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


JCat McGack said...

And to continue the conversation, what about jewelry makers or photographers? Both artist to me, but does this make anyone who can string beads on a string or with a digital camera an artist?...


Anonymous said...

I struggle with this, too... I mean, I know that I'm an artist, but I'm sure other people are quick to say that I'm a crafter, and I'll admit, there's others that I find myself judging as well. I laughed to see in one application I received the note that all items must be handmade and (paraphrased) "gluing a bow to a candle-holder or vase doesn't count."

I really think that if you can take something and turn it into something else that's beautiful, then it's art. You can take a blank slate and cover it with line and color, paper, glue, ink, whatever... and it is art. I take a plain line of metal and make it wearable, and that's art. Do I feel like I'm cheating sometimes when something is simple and kind of thoughtless, yes, but unfortunately... sometimes that shit sells and I need to make money. I guess that would be a craft. The other stuff I do, the stuff that many other people CAN'T... (and that unfortunately, is so expensive it doesn't sell or sits forever before it does)is art, but I don't really know. Art is subjective, and everyone has their own opinion. Just keep being you and don't give the haters any credence. I can't scrapbook, and while I can draw, I hate to do it. I think you're an artist, and the ladies just need to shut up. I'd like to see those eggs.

Paul London said...

Artists need a craft, a methodolgy, and crafts can be artistic. I think the difference comes down to the intent behind the creator. If its done with the intent of expressing some aspect of themselves or the world, it's capital A Art. If its just to look asthetically pleasing, its more like decorating. Form and medium don't matter its what your trying to convey, express.

JCat McGack said...

noun art, trade, or occupation requiring special skill, especially manual skill: the craft of a mason.
2.skill; dexterity: The silversmith worked with great craft.
3.skill or ability used for bad purposes; cunning; deceit; guile.
4.the members of a trade or profession collectively; a guild.
5.a ship or other vessel.

art·ist   [ahr-tist] Show IPA
1.a person who produces works in any of the arts that are primarily subject to aesthetic criteria.
2.a person who practices one of the fine arts, especially a painter or sculptor.
3.a person whose trade or profession requires a knowledge of design, drawing, painting, etc.: a commercial artist.
4.a person who works in one of the performing arts, as an actor, musician, or singer; a public performer: a mime artist; an artist of the dance.
5.a person whose work exhibits exceptional skill.

JCat McGack said...

Here's Ed response...

He said to him a craft is an art project for a purpose. Say the paper plates for example.

If it's lets say a craft for a mask from a plate, it's usable. Scrapbooking is art. But it's for preserving memories.
Card making is an art, but it's a usable and sharable art.

So to him Art would be something to look at. Now the paper plate sculpture, is attractive, useless to use. But fun to look at. conversation piece. Like most 'fine art' it's more pleasing to the eye.

So I would have to say regarless of what you create, or how you do it. It's when you perfect what you do makes you an artist!