I draw, paint, and dabble in intaglio printmaking. Like you, I often feel out of place in the art world. However, I do come from an academic background, only it was not centered in the arts. I come from a family of teachers and engineers. I was raised to value math and hard sciences. To this day, I have a degree in biology and work in technology. Art always had to be secondary, a hobby. I often feel that I don’t fit into the academic art world because I only recently began educating myself in art, its practices, and its history. It was just a few months ago that I called myself an artist for the first time.
I feel like an outsider in my day to day job because my heart is not in the work that I do. I don’t have a technical background. I have a math mind and am trying my level best to apply it practically to my job but I thrive where there is creation and design.
I understand what you mean about not quite belonging to either world. But perhaps that is what makes our opinions that much more valuable. We have different insights than the traditionally educated as well as varying life experiences to extract from and apply.
Art is inherently subjective and we often think that our works don’t qualify us in the realm of “artists.” But considered by who? Based on what principles? Perhaps we don’t fit into the established norm, but isn’t that the art has the most to say?
Historically, academics have established what art is because of opportunity. At one point arts were a luxury. I, myself, was told as a child that it was an extravagance that was superseded by pragmatism and necessity. The working class was just not as present in the art world in previous generations. It has that opportunity now.
The current norm will also not always be the norm. It is subject to change. Radicalism only allows it to grow whether from a work itself or its response. Art can be the most accepting world depending on our viewpoint.
Looking forward to continuing the conversation,