Wednesday, January 6, 2010

You Know You Are an Artist When . . .

Art students aren’t alone if they ever wonder what it takes to officially become an “artist.” Indeed, many life-long art veterans continue to ponder the same question.

Is there a reliable way to tell that you‘re an artist, some kind of a test or achievement or type of behavior?

For answers, we searched books and wikis, and gathered feedback from artists worldwide. The most common trait artists seem to share, we learned, is a brave sense of humor, especially about themselves.

So, to help you begin the New Year with a smile, here’s a humorous compendium of some of the many telltale signs that indicate you are, without a doubt, positively, an artist for sure.

You know you are an artist when . . .
  • Your other car is a 1966 VW Bus.
  • The colors in your sofa and your painting above it do not necessarily match.
  • Wearing pajamas is optional for a typical workday.
  • At the post office you insist on only Van Gogh stamps.
  • You compliment people by saying “I love how the light hits your nose!”
  • You own hundreds of brushes, and have nothing to comb your hair with.
  • You arrange the cups and plates in your dishwasher in an artistic manner.
  • You spent 4 hours carving your pumpkin on Halloween
  • You drink retsina because it tastes like turpentine.
  • You look at Ad Reinhardt’s Black canvases and say, “yeah, I could have painted that.”
  • You forget to eat all day because you are working.
  • You have at least one room in your house that would cause the Fire Chief to sound an alarm.
  • You spend every non-drawing moment thinking "I should be drawing."
  • You drooled on your work in progress.
  • Your best is never "good enough.”
  • Your favorite birthday present is a BINDERS Gift Card.
  • There are Prussian blue fingerprints on your cell phone.
  • You refuse to write an “artist statement.”
  • You sometimes use the back of an expensive Kolinsky Sable brush to stir your coffee.
  • You know that Manga is not an Italian vegetable.
  • The fragrance you wear is eau d'linseed oil.
  • When viewing a gorgeous sunset, you think in terms of cadmium yellow (light hue), salmon and gold, a tinted teal mixed with gold for the water."
  • The carpet in your room looks like a Jackson Pollack painting.
  • The carpet in your room IS a Jackson Pollack painting.
  • You butter your toast with your fingers, just to feel its texture.
  • You stay awake late at night wondering how to render on canvas the dimly lit shapes and shadows in your room.
  • You have been known to get plastered and paint the town red.
  • You look at certain cloud formations and think "that MUST be Photoshopped! It just can't be real."
  • In art school, you managed to BS your way through a postmodernism class and still retained your sanity and integrity.
  • You sneeze out colorful puffs of pastel dust.
  • You stop thinking about being an artist and just get on with it.
What do you think makes an artist? Tell our readers your definitions by clicking "ADD A COMMENT" below this post.

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  1. Ha! Thanks for the grins, you show having a sense of humor doesn't mean an artist can't be serious too.

  2. You know you are an artist when you can pronounce the Ph in Phthalo Blue without spitting on anyone.

  3. You know you are an artist when you ask for a 3-hour lunch or call in sick to attend a workshop.


  5. You know you're an artist when you bring a dozen colored sharpies with you to staff meetings.

  6. Good one... thanks for the smiles!

  7. I really like this. Thanks for the post :)

  8. You hit the nail on the head, been there, done that.

  9. A wise art teacher once told me that IF you are still standing/producing art when your circle of art students have dropped away, You Are An Artist!