Lately, I’ve been seeing and hearing a lot of negative talk when it comes to acrylic pouring. It was even part of a FAQ post on the blog. Maybe it’s always been there and my bubble was just too thick to be burst by some less than thoughtful words, but now I know that there are a lot of non-believers out there when it comes to acrylic pouring. Some people think it’s “not art” or “too easy to be art” or that “a child could do it,” I’m sure you’ve heard it all so I won’t go on. But what I am hear to tell you today is that you are an artist.
I think, as a society, we’ve somehow managed to put the concept of being an “artist” in a black turtleneck with some tortured vision, who stares at his or her raw materials willing them in to life. And maybe that’s how you approach pouring, but that’s not the only way to be an artist. The very definition of being an artist could not be more simple, “one who performs or practices an imaginative art” I think we’ve all got that box checked!
There’s no requirement for you to perform seven labours to become an artist. If you make art, if you let your creativity out in some physical form, no matter how good or bad it is, you are an artist. The nine year old who can execute a perfect ring pour or swipe without getting muddy colors, that kid is definitely an artist! But so is the kid painting his own face at daycare. All children are artists though, if we’re being honest—they are the most creative of us all. (If you haven’t noticed yet, I’m a real lemons to lemonade kind of gal!)
Van Gogh is great, Monet is great, Basquiat is great, but so is Pollock and his splatters of paint. If Pollock can gain global adoration for something that seems so easy then why can’t we? It’s the relatability of our work that makes it desirable and the intriguing mix of simplicity and it’s opposite that is ever present in a pour with bright colors and popping cells. Maybe everyone can do this and maybe some people don’t have the patience to figure out why their paints are always too runny or why there’s always bald spots. Dedication to a craft is another part of being an artist and the next time someone tell me “pshh, anyone can do that! That’s not art!” I think I’ll respond with: “everyone can do something, that doesn’t make what they’re good at any less special.” or “you should try it! But be warned, once you start you won’t be able to stop!”
To me, we are all artists, no matter our skill level. Maybe some of us aren’t capital G Great yet, but everything is about practice and time and gratitude. I am patient and have enough time and love for this medium to figure out my flaws, and I am grateful to have a community who will rally around me on my least creative and muddiest day, telling me to wash out those paint cups and try again. And who knows, maybe we are simply underappreciated in our time, it has happened to some of the very greatest, after all. Maybe one day we’ll be hailed as being at the forefront of modern art!