Tag Archives: art

What Are the Arts? A Hollywood Standard

After spending more than my self-allotted time on Facebook today, the running theme was the Meryl Streep speech. This blog is not a political debate and I will not go into politics. However, I will discuss “arts.” Ms. Streep made a rather bold comment that has sent MMA fighters globally into an uproar, whether her intention or not.

Per Ms. Streep, “So Hollywood is crawling with outsiders and foreigners. And if we kick them all out you’ll have nothing to watch but football and mixed martial arts, which are not the arts.

The question now begging to be answered is: What are the arts? Are the arts only limited to those on stage or in productions? Have we lost sight of what the arts are? Have the arts  evolved or devolved?

According to Oxford, art can be defined as 1) 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. 2) (the arts) the various branches of creative activity, such as painting, music, literature, and dance. 3) a skill at doing a specified thing, typically one acquired through practice.

I would consider definition #2 to include artists, writers, poets, sculptors, singers/song writers, and dancers. In there I would add acting as well, as this is a dominant basis to portray stories through creative activity. That would be my opinion. Using the given Oxford definition then, Mixed Martial Arts, football, even culinary chefs would fall into definition #3, as they have honed into a special skill acquired through practice. This can also absorb definition #2, as a writer works at his skill acquired through practice: the art of writing. Similarly,  the art of song writing, the art of basket weaving, the art of sculpting, the art of dance, the art of fighting, heck even the art of war.

So here is my kick: as definition #2 (the arts) can easily dip into definition #3 (acquired skill), can acquired skill also be considered the arts? The definitions are so broad. Have you ever watched Tai Chi? The slow and fluid motions are almost poetic in nature and mesmerizing to watch. Would Tai Chi not be a creative activity defined as the arts? Again, the definition is quite broad and could not encompass every example of the arts, but instead gave the more prominent ones.

Glass blowing: the arts or an acquired skill; the art of glass blowing? Tai Chi versus MMA; is there a difference?

Definitions give to evolution in an ever changing world, but are the definitions variant through the eyes of the beholder?  A husband and wife go to an art museum. The wife is in awe of the sculptures and paintings, to her that is art. They walk into the next museum, an air and space museum, and the husband sees the curves, the mass, the depth of an old WWII fighter plane and says that is true art. Which one is wrong? Are they both correct? Couldn’t building a plane be considered a creative art? I’m sure the Wright Brothers would love to hear that argument.

My blog today was not to bash or trash, and definitely not to make a political statement, but rather to entice people to open their minds as to what is art and what are the arts. Are only the beautiful aspects to be considered art such as Tai Chi versus MMA? Are some form of the arts higher up on the evolutionary art ladder than others: slam poetry versus Hollywood movies? Is it art to portray a fighter in a movie but not to be a fighter? Is it art to portray a fighter pilot in war but not to be a fighter pilot in war?

Have we evolved or devolved our definition of the arts over time? And if all of Hollywood disappeared today, would the arts disappear with it?

I would love to hear your “non-political” input on what you consider to be the arts, or on Ms. Streep’s thoughts that without Hollywood there would be nothing left but football and MMA. Maybe the world could read the book instead of watching the film adaptation, but I’m a writer; I can dream.

Tania L Ramos, RN BSN & Author of the arts

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Has it Been that Long

Okay, so I wrote out this huge post and my computer did something awful. Next book: When Good Computers Go Bad! So where have I been? In a place where free time no longer exists.

I started my Bachelor’s program in nursing through GCU. It is a rigorous thirteen month course that has occupied every last bit of free time I have had, and has even snuck into my not so free time. By this time next year, and $16k in debt, I will have a BSN and a government loan. Exciting, yes I know.

Any time for writing has been shot out the window, and the rantings of characters has been quickly drowned out by rantings of health care essays and deadlines. But I need some sanity, and the characters of Life by Chance started invading my brain even through medical papers. They were tired of being on the electronic shelf; tired of the promise of fruition; and tired of being unheard.

Blackbird Press and I had gone round and round on publishing prospects. I looked at some indie presses, but most either worked only in press or only in e-books. Some weren’t a right fit, others made me nervous, and still others didn’t offer the variety I desired. We talked about sending out queries to agents, but my time was already being strangled. It looked Life by Chance might spend another bout “shelved.” Then I received an email that Iuniverse was having a 50% off sale, and I thought about it.

On June 30th, the last day of the sale, I made the call and chose to go with Iuniverse. I used them for Be Still so I’m familiar with the process; I know what is important and what isn’t. Of course my only complaint is the low royalty payout and the timeliness of the payout, but all-in-all it isn’t breaking the bank. My spirit is renewed! Yay. If all goes well, Life by Chance should be out by the holidays.

While I haven’t spent much time promoting the book these past few months, except in blurbs on social media, the artist has been promoting the art work. “Life by Chance” has been accepted into several mainstream contests, and was displayed at an art show in Hollywood, CA. It is currently a submission in the Bombay Sapphire art contest, and has received honorable mentions in other events.

Tania L Ramos, RN and author

"Life by Chance" Artist: Mariano Daniel

“Life by Chance” Artist: Mariano Daniel

The Artisan Project

This has been an idea in the making for quite some time.  The idea for Blackbird LSD’s (Literary Services and Development) Artisan Project has been on the table for about a year, but finding a venue and backing has proved to be difficult.  Not only did the Blackbird staff want the ability to hold one of the biggest shows in the Inland Empire, but they wanted to incorporate all of the arts, as they are not just lovers of indie authors, but of indie music and indie artists.

When Daniel, of Blackbird, landed himself back in college and on the school newspaper the opportunity had at last arose.  After hob nobbing with some of the college’s finest, and after making some crucial associations in both the literary, musical, and world of art, bringing his baby to life was becoming more and more attainable.

Of course any local vendor event benefits me because I don’t have to drive far, so I offered any services I could.  Note to self: always rethink volunteering for big projects.  But I digress, I am in charge of vendor booths for now because this event just keeps growing on itself.  On a great note: there are already several featured artists and authors on the line-up, and just days into the announcement.

So what will this “Artisan” Project have that not many other shows have? Everything! The point is to publicly display the independent arts in every form.  There will be indie bands on one side, displays of art on another, and the giant lake will be bordered by rows upon rows of indie authors.  Toss in a few vendors to make it a truly crowd gathering event and you have the ingredients for one powerful day and a plethora of talents!

For more info on the Artisan Project, or to be part of all the fun visit Blackbird LSD.  Event is held in Victorville, CA in March 2014.

artisan project

Branding by Book Cover

Daniel (Blackbird LSD) and I have decided to change-up the typical cover for my book.  No stock photos, no beautiful scenery, and definitely no models.  By the way, one Facebook survey asked the question how can you tell an indie book just by looking at the cover? The whopping response was that they have models on the cover.

So, to veer from the path we decided to go with a different concept: watercolor! One person has been commissioned to work on this concept, but it has been weeks since I heard from this artist . . . so, I’ve commissioned a new artist.  And you may be surprised as to who it is? Daniel Mariano, the brains behind Blackbird LSD and my great friend.  I always knew he was talented, but I’m super impressed by this work.


For the book Life by Chance (official title), this is artist rendition #2 for the cover art.  It is not complete, but I love where it is headed.  All my future fiction novels will have this kind of cover which will be my brand.  My hope is that if you were to come across a cover like this it wold be synonymous with a Tania L Ramos book.

Tell us what you think.









Tania L Ramos, Author Sharing the Arts

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