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Calling Atheist Artists!

This is a post by guest blogger Ellen Bulger.

Wanted: Painters, Poets, Potters, Dancers, Filmmakers, Textile Artists, Musicians, Landscape Designers, Novelists, Printmakers, Songwriters, Sculptors, Animators, Actors and Architects…

A lot of atheists like to keep their heads down. Historically, it’s been that or lose ‘em. Recently that has changed and to some it must seem like every atheist in the world is screaming from the rooftops.

Studio © Ellen Bulger

Not hardly. Not no how. For every out atheist I know personally, I know a dozen cryptic ones. These are people who don’t want to make ripples, people who don’t want the attention. Their atheism isn’t necessarily a big secret. They simply aren’t given to PDA, public displays of atheism.

Artists have a reputation for being extroverts, but that is not always the case. In fact, I’m not even sure that extroverts are in the majority in arts communities. Yet even shy artists want their work to be seen.

Lab As Studio © Ellen Bulger

I suspect that the majority of artists would rather just go about making art and don’t much care for the business of promoting their work. Never you mind me, I’ll be in the studio. But they suck it up and go out to get their art in the public eye.

Do you see what I’m getting at here? I’m looking for those of you who live in the overlap of art and atheism.

We’d like to know about your art.

If you are an artist, and you are an atheist, I’d like to learn about the art you are doing. I’d like to know to what extent your atheism influences your art and your life. And I’d like to share your art here on Biodork at Freethought Blogs. My gmail address is Atheists.Artists@ and I’m waiting to hear from you.

Comments

  1. Sophia, Michelin-starred General of the First Mediterranean Iron Chef Batallion says

    I’m an artist, not a particularly good one and I don’t make any cash from it aside form the odd commission piece. I do textiles, digital artwork, carving, sculpture, costuming, medieval handicrafts and all sorts of miscellaneous hobby art stuff. I also did speech/drama stuff for a while with a lot of Shakespeare. Fun times.

    Uh… influences. Um… being really impressed by artwork, costuming and historical stuff and wanting to know how it was done? Curiosity more than anything. I have an uncontrollable need to know how things are done, research the heck out of them and then try it myself. I do this with EVERYTHING. It’s a minor obsession :P

    Creating things is fun, learning how is exhilarating. Each moment of clarity I get, that feeling when it ‘clicks’ and you suddenly slot the knowledge into your brain where it belongs and fits with everything else, those moments make the whole thing worth it.

    • says

      As a writer, photographer and non-sleazeball I never intentionally post non-original work without crediting the source. If you ever see anything on this blog that is not properly attributed, please let me know so I can make it right. Feel free to call me out in the comments or to contact me by email, twitter or facebook.

      • says

        That is not a complaint; that is a thinly-veiled accusation of infringement. If you have a specific issue that I can address, please let me know.

        The link that you have listed leads to the Facebook group Atheist Artists, and your email address leads me to believe that you are a representative of that group, perhaps even the owner. If I’m right about that, I very much hope that you’re not going to say that because you or someone you know created an outlet for atheist artists, that Ellen must have gotten her idea for this post from there.

        I think that the Facebook group plays a great role in celebrating art and atheism. Atheists are often accused of being dry, bland, and of ignoring concepts like beauty. Is it very hard to believe that others might want to highlight the intersection of art and atheism, and might end up at a similar conclusion to yours all on their own?

        Of course, if that’s not what you’re driving at with your last two comments I humbly withdraw these last two paragraphs.

        Ellen is an atheist and an artist, and when I was considering bringing her on as a guest contributor she told me that increasing the visibility of atheist-created art and atheist artists is one of her primary goals for blogging. This post is one of her proposals for how to accomplish that.

        Why did she invite reader submissions? Many blogs invite reader submissions. It’s a way to display different perspectives. It’s a chance to make a blog community feel more connected.

        If you can point to any instance in which you or any other artist has had their work or copyright violated on the Biodork blog, please contact me with those specific violations. You can reply here or you can reach out to me at bio_dork(at)hotmail(dot)com.

