You May Say I'm An Artist...
|34 min read
techgnotic's avatar
By techgnotic   |   
6K 2K 228K (2 Today)
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?

anonymous's avatar
Join the community to add your comment. Already a deviant? Log In
Omnivoyance's avatar

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's avatar
xX-Strangeness-XxHobbyist General Artist
Ignorance is strength, freedom is slavery, war is peace.
ottophakphol's avatar
ottophakpholStudent Digital Artist
Recktoffin's avatar
RecktoffinHobbyist General Artist
Thanks for this piece, beautiful message, expertly written. I agree fully.
Chaskos's avatar
ChaskosProfessional 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's avatar
VibrantVoyagerHobbyist General Artist
Thanks for sharing..I appreciate you efforts my friend, may hopes and dreams couple you with happiness for an eternity ;)
ThatsPrettyGood's avatar
That's pretty good.
hans96's avatar
hans96Student 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.. :(
marfbum's avatar
art is necessary
polisdf's avatar
polisdfHobbyist General Artist
omg eres muy buen dibujante mejor que yo
RobbaniFauzi-XI's avatar
RobbaniFauzi-XIHobbyist Digital Artist
Rhalp10's avatar
Rhalp10Hobbyist Artist
can i ask something ? does html and css works on deviantart journal ?
maejonin's avatar
maejoninProfessional General Artist
Ohh yummei.

Gonna see everyone at fanime this year.
HonHonnie's avatar
HonHonnieStudent Digital Artist
- I thought that I read a blog!!!
- So beautiful!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
FenrirDaulte's avatar
FenrirDaulteHobbyist 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's avatar
LordConductorHobbyist 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's avatar
LeenaofdarknessHobbyist Artist
1. Kinda
2. Kinda...
3. Yes to all of it.
4. really important
5. Artists (and writers....)
ali164's avatar
ali164Hobbyist 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's avatar
hill59Hobbyist Filmographer
1. Not sure
2. Yes
3. yes of course
4. very important
5. I guess all.

This has really touched my heart.
EuTytoAlba's avatar
EuTytoAlba General Artist
You mean the power to manipulate people?
Yes, I do believe that.
nzao's avatar
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's avatar
LibertadesProfessional Digital 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's avatar
Good luck with your projects.
anonymous's avatar
Join the community to add your comment. Already a deviant? Log In