Do you differentiate between using kits and using patterns? Do you group the pattern users into two groups based on whether they follow exactly what the pattern says (down to yarn and possibly even colors) versus those who are more willing to take the pattern as a guideline or suggestion?
Are you perhaps proposing a distinction between a craft-artist and someone who â€œmerelyâ€ enjoys making crafts? Rather like the divide between artist and craftsman, I suspect that this concept, however valid, is bound to be a one that is fraught with difficulties and unintentionally hurt feelings.
Not at all!Â In fact I believe that categorization is not only non-useful, but actively detrimental: classifying people into artists and non-artists, for example, creates a context where people can say, “Oh, I can’t do that, I’m not an artist.”Â (or craftsperson, designer, etc.)
If, on the other hand, you consider “artist” to be less static and more transitory, almost a verb – “someone who is working on something artistic” – then you have a much more inclusive term.Â Used this way, there is no opportunity to conclude, “I am not an artist (craftsperson, etc.) and therefore I can’t do art”.Â Instead, the question becomes, “Can I work on something artistic?” to which the answer is, obviously, yes! That is a much lower barrier to entry.
So I view “static” categorization – “artist” as something I AM, rather than something I DO – as a huge threat to creative growth, and something to be avoided as much as possible.
Creativity, likewise, is a continuum, and choosing a grouping along that continuum is not useful unless you have a purpose in creating that distinction (for example, if you are setting up a juried show and you need criteria for the judges).Â What utility is there in dividing things into “creative” and “non-creative”?Â Why draw lines at all?Â In general, I feel that drawing lines and setting up categorizations merely leads to grief, and should be avoided unless there is a strong reason to create them.
That should not be mistaken for a refusal to judge one’s work, or to judge a person’s body of work.Â Originality/creativity is a valid judgment to make, as is technical excellence.Â Both are unmistakable, and can be objectively considered.Â I can tell when something is excellently designed and perfectly executed.Â This is good work.Â But I feel that applying judgments about the work to the creator is a mistake.Â That is, the word “artist” should not be reserved simply for those who create excellently designed, perfectly executed work.Â Perhaps a different term might be useful, but my favorite is “an artist with excellent technical skills and original vision” or even “an artist with an excellent body of work”.Â This describes the artist and credits laboriously developed skills without creating a “special” class of people who alone are allowed to create art.
So no, I do not believe in creating separate categories – quite the reverse: I feel they are actively detrimental and should be avoided if at all possible.