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You May Say I'm An Artist...

Thu Jan 1, 2015, 5:49 PM
Untitled-1 by techgnotic

I am haunted in this holiday season by the opening lines of Charles Dickens’s A Tale of Two Cities, his novel about a society 250 years ago coming apart in its seemingly irreconcilable divisions. Could it be these lines define where we have come to find ourselves today?

“It was the best of times,
it was the worst of times,
in the age of wisdom,
it was the age of foolishness,
it was the epoch of belief,
it was the epoch of incredulity,
it was the season of Light,
it was the season of Darkness,
it was the spring of hope,
it was the winter of despair…”

ur own epoch is one of the technological miracle of instant person-to-person worldwide connection through the Internet, but one in which civilian prisoners-of-civil-war are being cruelly beheaded in the desert sands. We are left to wonder just how much hope we realistically should have in ever being able, as singular individuals, to impact the world, to change it in any way for the positive. It seems that for every new digital wonder invented, there is a corresponding return to ancient horrors. Will the fires of irrational hatreds ever be put out?  Will we ever feel safe as world citizens to travel freely and find new friends in our own one planetary home?

Artists and advocates for the arts occupy a unique position in society. What we have in the arts is a special way of expressing what we see with our eyes and feel in our hearts as we live through the usually hardscrabble situations in our own lives. As artists, makers and appreciators, we have a specific dedication to finding what is true as an answer or not as a question. We have only the truth as we know it, to best express as we can through our particular art-form as look we for it. Nothing more and nothing less.

We are not soldiers for enforcing the codes of our rulers. We are not politicians making special pleadings for one group’s benefit at another group’s expense. We are not preaching for or against any of it. But we persevere in our courage to challenge our intellects and muster every possible ounce of our belief in the power and potential of art to transform ourselves and the people around us.

n this particularly divisive holiday season, with demonstrations every night in so many of our cities around the world, with militias and armies engaged in savage conflict, with suppression and repression of thought, ideas, expression and culture, and with the widening gaping chasm between the rich and the poor, I encourage all artists to re-commit yourselves to doing what only you can do best: observe the truth and express it through your art. Represent in your art the bad things that are facts of our lives –and represent your best visions of a future without these horrors and injustices. Use the special lens that is your artist’s eye to envision a syncretic world society finally coming together, to replace the currently fragmenting one we are suffering.  This is the special charge I put to all artists and arts advocates who hear this call.

And when we each individually give ourselves over to this great project, we will each of us become part of a mighty force for what is true and good. In this re-dedication we will find each other, and support each other, as artists. We will not be alone, railing against the maelstrom. We will be part of one mighty, beautiful and loving force for peace in our world.

Let the cynics snark on and on. I prefer to silently say a simple prayer for myself and interlocutors of so little faith, one that I borrowed and re-crafted from a sainted martyr in our artists’ holy cause…

As we note the murder of four cartoon artists and 8 others in Paris, we are reminded that the world is not yet ready to “live as one.” We have a lot of work and dedication ahead of us.

— Be part of the conversation & view the trubute gallery —

Read “Je Suis Charlie Hebdo”

Questions for The Reader

  1. Do you agree with this statement?: As an artist, I possess special, perhaps even magical powers that can transform people and situations for the better.

  2. Do you agree with this statement?: As an artist, I possess no special ability to alter hearts and minds. Art is how I express myself and it is also a commodity to sell for my own subsistence. Nothing more.

  3. Do you believe in the power of the arts to transform hearts, minds and history? How great a role has art had in ending wars? In empowering women’s liberation and equality worldwide? In promoting and energizing civil rights movements?

  4. How important do you think artists were in bringing down the Berlin Wall?

  5. Who you think changes more hearts and minds? Politicians, scholars and academics, scientists or artists?

I find myself in this holiday season unable to silence the opening lines of Charles Dickens’s novel about a society coming apart, these haunting opening lines of A Tale of Two Cities, that keep going round and round in my head…

Writers: techgnotic 
Designers: marioluevanos 
Add a Comment:
Omnivoyance Featured By Owner Apr 2, 2017

1. Art is communication. If you can communicate the right thought or thoughts in the right way then you might insert those thoughts into another mind where they may or may not have the effect you desire. I don’t know about “magical”. With the right person at the right time just talking or a hug might achieve the same effect (though maybe any form of communication done well is “art” no matter how “ordinary”). The right thought, at the right time, with the right method of communication can be a pretty beautiful (or horrible) thing.

