Addendum to a previous post.

Remember in an earlier post when I spoke about my feelings on being called an artist, how I didn’t like it? And then I tried to explain why I didn’t like the term, and I sucked at explaining it? Remember that? Well, I was looking through a book the other day (great book if you like posters, “Goines Posters”, about the graphic artist David Lance Goines) and Mr. Goines makes a great statement to why he doesn’t want to be called a fine artist.

There is no indication of actual talent and skill when a person calls himself a “fine artist.” I, for example, shun the word like the plague. I call myself a “printer”, a “graphic designer”, or a “graphic artist.” If you call yourself an artist, who’s to say if you are one or not? It’s a word nearly without meaning. If I call myself a plumber, or an electrician, or a printer, it can be determined with absolute certainty in about two minutes whether I am what I say or not. These are actual skills that take years to acquire, and there is no trickery or “eye of the beholder” stuff about it. That I am a journeyman printer is not a matter of opinion, nor is it subject to fashion or whim. The same is true of my status as a graphic artist. A commercial artist is a class of skilled laborer. Generally speaking, the commercial artist has a whole lot of other people’s money, hopes, dreams and aspirations riding on his efforts, and can under no circumstances produce any “art for art’s sake” or he will quickly find himself out on the street, where he can produce all the fine art he wants.

So, yeah, what he said.

One Response to “Addendum to a previous post.”

  1. […] and hate me if you want to, but this is how I feel. I’ve complained about the word “artist” and this was a prime example of that precise point. Everyone wants to be interesting and […]

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