Some creative creators work simultaneously in completely two or more different art forms.
The list of musicians, who went to art school is long. It includes John Lennon, Joni Mitchell, Cat Stevens, Ronnie Wood, Syd Barrett, Keith Richards, David Byrne, Kanye West, Pete Townsend, Jimmy Page, Eric Clapton, Chuck D, Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett. Other musicians, like Bob Dylan, Patti Smith, Paul McCarthy, and David Bowie, also worked as visual artists but were self-taught. Rapper Tupac studied acting, poetry, jazz, and ballet at the Baltimore School of The Arts.
Other multitalented musicians are; Nick Cave who writes screenplays and novels, Amanda Palmer also an author and performance artist and Yoko Ono is a multimedia artist as well as a singer/songwriter.
There are likewise many actors who work in other practices.
Dennis Hopper was a director, writer, editor, photographer, and fine artist. Jemima Kirke from the HBO’s series “Girls” is also a really talented painter. Juliette Binoche works as, dancer, poet, and painter too. Antonio Banderas composes music and writes poetry. He is currently studying at Central Saint Martins in London to study menswear fashion. James Franco works across media including painting, drawing, film, sculpture, installation, and photography. He has a Ph.D. in English from Yale and a master’s degree from Tisch School of the Arts.
Film directors including James Cameron, Terry Gilliam, Ridley Scott, Peter Greenaway also make art. David Lynch studied painting at college, beginning his studies at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston in 1964 and the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts
Artists who have made the switch to directing include Sam Taylor Wood, Tracey Emin, Steve McQueen, Damien Hirst, Julian Schnabel, Wolfgang Tillmans, and Douglas Gordon. Gordon also developed a stage work for the theatre.
Can achievement in one field be enough to be accepted in another?
Edmund de Waal is very successful with his porcelain installations. He is represented by Gagosian gallery. However, he became better-known to a wider audience as a writer with his books ‘The Hare with Amber Eyes’ and ‘The White Road’.
Edmund de Waal
Maybe all creative people are multitalented and should not have to do just one thing. However, by doing multiple things at once one can risk not finding satisfaction or never mastering anything. Some might want to target all their energy on one goal, channeling the numerous talents to the primary pursuit. On the other hand, spending a bit of time learning about and practicing a different art form can free you up artistically. Try not to stress about being great, just focus on finding release.
Laurie Anderson initially trained as a sculptor is an experimental performance artist, director, writer, actress, composer, and musician. She plays the violin and keyboards and sings.
She says: “if you want to be pinned down as one thing or another. It’s hard to create an image that is so concrete and stable.”
Or as Composer Richard Wagner said; “Whatever my passions demand of me, I become for the time being – musician, poet, director, author, lecturer or anything else.”