Find out what it means to me” Aretha Franklin
~Sigh…respect. Or in this case the lack of respect. Why do artists sometimes feel superior over another artist simply because of the media or the type of art of another artist? I’ve had THREE separate conversations this week with other artists where this topic has come up.
One artist is a graphic designer by day and a singer/songwriter by night. She is often asked if she compromises her singing for her 9-5 day job. And her answer is no. Why can’t she do both?
Another friend is at an art show. I would classify her as a jewellery designer. But within the jewellery making community there are tiers of respect given and received based on the type of metal you work in, the type of tools you use…and so on. She was upset over a conversation she’d had with another jewellery designer. The other jewellery designer felt that my friend’s work is “artsy” and not “real jewellery design” and therefore should not be in the same category of the same show as their work.
Why do we do this to ourselves? Why do artists need to feel that what they are doing or working in is superior to another? A few years ago a metalsmith compared metal clay to cake decorating. You can only imagine the details of the discussions that took place afterwards!
I should ask my singer/songwriter friend if musicians do this sort of comparisons. Do actors? Are “real” actors those who have been in a Shakespeare play, in England—using English accents and common words from the 1600’s? I’m sure anything NOT Shakespeare and NOT performed in Shakespeare’s home town is for lesser actors.
I know that my take on the topic of the tiered classification of artists by artists…will not suddenly change the situation. But maybe pointing out how ridiculous it is to judge other artists…will help point out that the arbitrary need to classify and separate artists is nothing more than a self reflection.
Jeannette Froese LeBlanc is the editor at Cre8tiveFire.com and a jewellery artist. She is definitely “A glass 1/2 full kind of person”! She has learned to enjoy the journey and not solely focus on the destination, which is something her kids taught her. Look down, look around, enjoy where you are.