Manifesto 6.1 by Sarah Bryan

What defines a person as an artist? Is it because he paints? Or because she dances? Are they artists because they sing in a choir? They practice the classical “arts,” so they must be artists, right?

But what about the parent who makes a small budget stretch to feed a big family, or the teacher who makes a dull subject exciting to her students? Are they artists?

The answer, in every case, is Yes. Yes, that dancer, that parent, that painter, that teacher. . . each and every one is an artist. According to one definition, art is about excellence, not medium:

Artist (noun): a person whose work exhibits exceptional skill.

Each person operates in different mediums -- some traditional, some not -- but they all practice their craft to a level a that sets them apart from the merely interested. They train, they practice, and they work hard to hone their skills. They may make sacrifices for their art, even giving up good things in order focus on greater excellence in their chosen field. Discipline and desire hone foundational skills into high-level, artist-level capabilities

Yet, being an artist requires more than just determined effort at excellence. Another factor exists in all artists: Love. Though they strive to be the best they can be, it’s not perfectionism alone that motivates them. The efforts and sacrifices are fueled by a deep love for their medium, their audience, and the work itself. It doesn’t matter if it’s a paint brush or a lesson plan; regardless of field, the love is the same. Love is the defining factor of every artist.

What about you? Are you an artist? The equation is simple: when technical skills and passionate desire join together, an artist is born. So, go, be an artist of accounting, or baking, or landscaping, or organizing. . .or anything! Find the place where your skill and passion intersect, and make it your art.