Are you an artist? Test and questionnaire.

Are you an artist?


There are too many self-proclaimed artists on this planet. Everybody wants to be one – sound artist, cooking artist, master of arts, life style artist…

But many artists aren’t really artists. Artist as life style is not enough, when you seek only fame without the high personal prize that has to be paid for creating true art.

So are you, dear readers, true artists? Or not? Do you really want to know?

If yes, answer the following 13 questions and read – after each question – the magic invisotext below each entry by marking it with the mouse. Make a note of your score, adding and subtracting the numbers as given. At the end you will know if you are a true artist or not.

1. „Art is nice, but creates a lot of work“ (Karl Valentin) – true/false/don’t know?

True: Have you realized that Valentin is making fun of not only the people who see art mainly as some kind of craftsmanship, but also of the people who don’t? -1 Points
Wrong: Of course art creates a lot of work, doh! And if you’re lazy you should forget about it anyway. -2 Points.
Don’t know?: Not pretending to know something has the greatest artistic potential. +1 Point

2. „I want to reach as many people as possible with my art“ – true/false/neither/nor?
True: Is that really all you want? You are satisfied so easily? You should be ashamed! -2 Points
Wrong: You are not honest. Of course all of us want tob e heard. But if you are not honest, your art won’t be as well. -1 Point
Neither/nor: To realize this dichotomy and to confront your own vanity is most certainly a step towards wisdom, chapeau! +1 Point
3. „Good reviews make me happy, I ignore the bad ones“ – true/“I find it most important that somebody actually writes about me/ „I don’t read reviews at all“?
True: You should fear nothing more than good reviews. Wrong praise is dangerous, good criticism not. -1 Point
„I find it most important that somebody actually writes about me“: This is a quite realistic view of things. And we want more realism in art! +1 Point
„I don’t read reviews“: You are lying. And lying is shit. -2 Points
4. „I mainly want to develop my personal style“ – true/huh?
True: Good luck, you will never find it when you chase this superficial ideal. Your own style will come, when you don’t look for it, when you are yourself. Sounds simple, but is difficult. -2 Points.
Huh?: „Not pretending to know something….“ (and so on). +1 Point
5. „Authenticity is the highest goal in art“ – true/false/don’t know
True: Authenticity is not to be found where it is proclaimed. In its worst form it has become a cheap tool to sell bad casting shows. You don’t doubt enough! -1 Point
False: You support the falseness of the world. Therefore you deserve the worst grade. -2 Points
Don’t know: „Not pretending to know something….“ (and so on). +1 Point
6. „Great success will grant me freedom“ – true/false?
True: Success can give you freedom, but not if it is too big. I am not envying your success, but it can be Trojan horse to wish for it. -1 Point
False: Exactly! You have understood the danger! +1Point
7. „Restraint everywhere – but not in art“ –true/false
True: If there is one realm in which we – without hurting anybody – can live and realize excess in every form, explore extremes and the utmost intensity….isn’t it in art? Right on! +1 Point
False: Only cowards seek mediocrity. And cowardice is the worst in art -1 Points
8. „In my art I want to portray the world, not myself“ – true/false/don’t know?
True: That’s a really noble intention, but when YOU are caring about the world it is also about YOU, isn’t it? Otherwise you wouldn’t have to talk about it. So there is a dash of falseness in your statement. -1 POINT
Wrong: It’s only about you, you, you? To ascertain one’s own vanity is good on one hand, but you can also overdo it. Perhaps you are nothing but a vain moron who wants to overcome some kind of minority complex? -2 Points
Don’t know: „Not pretending to know something….“ (and so on). +1 Point
9. „I am scared to be an outsider“ – true/false/don’t care about it
True: It’s good that you acknowledge the fear in us all at least. -1 Point
Wrong: That’s shameful boasting! -2 Points
Don’t care: Exactly – you should not care about possibly being an outsider. Everything is possible while making your way – some have it easier, some have it more difficult. But if you follow your own intuition you will always risk being shunned for it. Shuck it away and stop whining. +1 Point

