11.17.2008

"...it's pretty, but is it ART?" (2)

Yesterday, in my hurry to argue my case about digital art, I forgot to post the quote the title came from...

"And the first rude sketch that the world had seen was joy to his mighty heart, till the Devil whispered behind the leaves "It's pretty, but is it Art?" Rudyard Kipling

That has been my most favorite quote since I went back to school in 1995 to become a graphic designer. I became a student again at 55, and, to quote Ancient Artist:

"I went back to college when I was 51. I sat in chairs designed for the young, next to my fellow students who were also...well, young. Adding insult to injury, I needed tutoring -- from the young -- to learn the new technology that these kids in their late teens and twenties grew up with and used as casually as I once used the rotary phone."

My problem was in convincing instructors that my design ideas were just as valid as the ideas coming from the young students! I would work twice as hard only to be told that my concepts were "weak" or "bland" - in fact, my final semester's portfolio review was a disaster! The only things I got good marks on were appearance and communication skills. (Of course, my first job, which started 2 days before graduation, was for a hearing aid company whose target market was people in their 50s & up.)

It took me 3 years (and an invitation to the school to present my new portfolio to a graduating class)to be able to throw away that evaluation. So, that's the explanation behind the quote.

And, perhaps there's something in a lot of artists that makes us question our creative abilities in such a way: "..it's pretty, but is it ART?"

1 comment:

Sue Smith said...

Dear Deevine Miss M - your artwork is divine! And we ancient artists bring the depth of our life experiences to our work. Thank you for the blog mention, and for the link. I will be adding you to my artists list, too, as I think you will have a lot to add to the conversation!
Take care of your creativity.