A friend of mine denied being an “artist” recently because he only considered himself an artist if he could make a full time living from it. Getting paid gives the credibility, at least to him.
I wonder if other people feel that way.
My definition may be somewhat broader, and simpler.
An “artist” is someone who makes art. Now, sure, they might not be a “professional” artist, or even a “good” artist but for sure, to me, they are artists.
When I was in my twenties I wanted to be an artist. I painted abstract works somewhat in the style of Gorky or Kandinsky. Looking back, most of them were not too good ( whatever that means) although a few had their charm. And, I’ve never really had the talent for representational drawing or painting and ultimately I gave it up feeling a bit frustrated.
A couple of years ago, and 40 years later, I had the urge to start making some visual art again. I’m not sure why really but I seemed to find my calling in small size collages and have had a lot of fun making them and giving them away. Purposefully, I made them the same size as CD covers so when I made a new music album I could stick them in as the CD cover, and each would be one of a kind.
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They are not meant to be representational although sometimes I see things in them.
Some people have suggested that I go larger. To me, I am very comfortable with the size and format I have chosen and here’s the other thing: when people do large canvases or large form works of sculpture or site specific work where do they put them? Don't they run out of space fast? I own my house and have a large garage but I’d be out of room in a hurry (Of course I also have an extra large music collection) if I did large size works. I can keep a couple thousand of my collages in a couple of show boxes.
As a Christmas present my wife Robin made a framed collection of about 25 of my works that can be changed out because she backed them with velcro. They look really neat together like that.
Most of my life music has been my biggest creative endeavor. Whether it is my own music or my radio shows, sound has been my principal outlet.
But now, for the moment I actually prefer the visual process although I’ll probably go back to music sometime soon. I know a lot less about making visual art than I do about music and maybe that is one of the things that draws me to it.
Here are a few newer works. If you want to trade my art for your music or art (or anything else) just let me know. I do not sell them. So, without sales, does that still make me an artist?
You can view all of my works here: https://doncampauartworks.shutterfly.com/pictures/8
My name is Don Campau and I have been involved in underground and non mainstream music and radio since 1969. I continue to be an active home taper and Cassette Culture archivist with my own site, The Living Archive.