What is Art?

What is Art?

Sarah McAllister, Writer

I recently started asking myself, “What is art? What makes someone an artist?” and, “Can you be an artist without drawing humans?”

So, I asked some artists and here’s what they said:


“Creativity. I for one have to be creative in some way or other every day. Whether it’s drawing, digital drawing, editing video, tweaking a website, taking a photograph, writing dialogue.”

RAD – Artist


“I’m an artist. I’ve had a NYC gallery show. My work has been part of a New York Times reviewed play and I’ve performed on off Broadway stages and on TV. My people don’t look real. My bears look like monsters. I would argue I can draw a person, but it’s not pretty or realistic. It’s ugly and misshapen and that’s my style of art.”

“Think about who gets to say what is art. Because female and artists of color often struggle to make money and fame as artists. And figure drawing does not make an artist.”

Ellie d’Eustachio – Artist, Broadway and Television Actor


“Maybe the desire to create makes you an artist. It’s not even what you can or can’t do with skill or practice. It’s what you feel called to do.”

Captain Eyeliner – Wheatpaste Artist


“If that were true most artists wouldn’t be called artists. There are many styles and mediums of art and a large majority do not include portraits or drawings of people. If that were true, then you can take out any abstract artist in history out of the game. Most street artists out of the game. Banksy doesn’t draw people. Kaws doesn’t draw people. Jeff Koons doesn’t draw people. Just to name the ones making the most money right now in art.”

Sinclair The Vandal – Artist


“It’s something that all artists, even my heroes that I’ve met, struggle with. Because it’s not like anyone is giving you a certificate, like here you go, you’ve made it. Artists never retire. I think it’s the drive to never give up and the need to communicate beyond language…which sometimes includes language. It’s really alternative to mainstream culture. As an artist you’ve gotta figure out how you will measure success.”

Jenny Clay – Artist


“One can be a talented artist without using people as their subject. Hands and facial features are extremely difficult to recreate through drawing, painting or any other medium. Proportions are difficult too. As long as you have fun while making your art, nothing else matters.”

Atomik – Miami New Times Best Street Artist 2020


“Anything physical or human made requires artistic skills; anything musical does as well. An artistic act is simple: it’s composing things in relation to one another either by free will or chance. An artist expresses a personal opinion or expression or necessary design solution to a problem. A stick figure is an artistic interpretation of man as much as a Michelangelo sculpture. Perhaps study Dadaism. It’s really about this question ‘what is art?'”

Carlos Mare “Mare 139” – Sculptor and Curator at the Museum of Graffiti

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