The Trader As An Artist

Artist [Jamal mutters while thinking out loud] What is art? I hear people say that word (art) a lot. In my opinion, everyone should stick to what they consider it to be. These arguments have been going on for the longest time. Ain’t stopping soon. Funny, when most hear the word “art” they’d have already imagined: the Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa or Vincent Van Gogh’s Starry nights. Art is actually one of the first way we learnt to explore the world—Through its elements and principles.

Today I opened my desktop… or is it laptop? Any-hoo, that’s not the point. I opened this piece of work and decided to do an in-depth research on the definition of “art”. According to the Oxford languages, They said, “Art is expressing or applying human creative skill or imagination in visual or non-visual form”. Honestly, I don’t even think that’s the definition I was looking for. I mean—not everyone knows they have the “creative skill”… What’s this creative skill anyway?

A creative skill is basically the ability to think about a task or problem in a new or different way. Meaning it can be anything right? P.S—Some-one said, “the best creative skill anyone can have is patience”. So are you trying to say, I need a creative skill to do an “art”. Huh… Well… Hey now, don’t get me wrong I’m not trying to argue with oxford. Maybe that’s their view of this word. Who am I to judge? Like I said, “it really can be anything; any-thing you can think of at all” here’s why:

Is Art Just About The Creative Skill?

Talking with Jules the other day—I heard her linguistic teacher say, communication is an “art” of… Wait, hold up. Heh, so communication can be an art. I mean—people do this thing everyday, How else is information passed if not through communication. All the definitions I’ve looked up on the word (art)—has the word “skill” in it. Any skill at all. I mean if oxford says the skill has to be creative well, their problem.

Ergo, can we say, we all do “art” in one way or the other. Lol! I just felt insanely proud saying that out loud.

Anyway, my view point is—the definition of art is subjective, we’re all right. Art is basically anything. It’s a language. Not just a thing, can also be a way. Anything that can be done by us humans (mammals), is definitely an “art”. I might be wrong but, I’ll come back to that.

What Is Art?

Back to my definitions—Then there’s that word “imagination”. You know what, I believe anything you can imagine is an art. Defining art is hard because—there’s no right or wrong in the definition of art. If you go on the internet now or ask someone, you’ll hear gazillion definitions.

More Definitions Of Art

Leo defines it as: experiencing an emotion and transmitting it onto others. A creative work of a human. It’s more than practice, it’s a way of life, Form of expression, quality of doing something. Also, An activity that manifests beauty, and The mastery and ideal way of doing something.

The definitions are infinite. Till today, the definition is subjective, open, debatable—It’s so amazing how one thing can mean different things. Art can be an emotion or feeling, an expression, imagination… It’s such an interesting word.

You watch movies and you cry, how exactly can a movie make you cry? How can one be so talented in evoking: feelings, moods or emotions on others—just by a single act? My British friends will say, “Amazing inn it”.

A Work Of Art

There’s a term that intrigues me, “a work of art”. Since the word “art” there is subjective it can be anything you make it to be. Art is an expression. Your job can be a “work of art” That can mean different things to different people.

This Friday, I took a stroll on google—came across Anita Louise’s blog. Anita made reference to an artist who said: he’s art has no meaning. She says, “the no-meaning is the meaning”. That took me down memory lane. I remember my first sculpture class in—art class, we were supposed to create whatever anything at all. Mr. Jake said, “become art”…

Heh, I remember picking tooth picks, more than a thousand of them. Had no clarity of what I wanted to make. Decided it’s best I play around with it. In the evening, I discovered that it gave me some kind of shape that I couldn’t describe. That piece didn’t make sense to me. To my out-most surprise, I scored the highest. Jake said, “Woah, Jamal this is interesting…” it made him curious. He also stated: that’s exactly what art means.

Mr. Jake’s statement left me in a state of awe.

That’s the message Anita was trying to convey. Most times—the meaningless art pieces are so intriguing that it becomes meaningful. That’s the beauty of art. The language of art is about appreciating any and everything—bringing the most senseless things to life.

Art And Interpretation

For you to interpret art, you need to ask yourself three questions:

  • What’s the meaning?
  • What’s the message?
  • What do the patterns mean?

In philosophy—the point of view is different. It’s grouped in two ways: Intentionalism and Anti-intentionalism. Intentionalism is: viewing the art from the artist perspective, whereas—Anti-intentionalism is: viewing and interpreting it from our own point of view—based on how we feel about it. The gift of art is that, no two persons can have the same interpretation. That’s what makes art very unique, interesting and fun.

In an art class, if a still-life composition is placed in front of you, most artist would decide to do hyper-realism, others a sketch. The shading is different as well, That is, some would use pointillism, others hatching, cross-hatching or scribbling. What I’m saying in essence is: it’s all about the interpretation and expression. 

After the class, you’d hear different interpretations. In all honesty, Art is such an amazing thing. Not just in drawing but—other forms as well. 

