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Thread: What's the Difference between Artist and Crafter?

  1. #1
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    What's the Difference between Artist and Crafter?

    Puzzling through this one, and thought I'd ask the Creatives at GetCrafty.

    I formally studied art at University and have 1/2 a BFA, but it's only recently I've identified and embraced "Artist".Why? I don't have a good answer, for myself, except that "Artist" has so many connotations and expectations attached to it.

    What's the diference between Artist and Crafter? Which are You? Why?

  2. # ADS

  3. #2
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    I call myself a crafter because I mostly make things, but don't design them. I crochet from patterns and get ideas for my daughter's crafts online and in books. To be an artist, I think one has to be original in their designs. Just my opinion, though! (don't want to be offending anyone)

  4. #3
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    I think -- I'm both -- I'm a Designer by profession and a Crafter by choice.

    I do however design what I craft :) because there are so many ways to solve a problem -- I can't for a moment believe that everything has been done already.

  5. #4
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    Historically, only men were Artists. I recently read the book The Subversive Stitch: Embroidery and the Making of the Feminine. If I remember correctly, it describes how embroidery became an "occupation" at a time when it became fasionalbe to have embroidered clothes, linens, etc. At that time, the males wished to exclude themselves from women and ensure that only they could obtain profitability. They therefore defined themselves as "artists" and became a guild; they were the only ones officially allowed to sell their embroidery for money. Women embroiderers were limited to doing so for their own enjoyment, but not for profit.

    Also, while painters, poets, etc were "artists", women traditionally have been viewed as untalented, and their efforts in this area written off as "hobbies", etc. I firmly believe that the view of the crafter as a domestic hobby is simply a devaluation of women's labour. Similarly, would you call a male chef a domestic worker? No. "Culinary artiosts" is often used. So why is a female who prepares food not an artist? Only because as society we devalue her labour.

    I create beautiful things that are a pleasure to look at, to touch, to use. Therefore IMHO I am an artist, specializing in textiles. But I do not consider myself to be a professional artist as I do not make my living from my work.

  6. #5
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    I am an artist. I think up, design, create and market what I make.
    I love the fact that I can call myself an artist. That is what I have always wanted to be and so... that is what I am. Degree or no degree.

  7. #6
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    Someone who calls themself an artist has some degree of confidence in their artistic talent - they take their work and themselves somewhat seriously on that plane.

    Artists can be crafters - and often are - but you don't have to be or think of yourself as an artist to be a crafter. You can just be a regular person who thinks it's fun to make things.

  8. #7
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    On a very simple level, I think...
    one of a kind pieces = artist
    reproducing a thing over and over = crafter (or artisan, if you will)

    To take it a bit deeper, I figure an artist is attempting to evoke something with her work, to tap something in the person who "consumes" the art. Are crafters trying to do this? I don't know.

  9. #8
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    I think of myself as an artist sometimes; rarely as a crafter, despite being one. Usually I just think of myself as creative, because for me, half of the fun is just thinking up ideas for things to write, make, or otherwise create.

  10. #9
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    i think more like DevilDoll-- I am a person who likes to make things.

    Possibly if you make things that have a utilitarian function, that is more artisan/crafter, although Frank Gehry and Phillipe Starke are considered artists (i think) and make functional things. So, it is a fine line. Kate Spade designs purses, but is she an artist? Is it, as go-fish suggests, a question of whether something is one-of-a-kind? Often artists reproduce their work as prints or etchings or castings, so that is not always the case either.

    what an interesting thing to think about! i like hearing everyone's thoughts on this...

  11. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by delqc
    I create beautiful things that are a pleasure to look at, to touch, to use. Therefore IMHO I am an artist, specializing in textiles. But I do not consider myself to be a professional artist as I do not make my living from my work.
    That's extraordinarily close to the way I feel regarding what I do. No two pieces are alike, though they may be similar in materials. I prefer to make functional pieces as it makes "Art" accessible and part of a woman's (as that's my target audience) everyday experience. Too much of our daily lives are devoid of pleasant sensual experiences. A bit of beauty tucked into a bag, or lovely quilt is both useful and pleasing to the senses. Not unlike the lovely linens our mothers and grandmothers embroidered.

    That said, I do reproduce other's designs as hobby( ie: needlework patterns, etc.), but for my enjoyment and relaxation. Never know when a design element or palette will inspire me.


 
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