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.