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About craftsmen and artists

Installation shot of stained glass windows on plastic foils made digitally

As an artist you want to bring something across to your audience. The most common way to do that is by expressing yourself through painting, sculpting etcetera. A craftsman however is less interested in conveying a message, he or she is focussed on the skill level they achieved, mastering the medium at hand. You could say: the artist is showing his or her views, the craftsman his or her skills.

Both to me are very respectable and I have deep admiration for the craftsmen and the artists, but apparently the artist receives more credit; at least in history books. And so everyone, either a craftsman, artist or whoever, calls him or herself an artist. Even my dentist thinks his skills are art, where I would argue it is craft.

Of course lines are blurred. Because as an artist you need to achieve at least some level of craftsmanship. If you can’t master your tools, how can you convey your message? And a craftsman needs to keep the eye on the goal intended.

But not everyone is an artist. And that is just fine! We shouldn’t focus too much on a title but rather on your contribution to yourself AND others. The contribution of a craftsman can be more valuable than that of an artist and visa versa. But craving to receive a title that just doesn’t fit brings frustration. I guess we all want to be significant. That significance is not found in a title, but in your work.

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