Monday, August 10, 2009

Am I an Artist or a Crafter; Is that Art or a Craft?

So the age long discussion on art versus craft is still going. I know this because I recently posted the question "Is there a difference between an artist and a craft person?" I was truly amazed to find out how people felt about the two and what others' reasoning was for how they answered the question. The following is what I posted for my latest response to what has been written so far:

"In the MacMillan Webster's Thesaurus Third Edition copyright © 1997 the following words are listed:

"1.[Skill or creative Power] - Syn. skill, craft, technique, artistry, craftsmanship, artisanship, trade, creativity, skillfulness, expertise, faculty, talent, knack, flair, ingenuity, inventiveness, imagination, adroitness, artifice, cunning, craftiness, artfulness, wiliness, finesse, facility, mastery, virtuosity, know-how.
2. [The study and creation of beauty]...
3. [The product of art, sense 2]...
4. [The study of humanities; plural]..." (Laird, 1997)

After all the words listed for Art there is a paragraph that states:

"SYN. - art, the word of widest application in this group, denotes in its broadest sense merely the abililty to make or do something [the art of making friends], but in narrower sense implies making or doing that displays creativity and unusual perception; skill implies expertness or great proficiency in doing something; artifice implies skill used as a means of trickery or deception; craft implies ingenuity in execution, sometimes even suggesting trickery or deception; in another sense, craft is distinguished from art in its application to a lesser skill involving little or no creative thought." (Laird, 1997)

For the word "artist" the first two sections state for the definition:

"1. [A creative worker in the fine arts]... and
2. [A highly skilled workman]..." (Laird, 1997)

In conclusion and in my opinion we are a little bit of artist and a little bit of crafters. We are artists in that we all have or have developed various types of talent and application with what we do and it is in the eyes of the beholder to interpret what we have done. We are crafters that have learned a skill or talent and are using it to create something wonderful.

When I originally started this discussion it was my true intention to find out what others thought about the two. After reading all of the very insightful responses, I know now that it isn't about what you call yourself, but how one feels about their work on an individual basis.

This has been one of the more interesting discussions I have ever started or followed. Thank you to all who have made this topic a little more understandable.


Here are some interesting thoughts by others outside this group:
Pixelated Image
On Art(s) And Craft(s)

Wiki Answers
What is the difference between art and craft?

Denis Dutton
The Difference Between Art and Craft

Tangle Crafts
The difference between art and craft

I'm sure there are more articles out there, but I just wanted to list a few for now."

Since I am not the first to bring up this question I feel relieved in knowing that I am no different than others and we are all artists and crafters in our own accord.

Laird, C. G. (1997). Webster's New World Thesaurus (Third ed.). (M. Agnes, Ed.) Cleveland: Simon & Schuster, Inc.


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