A friend of a friend phoned me recently. She is in charge of the fundraiser for the local Humane Society and would I be interested in painting a chair to be auctioned off to raise the money? I said yes, of course. I was flattered to have been asked. She would send me a form to fill out with my artist information.

There are 29 other local “artists” participating. And I wondered, as I attempted to fill out that daggone artist info sheet, what defines an artist? We’ve had this conversation before. And we’re having it again. This is my definition of artist.

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I am creative. I have not, however, had a lick of formal fine art training. I’ve a BS in communication. There’s some who say, once you’ve made money from something, you’ve graduated to being that occupation. I sold original collage pieces so I suppose I qualify as a collage artist. It was super cool to be paid for my writing too but I think I was a writer and a collage artist before I received payment. 

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Another delineation I’d like to blow to smithereens is that between crafting and arting. The popularity and merchandising of crafts of all sorts, from scrapbooking to sewing, has increased the accessibility of the supplies and number of crafters in the world. That’s a fun plus. No not all crafters are artists but some of us have crafty methods and the product is proof of good design and art in its own right. The lines are blurred somewhat between design and craft. And if the fine artists know their own talent, I’d think they wouldn’t be offended if a crafter defined themselves as an artist.

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If you are a devoted designer, be that quilter or a paper maker or graphic artist, are you an artist? My vote is yes. People are calling themselves “creatives” and that is fabulous. In the end, the proof’s in permitting ourselves to just create,

No Matter How Untalented We Think We Are Or May Not Actually Be. Talent has nothing to do with definition of artist.

Just saying yes to the block of time to get lost in the flow of creativity and find out what we’ve made on the other side, that is the stepping stone to our art. I am the beholder and my eye matters most.

Any thoughts? Is it all about semantics? Is my child (or inner child) an artist if they think they are?


  1. “Talent has nothing to do with definition of artist.”

    Yes.  Talent has more to do with execution of will (without having to prove anything).  In other words, you’re creative because you like to be, aim to be, have fun to be.  “To be or not to be.”

    • Talent is subjective. And I agree the creativity is about being or not being. That’s about willfulness and intention to use an inner drive. Thanks for the thoughts Adam.

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