What Makes an Artist

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Editorial and Opinion  |  House: Booksie Classic
How people become artists and how their brains function.

Submitted: February 19, 2013

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Submitted: February 19, 2013





“When you can draw, you are always an artist” (Ingres) is a quote that I find very empowering. I know what it is like to feel as if you are not an artist because of your lack of skill.  On Learning How to Draw is an article that speaks a lot of truths. For example, there is no way an artist can get significantly better with each drawing. Oftentimes there may be three or four drawings that have to be thrown out or erased before the satisfactory drawing can be made, if it is ever made.  In the early stages of drawing, an artist doesn’t have all of the knowledge an experienced one does and most of this information is vital to succeeding. The most important thing that an artist needs to succeed is practice. If a beginner practices diligently every day and makes a strong effort to learn more and accept criticism they will get better. I’ve seen far too many potential artists give up because of a rude remark or not enough drive. I feel bad when a beginner sees my art and becomes discouraged, but they need to understand that art is much more complicated that picking up a pencil. Instructional books on drawing can help vastly too, if they are done correctly. Having a circle of other artists around can help a beginner learn a lot too.  I like the descriptions given in the article about what artists think when they are drawing, and what drawing feels like. I agree completely, art is a blank slate just waiting for whatever you want it to be. Art is free, happy, and a sensitive thing to an artist. An artist’s work is their inseparable creation.

The Hemispheres of the Brain is also an interesting article, and is a topic I find fascinating. I like to know how the brain works, and how its mechanisms come out. As I am a left handed person, I tend to use the right hemisphere of my brain for more than just creative activities, I think logically but not so strictly I can’t incorporate creativity into things that require my intellect. I think schools should try to teach for both kids who are mainly right or left brained so that a person who thinks logically might pick up more creative thinking. People who already use more of their right brain don’t have many problems learning the traditional way. What I’ve observed is that people who are creative are usually more intelligent anyway because they take more interest in the things we learn in school that others might see as boring, useless information. Someone with a large imagination can become enamored with learning because they make connections with it that a logical, unimaginative person would not. A person cannot be strictly a logical or creative thinker because we use both of our hemispheres equally. Some people have more of another’s influence though, due to their dominant side they lean toward the opposite side of the brain. Many of the most famous artists we know were left handed. Vincent Van Gough, Leonardo Da Vinci, Michelangelo was ambidextrous, Edvard Munch, Rembrandt Van Rijin, and Raphael. I find it curious that some of these artists are favorites of mine, especially Rembrandt Van Rijin, Vincent Van Gough, and Leonardo Da Vinci. This makes me wonder if I like their art because they may have thought similarly; due to our left hands. I think Guy Claxton was right on in his theory of the “Tortoise mind” -Hare, Brain, Tortoise, Mind. Creative thinkers are often dreamy, free thinking, playful thinkers. For example, a creative thinker when asked to draw a line however they wish may add some curves to it and add small details that make it unique. A logical thinker would try their hardest to draw a perfect straight line, and even get angry because the line isn’t perfect. With all of this being said, you cannot have right without the left and there is no “correct” way of thinking. I utilize both ways of thinking for different things.  It would be nice to see more people try using their creativity in everyday life.


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