Mark McGuinness, one of the contributing writers for my FAVORITE blog, Lateral Action, wrote a very thought-provoking article a few months ago titled “Can Anyone Be an Artist?” I think it is spot-on in briefly explaining the history, culture, and perceived notions about art and its purpose throughout time. As an avid Lateral Action reader, I must agree with Mr. McGuinness, Seth Godin, and Roger Coleman, who propose [in my words] that being an artist is not about being able to paint a pretty picture or the like, but rather it is about the thought process and resulting product that communicates something novel, intelligent, and personal.
Please read the article here, now before continuing… but make sure you come back!
Generation X and Millenials (Gen. Y) use technology all day, everyday. The Industrial Revolution, while of course beneficial on so many levels, changed the way work was done and began to encourage workers to rely on new technology and to base their careers around it. Now that technology exponentially exceeds necessity in the workplace and at home (see iPad), one must revert back to relying on creativity and artistry (simply put). Richard Florida (of whom I am also a huge fan) explains these 21st Century “artists” as, what he calls, the Creative Class – NOT those people who rebel against corporate cultural inclusion in order to paint, draw, or make music, but rather those who seek to create, innovate, and grow businesses instead of managing and/or maintaining. You should read about his ideas and work here, or better yet, buy one of his books here.
I wanted to pose these ideas without going into much detail about what I think – I’d like to hear from you all. Do you think the term “artist” is reserved solely for one who has a distinguished talent in a medium like painting or drawing? Can a corporate executive or other businessperson be considered an artist? Are there any parameters around the the word or one who represents the term, and/or should there be? Let’s get a little dialogue going…