News to Me: Authors are NOT Artists?

Update: I received a call today to say I would be welcome to participate. I didn’t name the art walk originally because they are within their rights and this wasn’t about pointing fingers. I just wanted to open a discussion on authors as artists.

On Facebook there is a thread going to discuss this. Seems like a common stance that art walks are more for visual arts. I’ve participated in many art walks and this is my first time to come across this. In my experience, creatives work better when we cross pollinate.

Image by Mandyme27 from Pixabay

Today I had an interesting conversation with the director of an art walk event I applied for. She said she didn’t think I could sign up for a table because I wanted to display and sell books. I thought maybe she misunderstood my intentions, so I clarified.

“Oh, We’re only signing and selling our own books. We are local authors and we are interested in getting into the creative community here and networking.”

“Oh, I see,” she said. “Sorry, this event is for artists.”

“Oh… are authors not artists?” No reply, and then she said she’d bring it before the board.

I’ve gone through stages of being miffed and amused all day. I understand if the art walk committee only want visual art for their event. I get it. Their art walk, their rules. It would be good to specify that.

To say that an author is not an artist is what bugs me. Honey, them are fighting words. Yes, once a story is written we can have it mass produced, but that story may have taken years to create. It takes just as much creative energy to make a world as it does a painting. Don’t get me started on classifying crafts as art.

In my own prejudice, I have a hard time taking people who don’t appreciate word art seriously. What are your thoughts? Should authors/writes/poets be classified as artists?

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About Angela Yuriko Smith

Angela Yuriko Smith is an American poet, publisher and author. Her first collection of poetry, In Favor of Pain, was nominated for an 2017 Elgin Award. Her latest novella, Bitter Suites, is a 2018 Bram Stoker Awards® Finalist. Currently, she publishes Space and Time magazine, a 53 year old publication dedicated to fantasy, horror and science fiction. For more information visit or
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9 Responses to News to Me: Authors are NOT Artists?

  1. Laura kester duerrwaechtet9 says:

    “Well stated,” she commented in an authorly flourish, spewing a rainbow of painterly adjectives high in the air.

  2. Marge Simon says:

    My second thoughts are — there are artists AND artists. Some (all too many at times) have little or no talent or imagination. Same for writers. And Poets. Goes with all the fields. So actually this Walk is for them that do the visual stuff. Did you look at it? What your community needs is redefinition of ART/Arts/art walk

    • Marge, I agree with you. I’ve participated in may art walks in the past. I enjoy meeting artists in another medium. We cross pollinate.

      No where on their information do they specify the walk is for visual art only. I’m fine if they do. I’m fine if they didn’t want me there based on genre or a number of other reasons. To say authors aren’t artists got my chuff up.

      I mostly think it’s funny that someone that parading as a patron of the arts would discredit such an important one. I’m not mad, just surprised and sorry for her. What a sad world it would be if words had no art in them.

  3. Laura Duerrwaechter says:

    the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power.
    “the art of the Renaissance”
    synonyms: fine art, artwork, creative activity
    “he studied art”
    the various branches of creative activity, such as painting, music, literature, and dance.
    “the visual arts”

  4. Laura Kester Duerrwaechter says:

    That’s unadulterated bull crap and you can display it on a paper plate, give it a title and sell it as a sculpture at the art 

  5. William Mills says:

    Interesting, I wonder what her take on JRR Tolkien would be? Yes, I firmly believe that authors are the ultimate artist. Which is why I enjoy so much more reading a novel as compared to watching a movie about the subject. The author takes me places in my mind that can never be portrayed visually on screen.

    • Absolutely! Often the story I’ve read is more real to me than something I passively watch. I’m caught up in the thoughts and motivations of the characters as opposed to being a bystander.

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