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Is Everyone an Artist?

If you looked at a piece of work that had been produced from videos taken on an iPhone, would you consider it art?

It’s something I’ve been thinking about as an increasing amount of art is produced through social media using new digital technology. The current generation is the first of the digital age.  They have no fear of technology and this is a powerful force. What it essentially means is that the world is opening up to new and exciting things.

What we now see are four principles for this new, open world – sharing, collaboration, transparency and empowerment. (watch Don Tapscott’s ‘Four Principles for  the Open World’  to learn more – it’s a 15 minute youtube presentation which is not specifically about art but incredibly interesting. Worth it just for the video of starlings at the end!)

The same principles do apply to the art world though.

Emerging technologies allow distribution of knowledge and freedom of art expression.  Art  becomes available to a much wider range of people.  There is no barrier to entry, you no longer need a talent for  drawing or painting.   Art is no longer perceived art as a painting  or a sculpture. The term ‘artist’ becomes somewhat blurred when the art piece is a collaboration.  There is no question that artists have long experimented with new concepts and mediums but what is becoming clearer is that anyone can be an artist.

Technology facilitates cheaper, faster creativity.  All those who previously found paper, paint and clay too challenging, can now express themselves artistically.

And hence, the whole future of art is changing.  Art that has previously, and perhaps always, been seen as expensive, exclusive and out of reach for most people, will become part of our everyday lives, accessible to all.  Limitless infact.  Does this devalue art?  Is there still a place for the artist who may spend months painting his masterpiece?  The way art is taught must also change – but that’s a whole different subject.

I don’t know the answers to many of these questions, but it’s something to think about.  One thing is clear though – the future of art will certainly be different.

Don’t be shy, Let me know what you think. Agree or disagree, I’m very interested to know other peoples opinions.

Is everyone an artist?







  1. Posted February 7, 2013 at 11:53 pm | Permalink

    Good topic. Interesting. I don’t think I am prepared to agree though. I do believe everyone can be (is) creative. Just last week I listened to a grade 12 art student present an entire semester’s work, and them proclaim that she was going to be a paralegal after Highschool, and that she had no plans or inclination to even do art as a hobby. Is she still an artist? Was she ever an artist?
    I don’t believe you can apply the title artist to everyone who occasionally produces visual or functional art works, kinda like saying everyone who can sit a horse is a Jockey.
    At the very least I think being an artist involves more than a passing interest and basic skills. It takes more than viewing one image or object, online or in person, to understand if the maker has moved beyond both.

  2. Posted February 12, 2013 at 11:30 am | Permalink

    I totally agree with you, and it’s a controversial subject. I think there can be no comparison between those who have studied and made art for years and those who can manipulate a screen. I just think the nature of “art” (if we choose to call it that) is changing and whether we agree with it or not, it’s an inevitable progression. Yes, technology does make it more accessible to the masses but somewhere along the line, as you point out, what is lost is the heart and soul, the love, (call it whatever you will) that the maker puts into their art.
    Thanks for your comments and thoughts.

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