Artist or Technician? Are you creating art, or just buying the tools? | Ken Rockwell | kenrockwell.com

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Ryan and Katie’s stash, January 2013. (Photo: iPhone 5.) This free website’s biggest source of support is when you use any of these links when you get anything, regardless of the country in which you live. Thank you! Ken.

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Artists are all about what we create. We couldn’t care less what tools we or someone else used to create something; we’re concerned with the art itself.

We don’t care about the process; the final art is all that matters.

Sure, if we see something really cool we might ask another artist how he got that effect, but we don’t spend much of our time blabbing about tools or techniques when we could be making more art, or exchanging ideas instead.

Poke fun of our tools, and who cares? We take it as a compliment — and it marks you as an idiot. As artists, we force whatever tools we have at our disposal to create what we demand: to take what’s in our mind’s eye and fix it in tangible form.

To an artist, his work is him. His work is his vision realized. He is his work. His art is his own soul. His art is important, while the tools are irrelevant.

Artists are consummate technicians, possessing virtuosic ability to make our tools do exactly what we need then to do — but the tools are just an enabler; never the end result.

If you poke fun of my camera, I take it as a compliment because it means I’m able to work around bigger roadblocks than the next sap to get the results I want. When my kids ask me to fetch a piece of paper, scissors and a red crayon, they certainly would give me a funny look if I said they had a good or a crappy crayon. Who cares when what’s important is making a red heart for Mama from scratch? The end result matters, the methods don’t.

Technicians, on the other hand, are all about their tools. Poke fun of a technician’s tools or how he uses them, and he’ll take it personally. To a technician, he is his tools. His tools are a physical extension of his body, so say something good or bad about his camera, and he takes it personally.

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