What makes you an artist?

Artist StatementI came across this on the web the other day and it gave me pause.  What makes an artist an artist?  By definition (Webster’s) an artist is someone who ‘professes and practices an imaginative art’ or ‘a skilled performer.’   It can also mean ‘one who is adept at something.’  These definitions deserve consideration.  As dancers, are we artists because we are imaginative and creative beings, or does it take more…the honing of skills over time, combined with our creativity, before we are truly artists?  We are all creative beings.  Does that make us all artists?

In some respects, I would say yes.  There is an artist in each of us and that part of us deserves to be nurtured and expressed.  But to publicly call and market oneself as an artist requires more (which is why I am considering this question to begin with.) Do I qualify as an artist?  Creative type, yes.  Experienced, indeed.  Professional…ARTIST…maybe.  Let’s just say I’m working on it.

You see, I think a professional artist is someone who connects to others emotionally through their art.  You catch their attention, through sound, shape, form, color, words, rhythm, or movement and touch an emotion within them.  You connect with that emotion inside of them and draw it to the surface.  Not everyone can do this.  I’m not sure it can even be learned.  But I’m exploring.  Hoping.  And continuing to grow both technically and emotionally.  Growing and evolving into what I hope will one day be called “artist.”

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