        • F says

          I get the general impression that any combination of atheist and artist or expression thereof is imagined to be patented, copyrighted, trademarked, and wholly owned by some people using FB as a platform for their atheistic artistry, and such a thing never existed previously, nor could anyone possibly come upon such concepts independently. Which is ripe for some sort of pun upon “no prior art”.

        • says

          Well, no. Of course I don’t think that’s impossible. It would be equally ridiculous to assume I own or have rights to any kind of copyright over the idea. But the timing is there, and our page is being slightly copied here and there.

          Truthfully, the thing that bothers me the most isn’t so much the act of taking an idea, as it is seeing the atheist community being so god damn greedy about everything, rather than working together. You guys hold a discussion blog, and it works for you. I hold an art/community blog, and it works for me. Why not work together? Why does everyone run around trying to mesh everything together like a big wal-mart.

          Hell, I try to work with other sites and pages to work out ways to promote each other, but it’s a constant battle to not get the short end of the deal. People treat this like it’s the business world and they have to get ahead, and steal/slit throats to do it. It’s just annoying.

          Although, admittedly, I would be a little irked to find out the author (which apparently isn’t you?) was in fact a fan of my page. If that were the case, she could have thrown in a little ‘so i saw this page on facebook and had an idea!’ And equally, could have let me know the post was being made, at which point I would have gladly linked my fans to the post to try to help out.

          But, like you said, the idea could have been her own, too.

        • says

          Thanks for your reply. I appreciate your taking the time to bring it up.

          This series will focus on how atheism affects Biodork reader’s work and their lives as artists. We’re not trying to draw the entire community of atheist artists here to Biodork, or to turn Biodork into that kind of focused forum.

          I had not known of your FB page before this blog post (although I had seen your profile picture because it made the rounds on Facebook – I think I saw it when George Takei posted it. I was actually a bit bummed to see it as your profile shot when I went to your group yesterday because I was like “Damn – we pissed off the person who did THAT?!).

          I do think the two ideas are going to be unique. Your group appears to be focused on the WORK that atheist artists produce. Ellen wants to tell atheist artists’ STORIES. She wants to showcase one artist per post per week and she wants to have them write a paragraph or two about how (if) their atheism affects their work.

          The two of you will also have different audiences. As far as I can tell you are only based on Facebook (where you’ve built a HUGE community – kudos). This will be limited to a very small section of the blogosphere, and a very small section of my blog. I’d be willing to bet that a lot of your followers have never even heard of Freethought Blogs, let along the teensy subset of FTB called Biodork. We’ll also appeal to those atheist artists who are Biodork readers and who aren’t on Facebook.

          I’ve got a few more thoughts, and I’d like to take this off-list (for one thing, the comment margins are getting REALLY small)so I’m going to send you an email. Thanks again for your most recent notes. Here’s to continued open conversation.

          PS – The only FB page I ran for a while is called Judgmental Animals, but I didn’t use my image and I let JA fade out of use. I’m based in Minneapolis, MN and am involved in a gazillion and ten groups both locally and online, so it’s entirely possible that our paths have crossed.

  2. F says

    Artists have a reputation for being extroverts, but that is not always the case. In fact, I’m not even sure that extroverts are in the majority in arts communities. Yet even shy artists want their work to be seen.

    Extroverts generally get to heavily influence the perceptions of a lot of things. Certain types of extroverts more so than others.

    What a fun, interesting, and probably generally good idea to bring to this blog and blog network. Or wherever.

  3. Marty Lewis says

    I am an atheist and and artist. I have done a few pieces that are overtly anti-religious, but mostly my art is about trying to explore and express what lives in my head. I went to 12 years of Catholic school and still identify myself in a tribal way with Irish Roman Catholics. I’m still dealing with the Catholic guilt thing, the masturbation thing, and the entire confession/sin thing. It has profoundly affected me in ways I still do not understand. It has taken me more than 30 years to finally start exorcising the psychological scars. I’d love to show you some of the work, not sure how to share it, though

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