by: Lauro A. Caliva
An amateur artist expressed on social media that he was giving up on his craft. He said that nobody noticed his works. His statement was not the main post but a caption for a more melancholic part of the post. He showed a photo of how he burned all his beautiful artworks in a rusty and dirty bin. In the comments section, one netizen asked: “Do you really need to become famous for you to be considered an artist?” The question instantly became a point for my personal reflection.
Is there a trend nowadays implying that the famous artists are the only true artists? What I meant as artists are the enthusiasts and professionals in fine arts. Perhaps, I may also expand my definition to include others who artistically come up with something concrete regardless of the medium. The frustration of the amateur artist described above is no longer new. In fact, it has been an ongoing issue among budding artists.
In the first place, art is about expression. Art is never about fame. Many famous artists did not actually have any intention of achieving fame. Not far from home, some of the famous painters in our national history created their iconic masterpieces to carry messages to the people. They became popular because the impact of their works endured for a long time.
A true artist yearns for expression of the truth. Yes, it is subjective but there is truth in their works. They use their art as the best expression of their thoughts and emotions. Their art can carry out the messages that no words can best describe. Maybe, they thought that words were too limited in translating what was exactly in their hearts.
Do you remember your grade school and high school art classes? For every blank paper, you were instructed to come up with something related to the theme you were studying. Do you still remember what you created? Why did you decide to make those specific combinations of lines, colors, and shapes? Were you instructed to replicate a specific image? You did it because deep in your soul, you wanted to express something. You persisted in your early artworks because you felt that you were perfectly expressing about a part of you. Even a part of you that has been hidden for years.
Being an artist is about expressing the beauty that is unique in you. It is more of revealing that beauty in a beautiful world. Your sense of beauty may not be appealing to some and that is completely normal. Exposing your artwork is a sign of honesty and a process of waiting for the right spectators to gaze at your art. You will be able to attract people based on what part of the art struck them the most.
You should trust in the power that you poured from your heart unto your art. The time will come that someone will finally discover the message underneath the colors and shapes. When that time comes, I hope you will realize the achievement of an artist’s purpose: to let others see your heart through your art.
About the Author: Lauro A. Caliva is a volunteer writer from the Social Communications Ministry of the National Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes.