Being an Artist is Hard, But it Shouldn’t Be

I’m not 100% sure of this, but I think it’s a safe bet to assert that nearly every child in America has used Crayola Crayons at some point, and that includes all of you adults out there too, especially all of you artists.

My last post regarding my visual interpretation of Rachmaninoff might have thrown people a bit. If you really want to classify what that painting was, I guess you could call it a kind of performance of gestural abstraction. However, that honestly bothers me. For me, it really was just using color, line, form, texture, brushwork, calligraphic strokes, and many other painting techniques to try and capture my feelings visually in response, empathy, and sympathy with Rachmaninoff.

But, the point I’m trying to get to, is that all of us at some point in childhood used art materials an awful lot. Now, why so many of us stop is really a mystery to me. And, why our educational system doesn’t continue exploring artistic expression is quite infuriating to me.

Yes, I will be honest and admit that I have studied art and art history for quite some time. So what? Anyone can be artistic, no matter your “education.” I honestly hate the term “Fine Art.” It’s this very weird way of separating the “elite artists” from the bourgeois who dare to produce mundane “art.” Yeah, I’m a bit opinionated on this one. So, if I offend, my apologies. But, I’m serious! If as kids, we all enjoyed playing with color and drawing or coloring or whatever, why do so many of us stop?

I don’t think the Crayola company really intended for their crayons to be used this way, but this is an example of something really simple but creative and clever that uses crayons to produce something I think is quite beautiful, no matter its simplicity.

For those really interested in the possibilities of using crayons for fine art, you can actually purchase very expensive, professional, lightfast wax crayons for artistic purposes. However what I’m trying to get at is that being visually creative is simply human. Why people grow up and think, “oh no, I know nothing about art, I can’t draw, or paint, or whatever” is so frustrating to me. I really wish I could get people to just pull out a box of crayons. Maybe color something. Or, if you feel like it, maybe even try producing your own image.

If you enjoyed it as a kid, maybe you just might enjoy it again now. So please, dig out that box of Crayola Crayons, get yourself a piece of paper, and have a little fun engaging in a bit of mark-making, and for all of you artists, get your art supplies, or art tools, software, or whatever and create—and guess what, if you do, you’ll be engaging in visually expressing yourself! And, in the middle of this crazy Covid pandemic, maybe expressing yourself visually a little bit, might help you feel just a tad bit better.