. I decided to say nothing, to let my voice be heard on canvas, as is. It was a powerful experience for me. Keep painting, keep believing in the power of your dreams. Beautiful things are waiting for you, and tue world is waiting for your art.

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