Sunday, December 04, 2005

crafter vs. artist

I have been thinking recently about whether I am a crafter or an artist. I got to thinking about it after reading a post in one of the Yahoo groups. I thought the comments were really snotty and opinionated. It slammed people who did not share that person's views. I guess that person was being honest - in their own mind. I did want to see what kind of art this person did since this person was thought so highly of him/herself. I wonder how insecure this person was to slam people who used prepared backgrounds and collage sheet images. Everyone works at different levels and want to do different things. Does using a prepared background or collage sheet image diminish your credibility and ability as an artist? Well, poop on that point of view. If you were so good, then you would not be hanging around a Yahoo group all the time!!! At this point, I really do think that I am an artist. I am mostly an assemblage artist. I love to work with metals and paints. I will collage anything that appeals to me. There are still times will I will do stuff that is considered crafts. Sometimes, I don't think my ATCs or fat book pages can be considered art, but I still enjoy doing it. I enjoy the challenge of collage and design. At the moment, I like heating up the melting pot and creating UTEE shapes and images using stamps and Pearl EX. I still like doing variations of altered puzzle pieces. I still enjoy experimenting and doing different things. I still like creating mini zines for swaps. My muse will change and I will go on to something else. I just go where ever my muse takes me. Okay, I am done now.


Becca said...

if anyone is an artist ... you are! great post ...

Katrina said...

I could not agree more. It is very frustrating when people try to make others feel bad about what they create. When people have that attitude no matter how inspirational the work it makes me want to not look at it.

We all have a need to create it does not matter if we use food, yarn, clay or pre- printed collage paper. We should not feel bad for using something – we should feel bad for not using what we have.

Your work is beautiful ART.

martin said...

Don't worry.....
You are a unique human who like to make (beautyful) "things". Others like to label someone like you. One of their labels is called "artist".

I'm also human and label you as a GOOD artist. Well .... maybe THAT is something to worry about. :))

christinemm said...

I liked hearing your opinions. I think we are on the same ATC Group as I was one of the people who put in their two cents on the topic. I hope I wasn't one of the people that upset you! We all have different opinions. I am glad we have an open forum to discuss them. I love the ATC lists where things are discussed rather than just focused on doing swaps. I learn a lot from everyone through discussion.

I don't think we should get hung up on semantics. I don't think it matters if a person is a 'crafter' or an 'artist'.

I am also one of the cheerleaders who thinks that if anyone creates anything they are an artist. An artist is not necessarily just a person who does it full time and makes a good income from selling their work. A recent post on the list I did was to say why would an 'aspiring actor' who works as say, a waiter say they 'are an actor' when people like us who make art hesitate to say 'I am an artist'? I think the difference lies with self-confidence (or lack thereof) and or self-esteem (or lack thereof) and possibly some have a larger ego (the aspiring actors?)--wink, wink, grin.

We all have different things we like. We also have different standards for what we make. I have some ATCs that I am so unhappy with I won't even given them away as random acts of kindness (even though maybe someone would like them).

I am on another swap list for trading ATCs that we received from others but we don't want to keep. We have had many discussions about this. Apparently some were afraid to post the pictures of the ATCs they wanted to get rid of lest the creator/artist see it and be offended. I shared that I'd rather have my ATC owned by someone who liked it. I don't expect the orignal recipient to keep it if they hate it, or to consider throwing it away (gasp).

Another interesting thing about looking at other people's work is I now am thinking things like, "Wow, that is so boldly colored, I would never be comfortable making that." Interesting thought. So what I like in other people's work I would not necessary re-create as it is 'not me'.

Anonymous said...

I think that snobby "artists" have a self-esteem issue.

Lots of words in the English language have multiple meanings depending on context and "sense". Sometimes "Artist" can imply extraordinary skill as in "John is an artist with food."

But I think it is clear that materials don't make the distinction - many items in art museums involve the use of just about any material including pre-existing images and patterns. The issue of getting paid for your work determines the use of the word "professional" rather than "artist". I also think that the skill level involved is covered by the addition of the word "master" whether you're talking about a craftsperson or an artist.

Personally, my own distinction is that a person is "crafting" when they are following a set of instructions to DUPLICATE someone else's work. If they are creating an object using their own imagination (although they may indeed be following some instructions in doing so), then they are producing art.

So my opinion is that the expression of self in the production of something that is experienced by others through one or more of the senses - sight, hearing, touch, smell or taste - is Art. Bad, good or great is a different thing entirely and one about which I won't venture an opinion!

Finally, I'll say that I think there should be a law against discouraging people from producing "art" in any form - including those teachers who insist that grass is green and skies are blue. Its nothing short of criminal to attack or denigrate another's form of self-expression.