How do we introduce ourselves as artists? How does that affect how those who do not see themselves as artists view us?

The scenario: an introduction at a party.

Partygoer: What do you do for a living?

Artist: I'm an artist.

P: Oh, that's cool. What kind of art do you make?

A: Mostly charcoal and some oil.

P: That's so interesting, I can't even draw a straight line.

O.k. I've been there a gazillion times and have said that exact line as an artist, but why define ourselves by our art medium?

  • So many artists work in multiple and mixed media why limit ourselves to just a handful.
  • Clearly the person wants to start a conversation and what is more interesting than the topics you're exploring in your art.
  • If you engage that person in a discussion on the topic they might shed new light on it that may influence your work.
  • Those who aren't active in the arts will assume that art is just perfect technique. A thoughtful discussion with you may help them interpret art in the future. 
  • They'll learn that art starts with ideas (not just technique) and maybe they'll actually try to make art too!

I'm going to start developing a concise description of the concepts I'm exploring!