This blog is about Graphic Design, Vector Art, and Cartoon Illustration

July 22, 2014

The difference between Art and Craft

Being an artist and being a craftsman (or craftswoman) are woven together. You can't be an artist if you can't produce something, physically. But you can be very good at craft without being an artist. Please let me explain.

Everyone can do craft, very few people can do art. And the people who can't do art, or even recognize it, focus on the craft. They will ask how long something took to draw, they will marvel at detail. They will watch a guitarist's fingers, and admire how quickly they move.

I have come to appreciate craft. As an artist, I'm too lazy to be an exceptional craftsman. My art and design isn't about detail, or about how long it took. It's about the design, the composition, the overall feel. Luckily, I have been hired by people who understand, and that's really all that matters to me.

I am fortunate that I can do art, design, and composition. It has made a nice living for me, both doing it and teaching it. But the drawback is that I can see art, design, and composition. And most of the stuff that people show me is all about craftsmanship, not art. And the art looks terrible.

Fingernails along a chalkboard pretty much sums up what looking at bad artwork feels like to me. And yet people are anxious to show me their masterpieces, that took such a long time to do. And look at all of that detail! And if they look at the sad smile on my face, I tell them I have indigestion. Which I frequently do have.

If you're curious about learning about art, which to me includes great literature, and music, among many other things, go experience it. And when you feel that single, soaring, note lifting your spirit, you will understand.

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