Being an artist.. who are artists? Are they defined as Michelangelo and Picasso? I truly believe that artists of today take risks and are proud to stand up and say that they put the time and effort into creating what they did. In Krista Tipett’s radio show with Seth Godin, Godin touched on the point that the things that used to make us feel safe are now risky. It is easier for younger children to innovate and brainstorm, but rather difficult for college students? They are afraid of being wrong or being judged if they put something out there for the whole world to see. Free range kids, whose creativity is not hindered by parents who lock them up until they are “ready” for the real world, often are successful in being these people called artists. In school, many of the students are often trained to do good work and share it, but not trained to face failure, making them less likely to take those risks.
So back to the question… who are artists? Artists are everywhere. They are the entrepreneurs who hope to find success in starting a business, bloggers who take a stance and join in on the conversation of a topic, writers who have published book…they are everywhere. They took the opportunity to do something that no one else has ever done before. And most have made an impact, not because of what they learned in school, but because of their values, by understanding the mindset of one and putting a story into the world changing the mindset of many.
As a percussionist and performer, I consider myself an artist. As I try to make a name for myself in the real world by auditioning for higher level marching bands such as Pacific Crest Drum and Bugle Corps, I am taking that risk. Of getting cut and possibly not being able to make the dream of marching at the professional level into a reality. I’ve been training for two years already, thanks to my wonderful instructors who have helped me in creating this name. Another point that Godin touched on was taking what you learned and teaching or showing others to create something that matters. This is the concept of sharing like an artist. As a performer, I take the 8 years of instruction from piano lessons as well as the 2 years of instruction from mallet percussion and show what I can create with what I’ve learned and whether it resonates with the audience I was trying to reach.
I have also been writing various essays every two weeks or so using different modes of writing such as narration, description, exemplification, etc. in order to be published into the book my group has been working to create. As writers, we are artists, taking advice we learned from group members when reading drafts of our essays and working to create something even better, something that WORKS. This art is made by a community in that we count on each other to create something beyond the individual. The creation is made in order to impact our audience. Ziebarth would always ask for us to consider, “Who is your audience? What are they values? Is it your one friend or all the students at your high school?” However, you should never be afraid or limited because of your audience. Don’t be afraid to join in on a conversation and take that risk to put your opinion out there.
“I am interested in art as a means of living a life, not as a means of making a living.”
Sometimes, we are so invested in what we do as artists in order to achieve money or fame. Artists must create with the intent of reaching someone else out there, making that impact on someone else that may care deeply about what your interests. I admit, for one, that I also have been trained and wrapped around the idea of trying to complete a number of different things because “it looks good on your resume” or “it’ll give you an advantage in getting into college.” It was never told that we should be doing it for ourselves and for the purpose of impacting others’ lives. So as Godin mentioned, “live like people are looking at you-because they are”, the thought is definitely, in fact, true. However, the art we create should first and foremost be making an impact on yourself, as well as others. But also what I think he means by that, is also a point I made earlier. Make a name for yourself. People are always going to be looking at you, whether it’d be applying for you dream job or school, but you must take the risks in order to accomplish things and create this name for yourself regardless of who is watching. Taking risks definitely shows confidence and helps you stand out. Even if taking that risk led to failure, the lessons learned from it will possibly lead you elsewhere, success. If you want something you’ve never had, you must do something you’ve never done.
“Without taking risks, you cannot truly live, you merely exist”