I think perhaps I really am an artist, maybe. In the days of Etsy and Pinterest and Deviant Art and Facebook, almost everyone is, aren't they? How many times have I lamented and thought that perhaps I was born in the wrong time? Art can't be anyone's day job anymore, can it?
Dora, Marlin, Bob, Thomas...my children's favorite cartoon character's voices ring in my head sometimes. Isn't it interesting how the last several generations of people have been so enormously affected by art in their everyday life?
I mean, technically, art has been a part of people as long as there have been people. And it has always been as interwoven in the, ahem, fabric of our every day, practical lives (textile art) as it has also been used to create monuments to mankind and it's achievements: pyramids, cathedrals, etc.
But for the last hundred years or so--people have had more art available to them at any given time than most people could see in their lifetimes a thousand years ago or more.
I think of my kids' childhood, and mine, and how many thousands of images we have perceived any given day. A 30 minute cartoon, must have thousands upon thousands of images--I wonder what Da Vinci or Michelangelo would have thought of that?
There have always been artisans and artists--but I think the real gift of Pinterest and Google and Youtube, is that there has been an explosion of creativity and of the sharing of ideas that all the years of past combined could not equal. In a way it makes it incredibly hard for an artist to "make it" in the world--but what a kaleidoscope of fantastical invention and creation we live in now!! It's like a door has been unlocked to the masses that says: you can do this?!
You, too, can create.
Instead of spending years and years as an apprentice to a master painter--at your fingertips you have access to the worlds of thousands of artists and their work and lives. You can zoom in and look at the brush strokes of Van Gogh's Sunflowers or peer deep into Mona Lisa's eyes. You can spend hours and days looking at almost every single Impressionists work. What would Degas and Monet have thought of that?
If art is money then 2016 isn't a good year for artists, because few people can survive on the pittance people want to pay for the the hours of laborious work a piece of artwork takes. But if art is the heralding expression of joy in our lives, if it is the explosion of people taking pen, brush and pencil to paper and canvas--for the pure joy of it, than this the BEST time to be an artist...I prefer to think that because art is more accessible than it has ever been--this is the greatest time in history for the artist, and for the artist in everyone.