DAY 56 - HOW TO BE AN ARTIST / by Debra Matlock

Step Three: Learn How to Think Like an Artist

This is the fun part.

Lesson 14: Compare Cats and Dogs

Okay, this sounds ridiculous, but call your dog and it comes right over to you, placing its head in your lap, slobbering, wagging its tail: a miraculous direct communication with another species. Now call your cat. It might look up, twitch a bit, perhaps go over to the couch, rub against it, circle once, and lie down again. What am I saying?

In seeing how the cat reacted, you are seeing something very close to how artists communicate.

The cat is not interested in direct communication. The cat places a third thing between you and it and relates to you through this third thing. Cats communicate abstractly, indirectly. As Carol Bove says, “You don’t just walk up to beauty and kiss her on the mouth!” Artists are cats. (And they can’t be herded.)