Art vs Craft

Art vs Craft

Young people who are going into the arts are entering a highly competitive environment. They see themselves as people who need to bring truth to the masses through their creations. However, without the right creative mindset, they have a high risk of burning out before achieving their goal.


There are two kinds of people who create from their imaginations – artists and craftsmen. While the two are nearly synonymous, there are a few distinct differences between the two.


The artist creates out of pleasure, the craftsmen creates out of necessity. While the artist creates when he or she feels the “creative energy”, the craftsman has to create in order to make a living. Where the artist is occasionally visited by the creative muses, the craftsman needs to be in constant contact. If the creative process stops, the artist looses time but the craftsman loses their job.


The whole idea of an artist is to lift an individual to the ranks of an intangible figure. When you say “artist” people immediately think of legendary artists like Picasso or Da Vinci. There’s only enough room at the top for a few notable artists. Since our culture highly values art from these types of rare artists, it is important to tailor your creative energy to creating that which people will actually pay for today – amazing live performances, quality merchandise, and limited music that can only be purchased through the artist.


As an emerging artist, your art will not be valued until it makes a significant cultural impact. Until then, you are a craftsman performing music and entertaining audiences. You might as well embrace the title and use your role as a vehicle to create the music that you think people need to hear.


While it is difficult to hear, this does not make the fact any less true. If you are going to be a professional musician, you are going to begin your journey as a craftsman – in performance and songwriting. You may find yourself occasionally working with music that you dislike some of the times – AND THAT IS OK. Do you think that the members of Oasis really enjoy playing “Wonderwall” at this point?


Now that you see the difference between an artist and a craftsman, the question is which applies to you? The self-indigent artist or the community-serving craftsman? The creative free-spirit or the hardworking and regimented professional.


Or, and more likely, you are somewhere in between. Every situation is different. Even artists fluctuate ratios depending on where they are in their album cycle or popularity. Be true to yourself and know what you are getting yourself into before jumping into the professional music world.

1 Comment
  • Keenan Fry
    Posted at 12:08h, 16 May Reply

    Truth is most people are in between like yah said Pete. Problem is identifying if they lean left (artist) or right (craftsman). How do you read the writing on the wall if you can’t even read b/c you’e too close to your own work. You need a trusted outside perspective. Then you run into another problem. Taking advice from others. Always a bad idea, better to not take their advice literally and instead look for the underlying lesson they’re trying to teach yah. Then yur back tah square one, how do you measure progress?

    I think it’s a bit of gut intuition and arrogance. Plain denail, “just keep swimming” even though the lake seems to be dredging… Just keep swimming and escape to the ocean I guess.

    Also typing on your site kinda suck. I can’t see my comment b/c the font while I’m writing this is black against a very dark off-grey background. Seriously it’s impossible to see what I’m writing there’s probably typos here that I can’t even see…

    Oh wait when I click out side the box the font goes white, when I click back in to fix my typos it turns black again. Very frustrating, but a good article.

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