TITLE: To Artists and Craftspeople
DATE: 9/27/2004 07:19:00 AM
Why do I insist on addressing artists and craftspeople, two seemingly separate groups of people who make things with their hands?
In all honesty, I have struggled with this since beginning this blog. I first began with both audiences in mind because I have always been connected with both communities, either through public speaking, instruction, visiting craft shows, or curating art exhibits. Even when in art school, when I was working to perfect my craft, I organized exhibits and mounted an educational lecture series. Everything was one for me. It was all connected.
If *I* have always straddled both lines and had no difficulty seeing the similarities, it seemed fair to assume others felt the same way. The circle of people I surround myself with grasp this connection and it flows like a consistent undercurrent throughout all of our conversations. There is a constant respect for the connectedness of all makers (whether of craft, art, or something in between).
In the blogosphere though, I have become acquainted with people outside my chosen circle. Some are even making art or craftwork in other countries. And, not so surprisingly this wider group of people has a much narrower view of the creative community. In fact, many don't view the art and craft worlds as connected at all. They see a large, invisible wall between the 'fine arts' and the 'applied arts'.
So, it seems that I have been on a new crusade without even realizing it!
Fully cognizant of this divide, I now seek to demonstrate the connectedness of art, craft, and even hobbiest dabblings, because there is a richness in my world that dictates that creative careers cannot be obtained in a bubble. You must look outside your traditional network, learn from the lessons of others, and absorb new ways of thinking and working.
Thinking outside the box in the creative world means traditional fine art heirarchies, haughty craft circles, and learn-as-you go approaches to business need to be thrown out the window. You must begin again.