Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Art, artisanal or craft?

I'm fascinated by the labels we artists, designers and artisans give ourselves, which says everything about how we perceive ourselves.

I dislike the word "craft" when used as a verb (come over and craft with me!).

However, I love "craft" when used as a noun (she learned her craft at the feet of her grandmother).

I grew up an artist (fine arts), then designer (typography, posters, graphic design, before the advent of computers), and now consider myself an artisan and designer.

I think this says something about how I see myself and my own business. I love bringing old ideas and techniques into my modern world. I love using artisanal materials (like handspun and dyed fiber). I love digging into the history behind a particular form of art or craft - the "art" of making that particular thing.

For me, "artisan" makes sense, particularly thinking about my love for artisanal materials and techniques.

Labels are just that: labels. But what we call ourselves says something about how we see ourselves.

So how do you see yourself?


  1. Interesting question! Here's another one: how does self-labelling affect one's work?

    It seems that we call ourselves things so that other people know who we are and what we do; instinctively, we know who we are and what we do, so we don't really need to remind ourselves with words. We know we are creative souls, who choose to work in the 3d realm with this material or that material. But once we have declared ourselves this thing or that thing, do we feel compelled to 'stick to it'? Do we narrow our creative vision to make the label accurate? Do we change the label when we change our vision/area/etc?

    Personally, I call myself a creative -- this signifies to others that I am able to turn vision into reality in any situation. If I had to be specific, I would call myself a knitter, sew-er, and occasional crocheter. If I were feeling fancy, I'd call myself a construction artist, because I love to build things in inspired ways.

  2. Hi Ebi! I was hoping someone would bring up your very question! :)

    My question in turn: how do you respond to labels from others? Do you respond at all?

    Thanks for discussing!