What it Takes to Become an Artist 

Many people dream of becoming an artist and expressing their innermost creativity. Art exists in several forms and can be presented in different ways, as artists utilize their minds to create unique things and concepts that stimulate the mind and get people thinking in different ways. Artists thrive in unstructured situations where creativity and imagination can abound, and life really is a blank canvas.

But what does it take to become an artist?

While there is no prescribed characteristics or set of experiences that a person must have if they are to become an artist, there are several traits that successful artists share that are unique to their craft and creativity. As Nietzsche famously wrote: “When it comes to recognizing truths, the artist has a weaker mortality than the thinker; on no account does he want his brilliant, profound interpretations of life to be taken from him, and he defends himself against sober, plain methods and results.” So what are some of the things artists do to ensure their “profound interpretations” of life are not diluted?

Let’s begin by looking at the ego. Although usually something that is considered a negative personality trait, a healthy dose of ego is paramount for artists to ultimately believe that they have the necessary skills and imagination to create a particular piece of work. In this respect, the ego does not translate to “I am better than you,” it merely translates to “I am capable of doing this.” With significant odds stacked against artists from the outset, they must have self-belief and confidence that they will be able to create the art that they desire. What’s more, artists must approach life with a degree of open-mindedness and recognize diversity and difference as commendable traits. If the world were uniform, it would be an incredibly dull place. Art brings color and richness to our lives by exploiting gaps in our understanding, challenging stereotypes, and encouraging people to look differently at the world around them. Artists are interested in the interconnectedness of nature and look at life from contrasting perspectives. In this respect, artists are successful when they look at their experiences from unique perspectives and create work that reflects this. To understand what is unique about an artist further, we must consider the identity of their soul. When we talk of one’s soul, we consider the innermost workings of their lives. A person’s soul is what makes them unique; it is the very fabric of their existence, and it is where we look to channel our creativity and passions. A person with soul has the capacity to see things in a particular way that is not diluted by the conventions of a specific culture or society. An individual’s soul is the foundation for all of their beliefs, creative expressions, and daily actions. Preserving the sanctity of the soul is high up on the list of an artist’s priorities. Furthermore, an artist must be independent if he is to create work that will inspire and impress. Independence refers predominantly to the freedom of thought and spirit, as the majority of artists are non-conformists and express themselves in unique and singular ways. Whether creating music or physical art, artists rely on their independence and impulsivity to turn their ideas into work. Although artists represent contrasting ideas and unique visions about the existence of the world, we can also view them as a collective of independents, curating their own worldview and exercising their right to freedom and expression. Given these specific traits that the majority of artists share, what are some of the identifying abilities of artists in particular situations?

This is a tricky question to answer, as it’s incredibly difficult to pin the definition of “artist” to a particular field. Artists exist in so many aspects of life; be it within the music, performing arts, or even sporting arenas, so it’s a thankless task to try and define an artist as a singular entity. Within music, in particular, there is an interesting phenomenon known as chromesthesia. This is the sensation of understanding sounds relating to moods and colors. Artists with sound-color synaesthesia are consciously aware of their synesthetic color associations and perceptions in daily life. While this trait is pretty rare (affecting approximately 1 in 3,000 individuals) it is a remarkable trait of many artists across different time periods and has been a blessing for Vincent Van Gogh, David Hockney, and Duke Ellington to name but three. So what does this particular example tell us about the unique traits of artists?

Above all else, it exemplifies the visionary scope of their abilities and their capacity to see and experience things that most of us cannot. Artists have a natural capacity to see the world in unique and often revolutionary ways. What’s more, they have the creativity and the passion for translating this into art that many of us can resonate with, enjoy, and take inspiration from. Perhaps this is the secret of an artist’s personality. That enviable, insatiable ability to translate an idea or a worldview into a piece of art that people can relate to and enjoy. Without the creativity and expressionism of artists, the world would undeniably be a dull and rather sullen place, and we should be grateful and inspired by the work that artists continue to create. References  Artistic personality type - Chromesthesia - Human, all too human -  The artist and the ego - What color is this song? -

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