Crazy Monkey Creates

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When I retire, I want to be an artist. November 16, 2007

Filed under: rant — crazymonkeycreates @ 10:49 pm

This was a conversation the 2 supervisors had last night. It started with the “I want to be a millionaire before I retire” conversation, and they both agreed that “When I retire, I want to do nothing, and be an artist.”

That’s like saying “When I retire, I want to do nothing, and be a concert pianist.” or “When I retire, I want to do nothing, and be a systems administrator.” See how silly those sound? Being a concert pianist is hard work, long hours of practice, and natural talent. Everyone knows that you don’t just “retire and become” a concert pianist. It’s the same with a systems administrator. Hard work, long hours, natural talent.

What upsets me is that the attitude that people (these 2 specifically) have toward art. This kind of “I’ll retire and do nothing and be an artist” attitude demeans artists. Artists who didn’t wait until they were retired. Artists whose time and effort is worth money. Artists who work hard at their preferred art and should have their art appreciated.

Art, it can be argued, is in the eye of the beholder.  We may argue over what is and isn’t art, but we all know it when we see it. Art is intentional. Art takes work, it takes time and forethought, it takes an artist or group of artists to bring together. The assumption that artists lie about and “don’t do anything” all day just irks me to no end.

It’s like people who ask why you knit socks when you can buy them for $X at Target or Wal-Mart. They don’t understand why anyone would knit their own socks,  why anyone would hand-piece a quilt when you can buy a blanket, why anyone would bake a loaf of bread from scratch when you can buy a loaf of bread from the supermarket, etc.

Art isn’t something that a lazy person does. It’s a process, it’s a job, it’s a lot of work. No matter the medium, don’t underestimate an artist’s work. An artist doesn’t “just” put brush to canvas, doesn’t “just” snap a picture, or “just” do anything without preparation and forethought.