Art is art when the objet d'art appeals to one's peculiar taste or sense of beauty. This common definition of art indicates that art is a means of individual expression whle art appreciation depends on one's individual beliefs and perspectives. In fact, another popular definition of art describes it as an act of doing, making and creating something of your own…
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It is such an emphasis on individualism that usually lays the ground for a career in the arts and defines an artist's identity along the way.
In the US, sponsors of an art enrichment program interviewed children aged 8-11 to explore how children perceive their own development in terms of artistic and creative identities. The answers are instructive and say a great deal about what it takes to develop an artistic identity. The youngest said they chose their subject matter based on what they liked or thought others would like if their artwork were a gift. The 9-year-olds in the group said they were focused on making their work look "real" by using their knowledge in a combination of work and enjoyment. The 10-year-olds expressed interest in subjects that pose a technical challenge, pointing out that an artwork did not have to look real to be considered art. The 11-year-olds, on the other hand, wanted to explore different painting styles and find something interesting and then persist in accomplishing this desired style. The oldest children demonstrated elements of artistic decision-making skills, selecting among these elements and modifying their knowledge and skills to create the desired end (Rostan, 1998).
All the children interviewed were unanimous in saying that being an artist involves a combination of knowledge, motivation and purposeful work. How this combination of these factors come in their order of importance differed according to age. The youngest children said knowledge or an inborn talent is the most important, the older ones believed it was motivation and the oldest said purposeful work should take precedence over the others. Any study of the rise to fame of contemporary artists would also show that family and friends and the milieu in which an individual grows up bear an influence on the development of an artistic identity. Childhood experiences also provide inspiration for one to take up arts. For example, Louise Bourgois is considered very effective in conveying such feelings as anger, betrayal and jealousy because of an adulterous father whose mistress the governess lived with the family even as her mother refused to acknowledge the immorality. The best way to capture the development of an artist's identity is to chronicle the odyssey of artists from obscurity to the halls of fame.
Medium as Message
Sculptors create things to express an idea or feeling, which may or may not be shared by others. For example, a classic creation of Barbara Hepworth called "Corinth" looks like a big red apple that someone took a bite out of, but it was really not meant to be a sculpture of an apple. Two colors and a variety of textures, which cannot be seen in apples, were used to add interest and certain meaning to the abstract shape. In effect, the artist merely used the figure of an apple to convey a personal message, with sculpture as medium. There are many known art mediums by which artists can express their own ideas or feelings and it is a popular belief that the identity of an artist emerges as result of his/her chosen medium. The medium may also be an art movement, such as Abstractionism and Cubism, which could give an artist his/her own identity. It appears that
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