I relate to being an artist. I don’t paint, though I loved the kittens I painted through a paint-by-numbers kit when I was 8. I don’t draw, though I love to use a few simple icons to create graphic recordings. I don’t play music, though I love to make sounds with a guitar.
Of course there are many people that would argue feverishly that all people are artists. I’m one of them, but without the feverish part. I don’t need reassurance of what I might become. No placating needed. I still like the idea that art is a part of all of it.
There are times when I reference myself as “group process artist.” Yup, I like that. It points away from an exactness, an over simplified court room testimony. It points away from all knowing science. It points to a need to work with the subjective, the unknowns, uncertainties, the relationships among people and things. It matters in working with groups.
Seth Godin is a popular American author, writing often about the post industrial revolution. A friend, Bill Muhr, with whom I’m really enjoying some great conversations, recently shared this quote from Seth Godin, on art. Good stuff.
I define art as having nothing at all to do with painting.
Art is a human act, a generous contribution, something that might not work, and it is intended to change the recipient for the better, often causing a connection to happen.
Five elements that are difficult to find and worth seeking out. Human, generous, risky, change and connection.
You can be perfect or you can make art.
You can keep track of what you get in return, or you can make art.
You can enjoy the status quo, or you can make art.
The most difficult part might be in choosing whether you want to make art at all, and committing to what it requires of you.