Suckered into the artist-as-genius mentality

My youngest brother loved comic books in high school. He owns hundreds, if not thousands of them, preciously boxed up in individual sleeves. He entered college as an art major, thinking he would study illustration and either draw comic books or help create video games. Midstream his interest changed.

He very well may have been suckered subconsciously into the artist-as-genius mentality.

Sadly, I may have helped in this process. In my own college-age ignorance I bantered with my brother from time-to-time, arguing that comic book illustrations don’t constitute “art.” I don’t come down so boldly in saying what is and isn’t art any longer, in the little wisdom I’ve allowed God to bestow upon me since graduating with my BFA. In reality my brother didn’t seem to buy my asinine high-and-mighty mentality, and if I recall correctly he concluded he wasn’t any good at illustration anyway.

I note with interest, however, how I was seemingly suckered into said mentality without knowing it. My wife still refers to me as a snob on occasion (adding once that she wished she were more like me in this regard!), although I believe I was regarded like this in part even in high school.

My brother’s painting’s are developing rapidly now, although he (like most of us) works a normal nine-to-five in order to actually pay the bills.


One of Daniel Nielsen’s recent paintings, hanging in a loft
in downtown Grand Island, Nebraska.

About pcNielsen
Paul Nielsen founded The Aesthetic Elevator late in 2005. He owns a piece of paper, located somewhere in his house (not on the wall), stating that he earned a B.F.A. from the University of Nebraska around about 2001. While there, he studied studied architecture, graphic design and ceramics, graduating with a degree in studio art. Paul presently serves as communications manager for a small non-profit doing their print design and marketing. He spends as much time sculpting in his studio as possible — which is not nearly enough. Visit his website at

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