Sunday, April 11, 2010

Artist or Crafter?

For most of my blog entries I usually keep the writing part of it to the details of my art or comments on images I have posted. Today for some reason I felt the need to pontificate on something that I often think about. I certainly know that a lot of you think about it so here are my 2 cents worth on the subject.

So what is the subject you may ask? Well it is simply this...do you consider yourself an artist or a crafter? I know my answer will be different then most of yours because I have never considered myself anything else but an artist. Of course that doesn't always mean that was the first thing that came out of my mouth when I was asked what I do for a living. Other things have gotten in the way on my path to where I am now. I worked in retail for many years. I was a receptionist in a medical facility for a few years too. I was also a receptionist in a couple of hair salons before I called myself an artist. The proudest moment is when I was actually able to say I was the lead designer for a scrapbooking company. Of course I was the only designer but that didn't matter because I was "THEE" lead designer. (Some of you know how that ended but it wasn't pretty and it's another story for another day.)

Anyways during all this time of many different jobs I was always doing craft shows and selling my wares when I could. Then I mostly called myself a crafter because I was doing "craft" shows not "art" shows. Do I think there is a difference? No not really. If you think about where the term "crafter" came from you'll know what I mean. According to Webster's dictionary a craftsman or "crafter" is a creator of great skill in the manual arts. See that little word there at the end of the sentence.... it says "arts". Yes the arts encompass all kinds of things that you make with your hands and your creativity. It doesn't matter what it is or if you are creating something using a pattern because I know 99% of you don't make it exactly the same as the sample piece. The real secret is that there is nothing new in the world nowadays. We all get our inspiration from somewhere including me. What is important is what you do with it once you see something that inspires you. Make it your own, experiment with products if you don't have the exact ingredients. Let the creativity take you were it wants to go and make something you are happy with and proud of. Call it art no matter what it is and call yourself an artist no matter what your skill level. People will take you more seriously if you call yourself an artist and not a crafter. I know you'll see what I mean when you say your an artist to a person you have just met. They will automatically think.... wow an artist... a person that has time to be creative. You'll see that little glint of jealousy in their eyes because they wish they had the courage to be creative and make something beautiful. You're living the dream that most people can't. They don't need to know that you do it in your spare bedroom or at the dining room table after the kids are asleep. If you aspire to be an artist then you are already one....so when the next person you meet asks what you do tell them you are an artist and watch for that little glint of jealousy in their eyes. (Don't worry...I know you'll see it.)

P.S. If you like this little musing and want more of them, please let me know in your comments. Also be sure and let me know if you consider yourself an artist or a crafter and why.

9 comments:

Pixie said...

Firstly, I consider myself an artist. My son's favourite art teacher once said 'the art is in the mistake'. I make LOTS of mistakes, so that makes me an artist, right? lol

Secondly, I think that sometimes the word 'crafter' is used in a derogatory tone. Like crafting is not as good as creating art.

Thirdly, keep posting these sorts of topics. They make for good discussion!

Horners Corner said...

I dont think that their is a difference between ''crafter'' and ''artist'' other than the use of the words. Alot of people say their hobby is ''crafting'' and rarely say their hobby is being an ''artist'', so I think ''artist'' is more used for people whose main income is in the arts if that makes sense.

Jana said...

I am an artist!
And I loved this musing. And would welcome many more.
Have a wonderfully creative day.

paperqueen said...

I see art in everything and the artist in everyone, but even so, the word artist used to stick in my throat. I rarely felt the desire to sell my art, so I'd ask myself, if I don't make my living with this, am I an artist?
When I had a piece published in a national magazine I suddenly gave myself permission to call myself an artist. Then, when I was showing a relative the page my art appeared on, he asked, "how much did they pay you?"
LOL! Can't win!
But, yes, I do consider myself an artist.
I agree with the comment that the word craft has negative connotations, though it shouldn't. A maker of fine furniture is a master craftsperson. Also an artist, IMO.
I enjoy these discussions; keep 'em coming!
Eileen

Deborah said...

I want to call myself an artist because then I will feel more validated in my creative endeavors. I believe to call myself an artist I will need to be able to support myself by working with my hands (similar to what Horners Corner said in her post). That is my goal. As to what it takes to reach that goal, for myself. I have a good idea but am not there yet. I think it is similar to writing for example. Do you call yourself a writer is you are not making a money doing it? Then again it is up to the individual I suppose. Thanks for posting this.

Ginia said...

I'm an artist. I love to create art. The hurtle I needed to jump over was the courage to share it. The web and blogging have helped with that. I'm not afraid to send something out into the world. I share, and then I go make more art, because it makes me happy. :D
Thanks for this post. It's good encouragement.

texcinlulu said...

I never considered myself an artist until my daughter told her friend that "My Mother is an artist." I was so proud. I just went wow I guess I am.
Thank you for reminding me of that. I had forgotten.

I like the topic postings.

Hands to Work, Hearts to God said...

I considered myself an artist when I actually sold a piece of art! Usually we say "arts and crafts" so I guess it's interchangeable!

bobbie said...

I use the words interchangably ~ but really? I don't care, as long as I'm having fun!!

I know I'm late coming to this, but I really like your musings!

Peace ~