In all honesty, who am I to judge someone's work as art or not art. That is a job for the critics. I can judge whether I like a piece or whether I do not. I can judge whether something resonates with me emotionally or makes me think critically. I can look at a piece of work and admire technique, thought, beauty. And I do. I do all these things. But it is not for me to make a pronouncement on whether it is art or not.
So what makes me so arrogant that I call what I do "art" or call myself an artist? Well….let me address the second part first as it is the easier of the two. When I fill in the profession box in a form, I tick the artist box because I am paid to produce art and curate a gallery as well as design and present workshops on creative repurposing, art and crafts. I also have been paid for some of my art pieces that have sold at exhibitions and have been commissioned to do site specific installation art. It is what I do as a job, as well as what I do because, like breathing, I simply MUST. I go to sleep thinking of pieces I am working on or ones yet to be started. I work on it every day. I feel bereft if I don't get to expressively create each day. I art, therefore, I am an artist. (Sorry Descartes!!!!!)
I may take a concept, puzzle it out, look at it in different ways, sketch different ideas, choose a medium that feels right and experiment with different techniques in my chosen medium all before I start the final product….but in the end, you are still seeing my hands show you what is in my mind. You will see my thoughts and I will tell you a story in a visual way. So yes, it IS like doodling, just in a more finished and refined way. But that connection…that is what is important. That for one brilliant, bright and beautiful moment, someone else has been able to see into my mind...and if I am really clear with our connection...I might get them to look at the world, for just that little moment in a completely different way.
The process is different for us all. The meaning and techniques and motivations are different for us all. I can only tell you what art is to me and why I choose to do the art I do. You may or may not call it by such a label but I choose to remember the words of Andy Warhol…
So please excuse me….I am off to make more art.