2. First part: See above. Second part: True though right up to the “nothing more” part – communication is everything with a social species like ours…

3. Sure. Art is a range of methods to communicate thoughts/ideas. That has a lot of impact with a social species like ours. (or course pointing a gun at a person also communicates certain things quite succinctly and powerfully… )

4. They did their part I’m sure.

5. Any of the above who is good at communicating and can reach a broad audience. Their job title isn’t the most important part.

xX-Strangeness-Xx Featured By Owner Sep 9, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
Ignorance is strength, freedom is slavery, war is peace.
ottophakphol Featured By Owner Aug 9, 2016  Student Digital Artist
Recktoffin Featured By Owner May 23, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks for this piece, beautiful message, expertly written. I agree fully.
Chaskos Featured By Owner May 17, 2016  Professional General Artist
I think this is a good thing.. But I think it is only the start and all things must start somewhere.  Now the questionis where do we go from here?
 I do feel deviantart is also a part of the start. Though I do feel the programmers of deviant art should take example of other socila media websites in the way they set up the interactivity platforms. For instance a newsfeed with comments and likes that is constantly working here would be a good thing to have as an added feature
VibrantVoyager Featured By Owner May 17, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks for sharing..I appreciate you efforts my friend, may hopes and dreams couple you with happiness for an eternity ;)
ThatsPrettyGood Featured By Owner May 17, 2016
That's pretty good.
hans96 Featured By Owner May 17, 2016  Student General Artist
Art has potential to change things. But, it's not everything.
Art may tells something. But, people may interpret it differently.
For good or bad, depends on how you see it.
........   ........   ........

I've forgot what I want to type.. :(
HamidRezaZoroofi Featured By Owner May 17, 2016
marfbum Featured By Owner May 17, 2016
art is necessary
polisdf Featured By Owner May 16, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
omg eres muy buen dibujante mejor que yo
RobbaniFauzi-XI Featured By Owner May 13, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Rhalp10 Featured By Owner May 13, 2016  Hobbyist Artist
can i ask something ? does html and css works on deviantart journal ?
maejonin Featured By Owner May 13, 2016  Professional General Artist
Ohh yummei.

Gonna see everyone at fanime this year.
HonHonnie Featured By Owner May 12, 2016  Student Digital Artist
- I thought that I read a blog!!!
- So beautiful!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
FenrirDaulte Featured By Owner May 12, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
U know, save the world is not the artist's responsibility, but it is always possible to change the world because someone saw a art ;)
LordConductor Featured By Owner May 12, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
1. Yep, in a way. Art is powerful enough to influence people, changing perspective and the way we look at things. but Me, Myself and I personally do not have that function... as of yet.
2. Also yep, in a way. I just draw for fun, and to express myself. 
3. Yes, always. It sounds too big of a feat to accomplish, but when you think about it, yes. Personally, I've changed my mind about things quite a bit.
4. Important! 'Course.
5. Politicians. I know people say things like "artist for sure" but I feel like anyone can make that change - politicians just stand out more to me.
Leenaofdarkness Featured By Owner May 10, 2016  Hobbyist Artist
1. Kinda
2. Kinda...
3. Yes to all of it.
4. really important
5. Artists (and writers....)
ali164 Featured By Owner May 10, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Art interesting human interest, but does not effect the development of the human personality Vidyanagar history of art reflects the experience and make connections between communities attract Atfy
hill59 Featured By Owner May 10, 2016  Student Filmographer
1. Not sure
2. Yes
3. yes of course
4. very important
5. I guess all.

This has really touched my heart.
EuTytoAlba Featured By Owner May 9, 2016   General Artist
You mean the power to manipulate people?
Yes, I do believe that.
nzao Featured By Owner May 9, 2016
1. Magical powers? By splashing dirt on a canvas? xD
2. That's incorrect question. You work OR for people (professional), OR for yourself (hobbyist). You can't do both.
3. Ofc, just look at Hitler. 
4. Propaganda did.
5. Psychopaths, Comedians and Musicians.
Libertades Featured By Owner Edited May 9, 2016  Professional Artist
Number 2

