Are You an Artist or a Crafter?

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This has been on my mind for a while now as I’ve been doing more craft type work and wondering what the distinction is between the two, because it can be a fairly blurry line. Personally I consider myself an artist, but I have always been crafty too. There’s also a fair amount of artistic ability to GREAT crafts. Yet when I focus on crafts I feel like I’m losing my artistic self.
One of the reason I have begun to focus on crafts more than my art is that crafts tend to actually be more saleable. My artwork doesn’t do to well in this area, there isn’t a strong market here and I think crafts seem like they are more usable then a print, even if the craft is just as much of a decorative item as a print would be. Though with my personal art I have pushed the boundary of “good taste” with my themes and not just anyone would hang up naked girl with ribs showing, but these pieces have meaning for me and a reason for being created.
Crafts suit a more general audience. I also have noticed a lot of the crafters eschew abiding by copyrights and this is an issue with me or I should say I have reservations about selling merchandise with another person’s property on it. Otherwise I would be doing more fanart and possibly making some money from my work. I’m seriously thinking now I have to bring in an audience by gaining their attention from Fan Art/Crafts. Hence the Sailor Moon decals above.

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Craft work also seems like there’s nothing but stealing ideas and slapping them on a tshirt or other item. There’s no artistic eye or thought about making something really great or interesting. The handful that do are the ones making the blogs and how to’s that the other people just ape off of. It feels like the craft world is a bunch of stay at home mom’s that are trying to make a quick buck. That makes me feel a bit icky to dip my toe in that world. Because a true work of art and craft takes time and thought… and again I’m going to be at a disadvantage because the time it takes to create something is going to be reflected in the price and these copycat crafter’s just download a file and slap it on a shirt and undercut the price because they did minimal work creating it. And the customer is going to go with the cheaper option.

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I still want to give it a shot and create some awesome items, but it’s hard to know if it will be worth it in the end… though just breaking even would be great too! lol I do worry it will take away from my artistic pursuits and want to make sure I keep them front and center. I do feel though this would be a good addition in making a bit of side money for supplies and materials.

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These are some sun catchers I made for Mother’s Day this year for my mom and aunts. They turned out really well and I was thinking of making more with different themes, like the Sailor Moon brooches above, and selling them. I’ve got a lot of ideas, but I don’t know if I have the time or resources to devote to them all yet. I will give it a shot and find out!

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