(imported from my former photo blog)
Are you an artist? Are you a photographer? Are you an artist-photographer? I have been thinking about this for years. I see some assumptions by art lovers that art is a painting or sculpture, for instance, and photography is a portrait or landscape.
It's much deeper than that however. With the dawning of digital photography came post production editing and manipulation. Now the photographer is an artist. How do we fit in? What do we call ourselves?
We have to be gentle with the masses, for they know not what we do. Let them admire our works and contemplate how we did it, but don't be discouraged by their lack of knowledge. There are still a lot of people who don't even know how to use the computer, let alone the functions of PhotoShop.
Perhaps we can just revel in our mystery. Although it might not be a bad idea to have some kind of explanation about how we came to the finished product. Keep it brief though, as the attention span is limited.
I do think we need more labels, however, subcategories for our mediums. I believe any kind of creativity qualifies one as an artist - "one who creates art" as Webster's New Dictionary defines it. So perhaps we can find our own labels within the generalities.
An example of this is my beloved "Girasole" image. This has been admired and purchased as cards, prints and on metal.
This image is first a photograph, later digitally manipulated with color and layers.
Perhaps it is the happiness of a sunflower that attracts people, or the use of color. All I know is that it makes people feel good. Which is why I create anything in the first place, because it makes me feel good.
It's a fantastic time to be an artist, we are everywhere, recording and creating and sharing our vision with the world. The internet has allowed us to share our work with the entire planet! Our success is unlimited!
So am I an artist? Or photographer? I prefer artist-photographer.