1784, “one who has a taste for (something),” from Fr. amateur “lover of,” from L. amatorem (nom. amator) “lover,” agent noun from amatus, pp. of amare “to love” (see Amy). Meaning “dabbler” (as opposed to professional) is from 1786. As an adjective, early 19c.
There are so many things I love to do. Some I’m even good enough to aspire beyond amateur status…perhaps. But to be honest, I’m pretty comfortable just enjoying the expression of my arts. I resist the Western culture’s insistence that if I’m good enough to aspire, that I should let nothing stand in my way.
Ok, I get it…really. The world needs artists. The world needs art. But never has there been a better time for being an amateur. Social Media and the Internet has open the entire world up to hard-core, mass distributed amateurism. I don’t need to be a professional or an aspiring professional at any one of my arts in order to share it with the world. And that’s what I care about: sharing my love.
I have a degree in music education. I love to sing. I love to play piano. I love to teach. I love to write. I love to lead music in church. I love to direct choirs. I love to act. I love to play the tuba. I love to draw. I love the art of massage. I love to cook. I’m skilled at all of these things. If I picked one, it would most likely be to the detriment of the others. The obsessive drive (which I have) to aspire, would throw me out of balance with being a father, husband, professional, artist, and a Christian.
And ya know? I’m so grateful to those of you who aspire and who are actually making a living with your art…we need you! But, I’ve chosen to make a loving at my art. And that’s ok, too.
With this blog, I hope to share the amateur’s perspective on the things I love to do. And let’s face it, there are far more amateurs than there are professionals.
Hear me! Artistic expression is uniquely human. You don’t have to be good at it for it to be worthwhile, and you don’t have to be bad at it to be an amateur. Love your art, for the sake of a world that needs love of art.
Yours in Love of Art,