But Is It Art? · 20 August 2022


Sometimes I wonder if what I draw can really be considered art.

A friend of mine said that she missed seeing my art on Instagram lately. Apparently, I have not posted any new art there for a little while. Part of that is because I have been working on other projects. Mostly books. But the visual art that I have been doing has been book covers for those books. I suppose that I could always put those book covers on Instagram with links to those books, but I did not think about that when I was creating said art. Still, I wonder if what I have been doing lately is really art.

If you have not seen my art. If you are not a follower on Instagram. Or if you are not even on Instagram, you are not missing much. At least if you are looking at my stuff. All I have been doing is creating vector images from other people’s stuff. Mostly. What that means is that I have been using a vector drawing program (Affinity Designer) to trace art created by real artists. Or at least those who have their stuff show up on the internet – Pinterest and other places. Yes, creativity and skill are needed to create those images, but I have little of either. I am still mostly tracing and coloring. Trying to be creative and trying to develop skills. Trying to become an artist. Or something like one. Which for now, means copying others and trying to get better.

I do like art. In all of its forms. I especially like the art that I can practice myself. Drawing, writing, singing, playing musical instruments, and even making movies. It is just fun to be creative. And we all have it in our DNA to be so. We all want to create something. We just do not always know what that something is.

The thing about drawing is that everybody can do it. Even me. Not that everybody can do it well (I am a good example of that), but everybody can do it. Everybody can create a picture of some sort. Whether that picture is art, is another story. That short story says that art is in the eye of the beholder.

Think about it. The scribbling of a toddler is considered art by his or her parents. The sketchbooks and notebooks of an aspiring artist are considered art by those same parents. The canvases and murals of practicing artists are considered masterpieces by those same parents. Which is not to say that those parents are wrong. But if and when the masses (or at least the critics) decide that the artist is truly an artist, then that person is a true artist. Actually even before then. But when the critics think somebody is an artist then everybody else thinks that the mere scribble of the artist is art.


I suppose there must also be some sort of objective criteria on deciding whether something is art. I am just not sure exactly what that criteria is. All I know is that I know real art when I see it. And what I do is not art.

Well, I was really only going to try and do a little self-promotion here. (Not that I am very good at that either.) I was going to say that I have a few new books with a few new book covers. And that I do plan on putting those book covers on Instagram. After all, they are part of my art portfolio. Not that I will ever be considered an artist, but I still like to pretend that I am.

At any rate.

I am going to start practicing my art again. I am going to start drawing more and posting again on Instagram. Whether I am just tracing somebody’s beautiful art or creating my own. Or a combination of the two. And when I put out new books with new book covers, I will post those on Instagram too. After all, if one of my friends likes to see what I create, maybe others will as well. Even so, we can all still wonder whether it is art or not. (Probably not.)

© 2022 Michael T. Miyoshi

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