Sunday, October 9, 2011

Arts... or crafts?

While at a meeting last night with the Art Council, at the new Art House, discussing big plans for the 'Art Show' fundraiser coming up in 11 days. They brought up the topic of an older women coming to the art house saying she loves to do art. She crochet's potholders, and makes those eggs with designs in them that you can see through. They said that is wonderful but after the women had left, some of them said no way.

They say 'NO that is crafts. It's not art'...

This offends me, and I know they meant no harm to me, but to realize that 'artists' who draw with pen and paint consider themselves better? Then crafters? What makes the difference between art or a craft? See I do both.

For 4 years in High School I took art classes. And during summer I'd take drawing classes where I could. So sure I consider myself an artist. I doodle, I paint, I love paper mache, and clay.

But I was raised by a genius crafter. My mother is a sewer, a card maker and just into ATC (artist trading card) making. She has always called herself a crafter. And I've been so proud that she's as talented as she is.

I crafted as a small child, grew into pencils, paper and art. I've never loved one more then the other. I love to do what I do. Depends on my mood. I'm in an artsy mood one day, or a crafty mood the other. Doesn't make me more or less of an artist on which one I choose to do.

Is a craft a kit you buy in a store? An Art is something your born with? I personally think everyone has a bit of an artist in them. Some are just more willing then others to tap into that inner resource. I mean sure painters are artists, but then what about a paint-by-number kit? That's art to me, but not to some? Is it because your being told step by step how to do art? Still turns out pretty right?

I scrapbook almost daily but sometimes one page, covering one photo will take me 4 hours. I paint, doodle, and make it my art project for the day. So is that art and the scrapbook pages that take me 20 minutes are those crafting? I personally don't see one over the other being a better page.

I use 'craft' supplies in my art, and for sure use art supplies in my craft. I spent 6 years (2004-2010) selling, demonstrating, and loving Stampin' Up!'s rubber stamps, scrapbooking supplies, and all the card and scrabook, 3D paper crafting, and mini books I could get my hands on. It's for sure an art, the amazing things I've seen women create.

So while writing this out, I look over and see the Disney Family Fun Creepy Crafts book I just got at Target. Now sure these projects are focused on milk cartoons, pipe cleaners, tie-dye pumpkin shirts, and tissue boxes. Crafting? Yes.

BUT. Those are everyday things you find around your house right?

So when an 'artist' takes a pile of paper plates and cuts and glues and make a BIG 'art' piece, that is now art? But made with the same everyday tools found in this craft magazine? I'm confused what now makes this an art project and no longer a craft.

I mean I've seen my best friend, destroy a styro-foam cup and make art with it at meetings. Just using her hands, and the nearby pen. So again it's art. But if she had seen directions on step-by-step how to destoy a cup with your hand and a pen does that make it a craft project?

I've seen talented painters copy right from a magazine, and I've seen talented crafts copy from a magazine.

Please weigh in, because I'm in defense of both
is this art? Or a craft? Isn't your art your craft?

So to hear these other artist laugh about the lady with the potholders and the eggs saying that they need fine art makes me wonder who is the judge who says what is fine art, what is a craft, and what makes it then art?

JCat McGack

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Your Own Worst Critic

I read this today from my friend Sass's FB page, and I swear she was in my head. I think I've told you, if not I will about my Sock Monsters. They are amazing little creatures, I make them out of... socks. And odds and ends. Like ribbons, or buttons, and bells, bells are fun inside tails.

They are something I can create, and have made about 7 so far, and I like them. I'm getting better at them, and even the one that I TOTALLY messed up (he has not tummy, I cut his legs up to his neck. But it was my 4 year old daughter at the time who said "Finish it Mommy. I'll love it"  See when your an artist of ANY kind. From paint and drawing, to journalist, gardening or a baker, it's all an art and as my teacher told me, and I think every teacher should tell their art students.

"You will ALWAYS be your own worst critic"

So true. It reminds me to ask others, to walk away from my project. Come back later, maybe a day, week, or a month later. You might just look at it from an outside point of view. And the quote above, from Sass, is what I need to read over and over and over again. I quite when it gets to hard for me. I won't lie. I know I try to take the easy way out. And when it's your own project you can quite. Easy. But for me those projects are still remembered as things I wish to finish. Try harder.

See there is scrapbooking. And I do it well, very well, I can rubber stamp and create with paper easily. Cards, stationary, boxes, I can do it. BUT it's the other things I love, sewing, painting, paper mache and clay. THOSE are things I haven't done in years, but wish to get better at them again. I just need to keep tinkering with them!

I was once at a seminar for Stampin' Up! a wonderful rubber stamp company. I did demonstrations at people's homes, I mostly focused on classes in my home. So at this seminar, I was sitting in a business class, and we were told, if you look on our business side of the website we could see on a map how many demonstrators were out there. And scary enough how many were in our area!

I live in a small village but there was at least 10 of us in just a 10 mile radius! Imagine if you lived in a bigger city! I mean it's selling rubber stamps, it's NOT exactly a home staple, and NOT that many people do paper crafts in my little town! But they said the percentage of those that are demonstrators, so few actually PUSHED their business like they should. YOU could be THAT person that is the stand out demonstrator. THAT is what stuck with me. With my life, with art. That I could be the stand out artist.

I do need to keep sewing, painting, gardening, and creating. All to better my craft, to be amazing at what I do. Sure I rock at paper crafts I've been up to my eyeballs in paper and rubber stamps for the last 8 years straight! I need to balance my arts, so I get to enjoy them all.

On this not I will leave you with a great quote I heard on Glee last night. I mean talk about loving art! Theater and music have always been a favorite of mine, so what better show to quote from?

The scene is with Mike Chang, who has just received what they call an Asian F, an A-. His father wants him to quit the Glee club to study harder, and Mike is torn about it, being that Glee is what he loves more then anything. After fighting with himself, over to keep doing what he loves or make his father happy he says this...

"It's what I love to do. It's NOT a waste of my time"