I disagree

See hobbyist projects become a living, like Romantically Apocalyptic, Homestuck, Off-White, and soon my own projects. Work isn't equal to not enjoying your hobby, it's just making it a living.
nzao Featured By Owner May 15, 2016
Good luck with your projects.
catharticaagh Featured By Owner May 9, 2016
Yes. Art ruined my life.
VioletEclypsonia Featured By Owner May 8, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
1. Yes. Everyone has their own creative style.
2. Kinda.
3. Yes. Without all of the "poetic words" and inspiring strength, it has achieved so much during those rough times.
4. They were very important. Their illustrations showed how much they didn't want it there XD
5. Anyone can bring about change for the better.
Dis-conected Featured By Owner May 8, 2016
1.magic? no however you can reach them in ways that few others can.
2.more then merely that. think about it an artist is much like a musician or a chef each adept at bringing pleasure to the senses. art in any form is more substantial then a mere commodity.
3.not as much as you may think however there is definitely some influence and it is called inspiration.
4.see above.
5. artists of coarse however each of these people effect the world in distinctly different ways.
Yommu Featured By Owner May 8, 2016  Student Digital Artist
1. yes
2. maybe
3. I think that the art is a power by the person, only if they can change this life for the good way!
5. If you are like an artist, politicians, scholars and academics or scientist. you need to know that you can change all you see for the better way, I mean you have the power, no matter is you're an artist or just like a politicians :)
gojesser Featured By Owner May 8, 2016
1.A bit.
3.Yes,I believe even if it doesn't change everything.
4.I think art was active to break the Berlin Wall,especially poetry.
5.Most artists, then politicians, then scholars and academics, less scientists …
skullhead4554 Featured By Owner Edited May 8, 2016
Amazing :)
1. Yes
2. Yes and No
3. I - Yes
II - A Lot
III + IV - It empowers very much.
4. Very, as they did do graffiti, I believe..
5. Artists
sphiaeko Featured By Owner May 8, 2016  Hobbyist
That is one damn good journal.
NikitaTarsov Featured By Owner May 8, 2016  Hobbyist Artist
It´s impressive how many people can do belive in magic for the reason they don´t understand that the manipulating others. Art is a form of communication, to transfear own thoughts to others. And everyone who phrase his own truth and give it to the world, accept the chance of people who misinterpred of follow blind. So we artists have a engagement to not belive blindly in magic - we can call it this way, cause it sounds nice - but we must make sure, everyone understands what we want to say. Otherwise we´re nothing as propagandists of our own perfect reality where others can just be crowd, subjects. 

Oh, to Charlie Hebdo: A lot of artists fight against injustice and cruelty without a daily payment, a warm office etc.. Charlie&Co throw a stone in a war they didn´t realy belive in, and wondered about the echo. The media people of Turkey, Israel, Iraqe and many many more did so too, they really fight, and didn´t get the smallest piece of attention. In opposite, turkish goverment get´s more and more support from "the free world" to deconstruct Europa, to inflict a worldwar, to support terrorists like the Grey Wolves who grant ther importance as protection against the red danger, what wouldn´t be a danger without the permanent endeavor of America&Co.. So we create our own hell, and those who fight against it was often declared as the problem itself from popular media. It´s not a problem that DA not focus this point - cause it is popular media and have to pay taxes(okay even ..not as much as they burn with misserable managment but making is okay and a need i understand). So DA isen´t in charge to open it´s eyes and think further, but we, the artists, had to. It´s the only liability we have at all. 

Sorry, that´s the only thing i get off my head when i see the stupid glorification of someone/thing that not even get´s close to some kind of truth. 
sabrabotix Featured By Owner May 7, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
I have that book surprisingly.
Mmkaay Featured By Owner May 7, 2016  Student Digital Artist
Art comforts the mind and soul. Why do you think the Egyptians and Romans painstakingly valued their scribes, architects and artisans?
VioletEclypsonia Featured By Owner May 7, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
S/o to all artist!!!Tiger Emoji-01 (Peace) [V1] 
the-absolutus Featured By Owner Edited May 7, 2016   General Artist
I believe that art affects the minds and hearts of people. For example, inspiring, uplifting, develops imagination etc. But do not believe that art can do more than politicians, scholars and academics. Artists, politicians, scientists, and even ordinary people have to stick together, then we will exact change this world.
ADADSIWHA Featured By Owner May 7, 2016  Hobbyist Artist
Bonnie Intensifies 
nezarr71 Featured By Owner May 7, 2016  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
I agree the art or drawing  as any of the 7 fine arts, can have a powerful influence in the world, we just gotta know how to use it correctly, im proud of all of you my fellow deviants!
SevenBirdsIRINA Featured By Owner May 7, 2016  Professional Artisan Crafter
a lot of talented people in the world
kharakairul98 Featured By Owner May 6, 2016  Student Traditional Artist
Power of artist!!
Woll-ica Featured By Owner May 6, 2016
I love this and all

but one thing is bothering me:


No mate, ''Dickens'.''
Harushpitan Featured By Owner May 10, 2016
No, what they have done is legitimate. You are contending a point of style.

Incidentally, William Strunk endorsed their choice:…
UnikittyTheGreat Featured By Owner May 6, 2016  Student Artist
Woll-ica Featured By Owner May 7, 2016
Some grammar, though.
Lord-of-the-Stars Featured By Owner May 6, 2016
I'll get back to you latter, I'm busy pondering the importance of air.
Kineil-Wicks Featured By Owner May 11, 2016  Student General Artist
To blow up volleyballs and basketballs.
Birdiski Featured By Owner May 6, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
last time i checked I'm pretty sure air isn't important
WritingArtist14 Featured By Owner May 6, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
1. I agree as an artist I have the ability to change people and situations for the better. I may not be as skilled as other artists but what I draw and create with my own hands makes someone smile somewhere.
nezarr71 Featured By Owner May 7, 2016  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
lol well said XD
SormiPoro Featured By Owner May 6, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
Well that wasn't a manipulative question at all. It's not really even subject to opinion or personal interpretation. Read history.. there's a reason propaganda has been used for thousands of years.
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