Why do I call myself a visual artist?
In the times we live in, everything needs a label, so in my case I am now more a Visual Artist than a Photographer, but I still feel that I cannot call myself a Graphic Designer or even a Web developer. So there again, what can I call myself? Photographer, radiographer and a little bit of a communicator slash designer coder!?
Well, that would really do well in an “elevator pitch”! But, would not visual artist go down better? Would not your potential client’s ears pick-up, and would he/she not be slightly curious and ask what you mean by that? Or, at least, you could carry on, “by that I mean….”.
Now, according to Collins English Dictionary, “Visual Artist” =
noun: “someone involved in the arts of painting, sculpting, photography, etc. as opposed to music, drama, and literature.”
There also seems to be two thoughts of this in the Design Industry:
- You should concentrate on one form of artistry and not divert from it.
- Others want you to be able to do everything and be capable of a wide range of skills.
Between 2007 – 2009 I studied at the L.C.C. in London. A great place for learning, and I came away with the equivalent of a Bachelor’s Degree in Photography. Now, their train of thought was that we should specialise and become experts in one branch of photography. I myself felt that I was still just as good at Architectural Photography as at Product Photography. I left to experiment with light and to form my style of shooting in Product Photography. Even toyed with HDR in Architectural Photography, which in fact I wrote about in my final thesis at university. But my style really never took off in the small area around Kolding.
I am now studying at the IBA Erhversakademi Kolding, on an AP Degree in Multimedia Design and Communication. Here, we are taught the huge speck-drome of Design; everything from backend coding to video, with also communication and business thrown it.
So, when the course is finished, I will be a “Photographic Communicative Multimedia Designer”. Going back to our potential client in the elevator, would he not be more scared by this term than curious? I know I would be, in the sense that I would firstly be asking myself “What on earth is this person on about?” Then, “Does this person have a clue what he/she is talking about?” Or we sound so nerdish, that we do get the job, but later fall flat on our face, because the client has had such grand expectations of us, which we cannot fulfil! Then we also, have a black mark against our name.
For me Visual Artist sounds more appealing, but certainly needs expanding upon, clarifying what we mean by that term, i.e. the jobs that we are personally good at. To me it sounds more composed, as well as authoritative and dependable, but not overpowering. In truth, we are jack of all trades in Design and a master of none! I call myself a visual artist, instead of just a photographer.
Those reading this blog, please leave a comment about whether you agree, or you think that I have totally misused the phase “Visual Artist”. Thank You!
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