You think you’re not an artist? Wrong. Didn’t you read the title? Everyone is an artist.

Traditionally speaking, an artist is someone who draws, paints, or sculpts in various mediums. And these people who can do this can produce some amazing, thought-provoking, and inspiring works. However (and I am in no way trying to belittle or trivialize the ‘traditional’ artist) they do not have a monopoly on ART. Art is so much bigger and broader. In one interpretation of art (mine, if no one elses) is that art is a representation of the universe, either the universe outside and all around you, or the universes that revolve and evolve inside your mind and heart. In another interpretation (also mine), art is anything that requires imagination, instinct, and/or creative thinking. Thinking of new things, or taking old things in a new direction, or combining things in new ways. Using instinct to do things for reasons hard to explain.

I’ve said that I am not much of an artist, that I’m more of a doodler. Which in one sense is true, but doodles can also be art. Sometimes I turn my doodles into an actual picture that actually depicts something. Also, I am a writer. I often use the phrase “the art of writing”. Most often in my head, but I still use it. I definitely consider writing an art, whether it be poetry or prose. Quite often I write the pictures I see in my head, because I am better at drawing with text and painting with words than I am at actually drawing the images I see.

Also, I was a featured artist on Pondering Spawned‘s The World Through Our Eyes project. You can’t be a featured artist unless you are an artist, therefore, I am an artist.

The piece of mine that was featured is one of those pictures I had in my head that I couldn’t draw, so I wrote it instead. You can read it here. Or, to be even cooler, you can click on the awesome image in the side bar.

Alright. I consider myself an artist. So what? That doesn’t mean that everyone is an artist.

Based on my definitions of art, yes, everyone is an artist.

Example: I pay my bills by working in the customer service industry. When a customer is upset and yelling and swearing, so on and so forth, it takes imagination, creative thinking, and instinct to say the right things at the right time in just the right tone of voice to calm the customer down so that a constructive conversation can take place. And that’s over the phone. There are even more factors involved when dealing with customers face to face. Such as the expression on your face.

Customer service is an art.

Another example: One of my father-in-law’s hobbies is drag racing. As in cars. Motor vehicles. He works on and modifies his race car(s), takes them to a race track, and, when the time is right, flies a quarter-mile down a straight track as fast as he and his car can manage. He once lent me a video about drag racing. It’s a lot more than just mashing your foot down on the gas pedal. You have to be aware of all kinds of factors, such as temperature, humidity, and barometric pressure. You have to know your car and its’ idiosyncracies. The fuel you use and the altitude of the race track and a million other things can change how your car performs. And then after taking all that into consideration, you’re sitting at the starting line, and you have to match the timing of the christmas tree lights with the timing of your feet so you hit the gas at just the right millisecond. And then you have to control your car as it roars down the track so you don’t crash and burn. All of these factors can’t be managed at the same time consciously. You need to combine experience, your instincts, and creative thinking in order to do it.

Race car drivers are artists.

What about scientists you ask? People that depend on facts and evidence and what not?

Aaaand one more: Scientist is just another word for artist. If you think that science and art are opposites, you are sorely mistaken. Scientists take what they see/hear/experience in the world and interpret it. Interpret. Get it? Different scientists can look at the same so-called evidence and come up with very different conclusions. Also, scientists don’t depend on known facts, they depend on unknown facts, unknowns that they are trying to discover, prove, or disprove.

Math, archeology, paleontology, astronomy, forensics, physics, chemistry and so on and so forth all require you to interpret the world around you. Interpretation that often includes education and experience, but also creative thinking, and all too often, instinct and imagination.

Scientists are artists.

Like I said, everyone is an artist. I could go on and on with more examples, but this post has to move on now. Suffice it to say that everyone has their own unique way of interpreting the world they live in. You might not use a traditional medium such as oil paints or ceramics to share your interpretations with others, but that’s ok.

So I’d like everyone who reads this to take a minute to think a little bit about how they interpret the world, and the medium they use to do it. Now for the easy part – follow the following 5 simple steps (which are a slight variation of Pondering Spawned steps listed here):

  • Think about how you interpret the world around you (or inside you) and pick something that expresses your interpretation. (That is art. Right there. Look at that, you are an artist. Told you.) It can be anything (even last night’s mashed potato sculpture). Visual, auditory, written, mathematical, anything.
  • Put your artworks in an email (if it’s a mashed potato sculpture, or something like it, just take a picture and put that in the email).
  • Include a link to your blog/website/facebook page/ etc.
  • Answer this question: What drives you to create?
  • Send your email to ponderingspawned@gmail.com with “WTOE ARTIST ENTRY” in the subject line, capitals and all.

That’s not so bad is it? I promise you, it’s quite painless, and can be an enlightening experience.

I want to tell you about my experience submitting art to Pondering Spawned. When I first started my blog, I had no idea what I was doing. I was following a friends blog, bobsabloggin (the one who got me thinking about starting a blog of my own), The Daily Prompt (just because I wanted to see what the prompt would be everyday), and WordPress News (by default).

I had posted one or two posts, which I’m pretty sure no one read at first except my proof reader wife. I didn’t have any categories or tags, because, like I said, I had no idea what I was doing. (I have since gone back and added some.)

Well, a few days into blogging, WordPress had a post about being more involved in the blogging community. Particularly participating in challenges, or even holding a challenge of your own. Now, I didn’t think it would make much sense to try to organize a challenge of my own, but I did start perusing the comments, where people who did have their own challenges were highlighting and linking to them.

One that caught my eye for some reason was by Pondering Spawned. The comment said that it wasn’t really a challenge, but more of an ongoing segment or project, where artists would be featured. I clicked the link to find out more. Pondering Spawned’s blog was the first blog I followed since actually starting my blog.

I don’t remember how many days I thought about it, but I eventually decided that yes, I was going to submit some pieces and see what happened. And guess what? I was selected to be a featured artist! I got an image to spruce up my blog and everything! Not only  that, but I got several views, likes, and even follows from other bloggers that I had no idea who they were, people who found my blog by reading Pondering Spawned’s posts. All in all, a pretty amazing experience.

You can do it too! If I haven’t convinced you that you are an artist, then prove me wrong. Submit something to Pondering Spawned’s The World Through Our Eyes, and if you are never ever selected to be a featured artist, that means one of two things.

Either I am wrong, and you are not an artist, or (and far more likely) Pondering Spawned received so many submissions that there was no possible way to feature everyone.

However, if you are chosen to be a featured artist, then that just goes to prove that I am right and you are, in fact, an artist.

I am looking forward to see all the amazing pieces featured in The World Through Our Eyes by all the amazing artists out there interpreting the world in their own amazing way.

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