Friday, April 1, 2011

A is for "Artistic Ability"

I love being creative. I am messy, disorganized, detail-oriented in a maddeningly fantastic way, and I have no handle whatsoever on what I want from my creative endeavors. I just urgently want to create. My varied media include crochet, embroidery, paint, beading, jewelry, paper crafts, baskets, sewing, drawing, floral-arranging, and more.
My least favorite thing about being creative is my dearest friends saying this unflattering sentence..."you're artsy-fartsy, think of something we can do." As if.
I forgive you, but I don't like what you are saying to me! Here's why:

As if an inate problem-solving ability and a vastly divergent view of the world makes me silly.
As if a craft can create itself, and roll off my fingertips with no thoughtful effort. Voila!
As if I was born with creative ability, and ability cannot be learned or taught.
As if studying art in many different paints, glues, media and construction techniques makes me able to spontaneously fix anything with enough duct tape and bailing wire.
At the risk of sounding uppity: Nope, sorry.
I know that artsy-fartsy is meant to be complimentary, even off-the-cuff comedic. Rather than feeling positive, it feels shallow and prickly with spite.
Artistic ability is valuable to me for many reasons. I nurtured a love for beautiful things humbly made by hand since I was small. My mother taught me that doing things for myself made me feel accomplished. I love you, Mom.
I went to college, studied and read voraciously, worked late nights and early mornings for five years, practiced, failed and tried again at being an art student until I could stand among the best of them. Proudly, the people I studied with are the most capable people I know because they don't give up. Beauty cannot be created in one quick try, it is a labor of love.
Artists (in my meager experience) are skilled thinkers and astute observers who record visually those things that cannot be said by words alone. In fact, I find writing this makes me value more highly an artist's ability to capture nuances that are flatly impossible to express in words.

Over the last 20 years, I have met artists and artisans of many skills. I continue to be amazed and inspired at the width and breadth of their combined knowledge and prolific works. My lifelong aspiration is to be counted among their number. They work hard, tirelessly expressing the human condition and creating master works that speak for themselves.
Forgive me when I say, "I am an artist so keep your flatulent words to yourself, if you please."


  1. You're right-- it is a rude comment. Like people saying to writers, so what do you do all day? And a million other insulting insinuations! And I love the UFO unfinished objects phrase-- LOL. Awesome!

    Nice to meet you and welcome to the Challenge!


  2. So very true... I too have being refered to as artsy-farsty!

    Hope you have a wonderful weekend.