Are Writers Artists?

I come from a family of artists. My brother works in glass. My nephew creates in multiple medias. My grandson is a set designer. I write. Am I an artist?

  • If art is defined as paintings and textiles and photographs ‒ No.
  • If artists need a studio in which to create their work ‒ No.
  • If painting word pictures is not art  ‒ No.

but . .

  • If writing is passionate and creative ‒ Yes.
  • If writing uses words as its medium ‒ Yes.
  • If writing means to inform ‒ Yes.

If art is poetic ‒ then poetry is art.

Brian Braden is a writer and editor for Underground Book Reviews. He is the author of the serial novelettes Carson’s Love and his breakout novel Black Sea Gods. In his blog of  6/6/2012, he says:

Artists are full of angst. Writers are grumpy.
Artists wear black. Writers wear pajamas.
Artists think they are cool. Writers want everyone to think they are cool.
Artists often draw naked people. Writers often think about naked people.
Artists drink wine and eat cheese. Writers drink coffee and cut the cheese.
Artist often must die before their work is appreciated. Writers would die to have their work appreciated.
Artists want to express themselves. Writers want to get rich so they don’t have to get a real job.

Language is among the first ways we learn to communicate. It stimulates our brains, helps us learn about the world in which we live, gives meaning to our lives, makes us laugh or cry. The art of writing gives us a way to express our language, to explore our deepest feelings, share knowledge, thoughts, and feelings with the world. It requires craft and skills.  Imagine a world without the magic of the written word.

Substitute ‘writing’ for art in these quotes.

Henry Moore: Art is the expression of imagination not the duplication of reality.

Oscar Wilde: Art is the most intense mode of of individualism the world has ever known.

Francis Ford Coppola: An essential element of any art is risk.

Leo Tolstoy: . . .  by words a man transmits his thoughts to another, by means of art he transmits his feelings . . .

Aristophanes: Let each man exercise the art he knows.

Thomas Merton: Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.

Charles Eames: Art resides in the quality of the doing; process is not magic.

Art can be beautiful. Art can be frightening. Art can be provocative. Art can tell a story. Art can change our lives. Art can make us think. Art can make us feel.

Are writers artists?


8 Responses to Are Writers Artists?

  • linda nottberg says:

    Yes, for SURE – writers are artists. I’ve always thought so .
    Great blog today, Betty.
    I am enrolling in a beginner’s writing class that starts in Sept at the Writer’s Place. Can’t wait to learn more.
    love, L

  • Theresa Hupp says:

    Of course, writers are artists!
    We have the hardest job of all artists. Some visual artists build up from nothing, some carve away to find their vision. But writers build up from blank page to draft, then we must carve away with our editing to find the truth in our work. And we do all of it with 26 letters and a handful of punctuation marks.
    Nice post.

  • Len Horwitz says:

    Betty You are more of an artist that I am. You draw on your imagination and dig into your deep experiences. my scientific writing, which i am still working at, requires some art but it is closer to reality and draws less on one’s inner being.
    you are indeed an artist.

  • The more I delve in the techniques of writing, the more I appreciate what can be done with our language. You are very much an artist with interesting and touching subjects. About 3 years ago,I started in a “Write Your Life’s Story” conducted by Carol Newman, and have enjoyed it tremendously. My first published piece was in “The Best Times” last February, and it surprised and delighted me. Many years ago Edwin Newman, a television commentator, was an ardent advocate of the English language because he saw so much misuse and a growing carelessness of expression in everyday life. He made me very aware of the power of language.

    • Congratulations on your published piece and thanks for writing. I remember Edwin Newman, too. He was so precise – a good trait in a commentator as apposed to some of the TV news reports we are exposed today. I growl at the local newscast almost every night. (My manager and me have went . . .)

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