Types Of Art

[Yawns] Listen, I know the main topic is, “the trader as an artist” but I need you to stay with me—see where I’m headed. The main purpose of this topic is: to appreciate the art of trading, to give beauty to the person behind these charts. In addition, to appreciate something is to understand the meaning behind that thing—more on this in—the principles and elements of trading. Colleges today, galleries or wherever people get their information from these days will tell you—there’re two types of art: visual and Non-visual.

Visual art—The term “visual” means sight, to see. Therefore, visual art is an art of vision. It involves the art that’s seen and felt psychically. Non-visual art—In addition, Non-visual art is an art of the soul and the brain. This type of art—can’t be seen but rather felt, it evokes feeling both good or bad in humans.

Who’s an artist

On Saturday, I went to the Library to check-out the new books. There’s a book on objective and subjective POV. There was a write-up, “when you become objective about art and not just subjective, that’s when you start to see artists all around you”. The carpenter in your neighborhood or the gardener across your yard. The writers, traders… Oops, I just said traders. Of course why not. You may not create a master piece that ends up in a museum, but, if you find yourself involved or doing something in your life that—combines a sense of purpose with practiced skill, honey, you’re an artist.

Mark joined me in the library, I wasn’t even paying attention to him, because I came across an article that said, “Trading isn’t an art”.

The writer said, the statement is ridiculous. That you can’t bring Picasso or Gogh into the picture. That really got me irritated. I find it funny how rigid one’s mind can be. To the writer everything “art” should either be a painting of some sort. Years back, I remember when someone asked what I studied—I’d tell them “art”, the next question that pops up is—woah, so you can draw? Pfft, man I get so tired.

Back to the article, I mean he’s definitely an artist Cos’ his piece got to me. Anyway, the one who’s good at something especially if it involves something with skill—that’s an artist.

What Is Trading And It’s Relation To Art.

Trading is the act of buying and selling. Everyone can buy and sell, but, not everyone can do this consistently—without having your emotions involved in someway. Buying and selling isn’t always a positive act, especially if it involves money. Your emotions come to play. Controlling them is what makes you successful in this act. Right? That’s where the skill comes in. Since I need to acquire some sort if skill to become great at this profession, Why can’t I call trading an art?

Without the skill, you’ll lose.

Art requires skill; trading requires skill. What more do you need—That’s equilibrium there. This isn’t some sort of debate though. Not debunking anything. In other words, trading is an art since it requires a skill. There’s a saying that trading is a pattern and number game. Ergo, if trading isn’t an art, how do you recognize the pattern? There’s something called “pattern” in art. A pattern is a repetition. It also involves the elements of art. However, I could go on and on. My point is, trading is an art; a trader is an artist. Finis.

The Trader As An Artist

Since I parked my bike outside, I’ll probably go pick it up. Most people don’t know this but, traders are probably one of the smartest people ever. These guys have mastered the art of emotional intelligence, self-control, discipline, and patience.

Hear me out, this is a mental skill.

A tough work like this doesn’t get much appreciation. Trading is both a visual and non-visual form of art. Visual in the sense that, The charts can be seen, It’s patterns, structure and cycle. All these have their different meanings and interpretations. However, it’s the work of a trader to read these patterns and understand them. All these require a specific skill.

The up and down tics in trading come from market structure, price-action and market cycles all which is—a graphical representation of both buyers and sellers in the market. Each tic represents a humans decision. The only way traders can really survive is: by knowing the intentions of the market. In some cases, that’s nearly impossible.

Well, these guys do it anyway.

Furthermore, It can be non-visual—due to the feelings and emotions this art evokes in the traders. Traders who can’t control their emotions encounter problems. Whereas—the ones who have mastered emotional intelligence, can see its rewards.

The Trader As An Artist -The Market’s Interpretation

Finally, how we interpret the market falls under the—intentionalism and anti-intentionalism of the philosophical interpretation of art. Intentionalism: We are interpreting the market’s movement from the it’s own perspective. That means you are trading what you see. Anti-intentionalism: Traders who interpret the market like this, trade what they think they see and react based on that.

After reading—trading in the zone by: Late Mark Douglas ,I think most professional traders would rather stick with—the intentionalism part of the market.

Let’s step back a little to—art and it’s interpretations. Traders also have different ways we interpret the market, different strategies, and different styles. Just like the different forms of drawing and different shading techniques (More on this in the next article). It’s all about expression. That’s why I found that article about, “Trading isn’t an art” really funny. 

In conclusion

Art is about expression. Similarly, trading involves movements. These artist (traders) have learnt to read this movements, to understand its meaning, and they react accordingly. Traders developed the internal ability to control both their mind and actions. The trader as an artist is someone who has polished their chart reading skills, market analysis skills, through pattern recognition and have in the process learnt the art of emotional intelligence. Anyone can be a trader but not everyone can be—a trader.

Furthermore, to be a successful trader, means—you are a successful artist.


All my articles are entirely a work of fiction. The names, characters and incidents portrayed in it are the work of lazyluchi’s imagination. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events or localities are entirely coincidental. 

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