The Relevant Irrelevance of Artistic Ability

I am often inclined to point out the decided difference between the artist and the artisan. Artists being individuals whose personas are most decidedly characterized by a passion for the positive expression of human creativity through imagination and application and pursue those abilities to earn kudos and perhaps money, artisans create product to sell for income. One is an aesthetic, the other is a profession.

Any lists of artisans would include Michelangelo, Da Vinci, most pre nineteenth century painters and sculptors, masons, blacksmiths, armorers, even perhaps the higher end fashion workers such as cobblers, seamstresses, tailors and weavers. The one overwhelming connection is an ability to find sufficient employment to survive, to be able to put the pursuit of existence beyond that of principle.

A list of artists might include anyone who has the disposition, who considers themselves to present if not represent a uniquely personal perspective upon reality. As Van Gogh their thinking might be years ahead of the time, unappreciated or underexposed. Equally they might simply have no appreciable talent to anyone beyond themselves.

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