Apr 7, 2010

Sue's View's

Artists and the Artist Community
by Sue Hulen

When I was growing up, I had a preconceived idea of what artists and the artist’s community must be like. It’s funny how my thoughts of them had never changed over the years.

Whenever thoughts of artists came to mind I pictured them as starving, struggling beings who loved art more than they loved almost anything else in their lives. Male or female didn’t matter. My visions of them were the same.

In my mind, they wore old clothes with splotches of varying colors of paints, maybe even a tam, and an artist’s coat. Never understood why they’d wear the artists coat when the rest of their clothing was such a mess from the paints. However, artists had a bit of quirkiness about them, for the most part, so I guess the tam and coat wasn’t such an odd visual.

In addition, the visions of them working hard until late in the evening or early morning hours seemed somehow romantic. Their easels, canvas, paints, brushes and other supplies and even the mess really fascinated me as I was never around such things before. To me these wonderful creators of beauty and love were like heroes to me. Their sacrifices were many and rewards were their work that they loved so deeply. They seemed so alone and almost hermit like in their own artistic world. It made me sad at times as a child. Even if they never sold one piece of their art, they seemed happy just to be able to create it. It was a piece of their soul on that canvas.

My idea of the artist’s community was so uplifting. In my mind, the artists stood together and supported one another’s efforts and achievements. They were caring and giving. Generous of self and their experience. They had a willingness to help with supplies, support and art materials such as books and more. All of this was their reality.

This almost mysterious bunch of creative individuals formed bonds and friendships beyond that of those who were not in the art world. Oh, how they fascinated this young girl. It amazed me how their love of art could bring them together in such a loving and giving way. The encouragement they’d share with one another was heartwarming and very touching. There were bonds made between them that couldn’t be broken. It was, as though the artist’s community was like a piece of woven cloth and no matter how hard anyone would try to tear them apart, they couldn’t do it. Nothing and no one could destroy what they’d created between them. Could my preconceived ideas of what artists and their community was like really be true or were they just my own thoughts of what they were?

After including myself in this wonderful and crazy world of artists and the artist’s community, I’ve learned some truth about them and not just my own thoughts of what they are.

True artists are some of the most talented and creative people on the planet. Not only are they talented and creative, but they are so very willing to share their knowledge and experience with anyone who would ask them for help. It makes me so proud to be a part of something so special.

Not only have these wonderful people shared of their knowledge and experience, but have also shared supplies, study guides, books, support and more kindness and love than I could ever express with words. They’ve become a family. A special caring, loving, supportive family. When we do something good or wonderful, they’re there to tell us so with their warm and uplifting comments and “kudos friend.”

These friends and brother and sister artists are, at times, more supportive than our own families. They are so authentic that it just makes my heart smile. They’re also protective of other artists and the work they produce from their own hands and heart.

We don’t offend or lessen someone else’s work by nasty or petty remarks and we would never take nor use another artist’s work without permission or take it and market it as our own. That is so touching to me that so many can be so honorable loyal to each other.

The sign of a true artist is one who has the talent to create something from his own ideas and share it with the world. A true artist also possesses character, ethics, honesty, credibility and is an honorable person. A true artist shows the love of art of others and not just of his or her own and is not too shallow or proud to compliment another artist for the fine work they’ve done. A true artist is not jealous or petty and doesn’t spread nasty things about another brother or sister artist to others.

Those who do not possess all of those positive characteristics don’t really belong in this beautiful community of hard working, warm, sensitive, and loving people. We true artists don’t want to have our doors darkened by those who call themselves part of the artist community, but yet shows little regard or respect for other artists, their work or their ownership of their art.

I’ve met true artists along this wonderful path I’m on. Those who are not true artists….yep…..I’ve met some of them as well. Nevertheless, I’ve sure met more true and authentic artists than I have the other. As for me…I choose to be connected to and involved with true artists. I so love all of my artistic brothers and sisters and am so touched by their generosity towards others and me over these few years. I thank them all. However, mostly I thank them for being creators of beauty and for being included in that community of authentic human beings. Possessors of beauty and all that is good and wonderful. In addition, to think they are so willing to share it all with so many just fills my spirit. Their encouragement and support is like a whisper floating around my heart each time I sit down to create something new.

Are you a true artist? Let your heart speak the truth before you answer that.
A Sister Artist,

Sue Hulen

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