10. „Success can be planned“ true/false?
True: Sadly this is very, very true. And you can sell you soul for free along with it. Good thinking! +1 Point
False: So everything is determined by fate, all the others are simply more lucky than you? Talk about making it easy for yourself, baby…. -1 Point
11. „I am never jealous of others“ – true/false/sometimes?
True: You lie. If there is a God, he is probably jealous of some other, even higher God. -2 Points
False: Envy might give you some motivation, but it will also eat you from the inside. Wish for others what you wish unto yourself. -1 Points
Sometimes: It’s not a nice feeling, isn’t it? But you are honest, and that’s a start. +1 Point
12. „The existence of beauty gives me consolation“ – true/false/”I don’t know what beauty is”?
True: Ok, but what kind of beauty do you speak about? Do you actually know what beauty is? Are you not scared of its destruction? Are you not fighting for it with every fibre of your being? True art is never superficial, because it knows about the fragility of beauty. -1 Points
Wrong: You don’t care if something is truly beautiful? You are happy with producing a product without soul? You should do anything…but art. -2 Points
“I don’t know what beauty is”: Exactly, because if you truly knew it and could endlessly repeat it you would be nothing but an artisan. +1 Point
13. “I hate the many lies of our time, I hate muzak that wants to lull me into security, I hate second-hand emotions, I hate branding, hype and conformity, I hate the mental void of casting shows, I hate terms like „chilling“, I hate to do what all others do, I hate the secret domination behind my mouseclicks. Easy listening and nice lala are worse to me than Guantanamo, I yearn for the days without cell/mobile phones and internet, I yearn for touches and meaningful conversations. I am concerned about the increasing numbness of our generation. I despise academic thinking as well as hip lounge music. Sometimes I don’t know how to continue. Sometimes I despair about myself, about others. I don’t want to ever receive an award anymore, but I know that I will be happy about one, and that is a deeply embarassing thought for me. I feel ashamed a lot. Sometimes I’m a jerk, sometimes I’m the most giving person. One day I say one thing, the other day another. I don’t know who I am, what I can, what I do on this planet, but I have the vague hope that there is a deeper meaning to it. With every work I start anew, like an amateur, a dilettante. I doubt my abilities constantly, I doubt others, myself, everything. Sometimes I experience this inner rage that I can barely describe. I yearn for beauty, but not that kind of fucked up, uncomplicated and easily available beauty but the individual and fragile moment that doesn’t confirm me but tears me apart, scares me or overwhelms me. This kind of beauty is so rare, it is hard fought, one has to suffer for it. I am ready to suffer for it, but it also brings me the biggest despair. And sometimes, very rarely, this beauty enters the room, and it is the most wonderful thing on this world. In this moment, when I experience the elation of this intimate moment I feel I can be nothing except an artist, simply because I would fail in any other profession, because I can do naught but seek this beauty and communicate it to others.” True/False/Don’t know?
True: it could actually be that you are an artist. There is hope: +4 Points
False: I don’t think you have grasped anything of what this is all about. -4 Points
Don’t know: What? You have never even remotely experienced any of the above? All or nothing, Baby. -2 Points

-23 Points: You are either a soulless machine or an agent of provocation. If the latter is the case you have at least understood one important aspect of art – that provocation can uncover a wound that needs to be stitched.
-22 to – 1 Points: You are an artisan, but not an artist. That’s no shame. It could be that you bring a little beauty into the world. But it could also be that you damn it to hell with soulless and calculated crap art, at least for the ones who still own a tiny spark of true emotion. Whatever: Don’t ever think that you are a real artist, even if you would like to be one. It’s not enough wanting to be one, you have to BE one.
0 Points: Go out, live, and repeat the test someday. Perhaps you will know then. And if you haven’t really lived until now, what do you want to tell us?
1-7 Points: I cannot promise you success, I cannot promise you an easy life. But perhaps, very perhaps you can call yourself an artist. But only if you a really, really not well-behaved.
8-15 Points: You could be an artist. But are you also good? Good luck with it……
16 Points: You are doing the right thing. All the bloody time. You have an answer for every question. This is so incredibly boring and self-assured that it can’t be great art. But at least you have tried. Better luck next time, sucker!

Moritz Eggert