"Art Collectors" Are Not "Artists"

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Even in the world of Music, musical instruments, guitars and guitar players, there are those who are “Artists”, who through Music are trying to communicate their creativity, and then there are “Art Collectors” who are people who call themselves a “guitarist” or an “artist” but who buy and collect guitars essentially as ornaments in their own “private museum.”

“Art collectors” are not “Artists.”

The number of guitars a guitarist owns is not a sign of whether they are an artist or and art collector.

It is how they perceive their instruments and what they do with them that separates these two.

Artists try to create a “wow factor” in their audience by playing their instrument. It is what they play, or how they play it, and the message in their music that wins the audience over. That achievement is one of the satisfactions of being an artist.

Art collectors try to create a “wow factor” in their audience by what objects they have on display in their collection, much the same way as how we perceive a museum or zoo.

When artists try out a new guitar they play it, listen to it, feel it, compare it’s capabilities with what they are trying to do with their music, and determine whether it matches their creative needs, or not. If it does not, they try something else until they find the instrument that “does it for them.” With the instrument of their choice they feel better equipped to create and be the artist that they truly are.

When Art Collectors try out a new guitar the first thing they do is inspect it, not for playability and sound, but for it’s appearance, it’s physical attributes, and how “nice” it looks. They check for flaws, marks or blemishes and pour over specs lists and wonder such things as “where is the wood from?” or make comments like “it has a bit of a dent in the wood on the headstock.” Whether it plays or sounds any good is secondary to the “wow factor” of it’s appearance.

The artist is not so worried about their image as much as they are about their music. Their instruments are their creative outlet.

The art collector is worried about “image” more than their music. They treat the instrument as an artefact rather than as the tool for their creativity. They go crazy if they get a little mark or scratch on their guitar. The go to gigs or to the studio with more fear of “damaging” their guitar than to do the job. They criticize new guitars for their finishes or appearance rather than their electronics or sound.

Professional guitarists usually have many guitars. And they play them. Each guitar has it’s use. Different guitars are required for different songs, styles of music, gigs, environments, and recording requirements. One guitar is not enough to satisfy the professional guitarist’s requirements or demands. A large collection of guitars is necessary for the professional musician.

The artist’s collections of guitars get used.

The artist’s collections of guitars get knocked around, bumped, chipped, dropped, exposed to the elements, dirtied, broken, repaired, etc, Guitars go through frets, tuners, pickups, pots and jacks, when they are used for what they are meant for.

The art collector’s guitars don’t get used.

The art collector’s guitars never get properly broken in, never get the required setups or care required, and deteriorate naturally through the passage of Time. They are merely ornaments. They are not being used for what they were made for and they get wrecked from disuse.

“Art Collectors” are not “Artists.”

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