Hi! I'm Aubrey.

Hi! I'm Aubrey.
I am an artist based in LA (but from the good 'ol Midwest). This blog is a record of my life as a painter/artist. It is here to help me keep my place and motivation, ground me to learning and be a connection to other artists.

If you are interested in purchasing existing work, please visit my etsy site here. If you are interested in commissioning an original artwork, e-mail me at aubrey.studebaker@gmail.com


Artists vs. Hobbyists

I try not to be too wordy w/ my posts but would really like to have a conversation about this blog post by blogger Ambera Wellmann. A quote that sums the idea up:  "During today’s meeting in a discussion around the difference between artists and hobbyists, someone was quoted as having said 'art making is like a sexual practice: in the case of hobby painting, it’s masturbatory, whereas art that creates a dialogue is like having sex with another person.'"

Not sure that I entirely agree w/ this statement but it does make me wonder: Am I an artist or a hobbyist? Am I just producing work to have a meaningless conversation w/ myself (and is that always wrong or is it sometimes good)? Or does my work open doors to thought & conversation with others? If I'm honest with myself, there are times when I have done a work in the spirit of art & other times when I have done a work in the spirit of a hobbyist. Examples:
The above sill life was strictly an exercise -done w/out any idea of starting a dialog, therefore, it was completed in the spirit of a hobbyist. 
The above portrait was painted to be purposefully emotive -to capture the mood & perhaps make you wonder about the thoughts of the subject, therefore, it was completed in the spirit of an artist.

Again, while I may not entirely agree w/ the sentiment quoted, I do see it as a challenge to try to keep my work meaningful & relevant to others...Hopefully this post won't turn out to be a one-sided (aka hobbyist) conversation. I would love to hear other people's thoughts!


Erika Lee Sears said...

I think it depends on the type of art. I mean there are soo many categories. I have friends who are professional artists who make wrapping paper. :) I also think it's what you want to call yourself.

Happy Little Trees Studio said...

One thing I can't stand is art "snobbery". (Did I spell that right!! ha!) I think the statement was harsh/maybe too "cut and dry". It's hard for me to accept that art can be defined by any sort of boundary. The "line" that makes art "fine art" and "hobby art" is way to gray. Now, I may be a hypocrit because I have works that I would market as fine art some I would not. So...I guess I drew the line with my own art as well.

Aubrey Studebaker said...

Happy Little Trees- I really hate art snobbery, too. Also, there is no way to know exactly what the feelings/intent of the artist was just by looking at a piece. One person might look at a work & pass it by as a "hobbyist" piece when really it has great emotion behind it.

I agree that the statement is way too "cut & dried." -Still trying to see it as a challenge, though, to be more intentional about conveying meaning through my work.

Anonymous said...

I don't agree with this comparison at all! Why can't a hobbyist be an artist? To me "art" is any honest expression of ones self and life. We all do practice work to perfect are craft..I don't see this as "hobby work". I agree with the others...there is no room for snobbery! I have been attending a "Saturday salon" for years (actually it's a life drawing class that a bunch of us have "taken over" with the consent of the instructor..) where the whole focus is in not creating a final piece but to stretch our limits..to "wreck it" as our instructor will tell us if we get too "pretty" in what we're doing. I throw away most of what I do...but I consider all that I do as ART!

Aubrey Studebaker said...

Dave- I love your passion on this subject! I figured a lot of people would see a red flag w/ that quote as it seems to go a bit too far in categorizing.

The life drawing class that you're involved in sounds like an absolute blast!

AMW said...

That is a thought provoking quote.

I guess I am pretty much seconding what everyone is saying here, but I find that snobbery is found far too often in this field (that really should triumph creativity in any form). For as long as I can remember, Ive kept sketchbooks, and they are often my most cherished works of "art" although its not until recently Ive shared them..so I guess that makes them artistic masturbation? I think most artists have that sort of outlet in some way...so we're all hobbyists? Dave and Aubery, I agree - why cant a hobbyist be an artist??

it all brings me back to a question asked in my high school art class that my friends and I still laugh about today.... "What is ART?" There was a giant poster with this ever so deep question plastered across it, and we would erupt into fits of giggles, trying to outsnob each other with our ridiculous responses

thanks for the great conversation Aubrey!

Aubrey Studebaker said...

AMW- Oh yes, the "what is art?" question. I can see how it could incite laughter. The question itself even seems snobby, for some reason.

Anonymous said...

The drawing class is so much fun! I debated about not taking it this coming semester and doing something else... but I was "convinced" but the others that this was NOT something I should ever consider!! A bunch of us give our poor instructor fits about not wanting to do things her way...but I have learned so much from her! We all have a good time and some great art happens every time!! I can't wait until it starts up again in February!!!