Sunday, March 26, 2006

Visual Linguistics vs. Divine Table-scribblings

"You are very lucky to have such God-given talent!"

I take offense whenever someone makes the biased assumption that one's talent is bestowed upon them by some unseen hand rather than the culmination of long hours of singleminded determination, trial and error, toil, sweat and study. It trivializes everything an artist aims for, in that we would rather our talents are seen as something worthy and noble, rather than the luck of some cosmic draw.

I, for one, am getting tired of people looking at my profession as if it were some sort of goofy hobby-horse, meant for after-hours or phone table scribblings. Artists are linguists, in visual form. We learn to speak through repetition and observation, not through the unseen willing of some otherworldly force... some of us master spoken language in ways that can only be seen as stirring, lyrical; full of pith, meaning, depth. Nobody would say that our mastery of spoken communication is due to the intervention of God, Jesus, Allah, or Pat Robertson.

...Visual linguists, or 'artists' are the same. Not that I do not appreciate the obvious regard for my efforts, mind you, it's just the compliment strikes me as backhanded.

I use the term 'artist' in parentheses due to the lack of a better term. It's a little broad for my liking.


Blogger C A D said...

I feel exactly the same way when people tell me I'm brave and lucky to have survived what I have all because "God" or "Fate" had a hand in it. It irritates me. I "survived" because of modern medicine and my own damn bloody mindedness.


What kind of compliments would you like...? When I think about the useless things people say to me, I often think... "why can't you simply say, it's great that you're still here and you're healthy". I don't need any attribution for my "fight" or struggle. I don't need a pat on the back.

Interesting post today. Now you got me thinking and ranting.

8:05 a.m.  
Blogger Blog Monkey said...

willpower and well-administered medication are a miraculous thing indeed.

my hats off to your inner strength. i had a friend who held off cancer for three years. that sort of strength in the face of eventuality is staggeringly heart-wremching.
she lost her battle, but the battle was hers alone.

10:19 a.m.  
Blogger Kathleen Callon said...

You should post some pics of your art. I'd love to see it.

12:43 p.m.  
Blogger TheHamburger said...

I agree with everything you said. I think it's stupid when people push everything you accomplish or luck out on to 'God' or anything else. Sometimes luck isn't luck, it's just what happens.

Also, I have a lot of friends who find my blog addiction to be 'nerdy' or a waste of time. I'm a writer and yes, for a lack of better words, an artist. Sure, I might make a ton of stupid comments on my blog every day, but I have a creative writing blog that I work on periodically and I've been writing novels for about 5 years now (only one is done and three more are in the works).

Also, I agree with Kat. Let's see some of it!

12:58 p.m.  
Blogger C A D said...

Thankyou. Yes, indeed at times it is a lonely road. But never boring and never sad these days!

Oh, I thought of something. God-given talents we all have... breathing... eating... sleeping.


6:02 p.m.  
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