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Must Artists Make Their Own Art?

Contemporary artist Takashi Murakami is famous for creating brightly colored characters. Murakami designs his characters, but he does not actually make his artwork. The artist oversees a team of assistants who actually make the art.

Murakami owes a lot of his success to his assistants. Without them, he would not be able to produce nearly as much work. The assistants benefit too—they get to learn about the art world from a major artist. However, some people think they artists should not use assistants. They think artists should make their own artwork.

I wish there was an option of sometimes. If the artwork is solely about idea then it shouldn't matter who does the work as long as all participants are given credit; people collaborate all the time.

Architects design buildings but don't participate in the physical labor of constructing the building. This holds true for airplanes, bridges, clothing, etc. Concept is king!

As an Art teacher and practicing visual artist, I have plenty of students who claim that they're not able to draw (I'm luckily able to help them see that they actually CAN draw and make good and great artwork). For those that AREN'T so adept with the actual execution in the professional art world, I feel that a large part of who you are as an artist is what you're able to produce. Leaving this so open-ended means that anyone and everyone CAN be an artist, if they're only able to find someone who has the actual technical skill to bring their vision to life. In my opinion, acknowledgment of an assistant's work is just the beginning of what is required, but the artist still needs to be fully capable of producing the work as he/she intends on his/her own, with no outside assistance. I think claiming full responsibility for the work as an artist who does not do all of the work him or herself is pushing the limits, be it sculpture, painting, fashion design, etc..

Only if the artist fully acknowledges the assistants role. Look how many people get credit in a movie!

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