what kind of artist am I?

I think this issue arose before websites, yet I am going to partially blame them. When you sign up to share your work with others on most sites you have to label what type of artist you are or what themes you handle in your work. Whether you are using the site for the pure joy of sharing you work with others or for free self promotion, you have to think somewhat about what kind of artist are you. You have to label yourself.

I always have found that this is limiting, especially on certain websites. You have five main categories to choose from and you can only be one at a time. For instance you can only be a portrait photographer but not also a landscape photographer or illustrator. What if you do all three? Do you then need separate profiles for each? If you have separate profiles does this mean you have to have separate emails, contact info and identities?

Most importantly though… I have no idea what type of artist I am or want to become. I mean, I am a photographer, but is that enough to say? Should I clarify that I am a portrait artist or photographer of the female form or is this too limiting or confining? I do landscapes too, and I draw. If you want to know the truth I am learning to program computers, I already build computers and I write sometimes.  I am not supposed to do all these things? Do I need to leave some for others to do?

“Sorry sir… all the computer-building slots are taken. Have you thought about accounting or gymnastics?”     

This issue goes back to some of the work I do. Some of the work I do is very sexual, but I would never say I am an erotic artist. Not that there is anything wrong with being that type of artist but I find myself reluctant to limit myself to only do that type of art. I fear myself being thought as an erotic artist who draws and repairs computers. So, what makes this extra fun is that I have trouble with the search for models. I don’t seek erotic models but my work may say something else.


I also think that “looking for an erotic model” may limit things the other way as well. The sensuality I seek in most of my work comes from a place of honesty and even naivety. It is not some role or some created fantasy that is to be played out in front of the camera. Maybe I am looking at erotic models all wrong, maybe they understand exactly what I mean to do even better than I might.


I want to be as general as possible to attract enough attention but I want my work and description of my work to serve as an accurate reflection of what I intend to do. I don’t feel like my work is always erotic but I feel labeling it that may cause even more issues. I would see it as even more troubling to find out your photographer is actually has three different identities?


To make the issue even more complex, I can see the beginning of this concept in some of my work… but the idea has never fully formed. I want to make sure I can get the work I want done and be good at it.. so I don’t come off as a bad porn artist. I think that how I may proceed is to not label myself, and to find someone that I can work with again and again over a long period of time. We will collaborate and let the work mature without per-conceived notions.

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