How to be an artist

David Sarallo

“Childhood (Self Portrait)” by my good friend and artist David Sarallo

Everyone is capable of being an artist.
If you do not see this yet, you only need to alter your way of defining “art.”

To “do art” requires nothing more than putting something “good” into the world.
More simply, to “do art” is to create joy.
For yourself. And for others.

To be an artist, then, pursue roles in which you feel inspired to give more than is required; in which you are impassioned to go above and beyond the status quo, or to work outside of it. And then do so.

An artist is someone who pursues his or her work – no matter what it is -with exceptional passion; who creates “good” above the expectations set by the role; who adds emotional surplus to the transactions.

To be an artist, you do not need more genius – or genius of a different kind.
You only need to inject enthusiasm and emotion.

Seth Godin, in his new book Linchpin, writes:

Art isn’t only a painting. Art is anything that’s creative, passionate, and personal. And great art resonates with the viewer, not only with the creator.

He elaborates:

What makes someone an artist? I don’t think is has anything to do with a paintbrush. There are painters who follow the numbers, or paint billboards, or work in a small village in China, painting reproductions. These folks, while swell people, aren’t artists. On the other hand, Charlie Chaplin was an artist, beyond a doubt. So is Jonathan Ive, who designed the iPod. You can be an artist who works with oil paints or marble, sure. But there are artists who work with numbers, business models, and customer conversations. Art is about intent and communication, not substances.

An artist is someone who uses bravery, insight, creativity, and boldness to challenge the status quo. And an artist takes it personally.

To be an artist? Color outside the lines.
Paint without numbers.
Don’t work within the guidelines set in front of you.

To be an artist? Do great work.
Create good.
Find your flow.
Do what makes you lose track of time.
Feel joy.
Bring joy to others.
Do it with enthusiasm.

That is all it takes.

Note: for more work like the piece above (“Childhood (Self Portrait)” by artist David Sarallo) check out his blog or etsy shop


One comment

  1. […] each and every one of these vocations – like any vocation – offers the opportunity to become an artist; to approach the work with passion and enthusiasm and emotional surplus; to bring creativity and […]

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