What is your opinion: How can you tell, or what IS, the difference between "real art" and "crafts"?
This is a tricky question with no definite answer but a suggestion that has often been made is that art brings out emotions of some sort, while crafts don't, they merely serve practical purpose. With a definition like that, it is of course subjective, and I might consider something art, while others consider the same thing a piece of trash.
I suppose a simpler and much more boring defintion is that art is whatever we choose to call art - as in, whatever the majority considers art.
Obviously, I'm biased here! LOL
There are many types of art. Some people think of art as oil paintings they can hang on walls. Other visual arts include paintings, sculptures, photography, and other visual media.
In my opinion, I think some types of architecture is art. (You wouldn't believe the amazing schools that were built here a few years ago with wooden beams and all glass walls!)
Then there are people who work in ceramics or blown glass. To me, that's a form of art. A nice vase or a beautiful glazed piece of pottery, bowl, etc.
Performing arts is another area with music, theatre, film, dance, literature.
I believe that at one time, fine arts were considered paintings or drawings.
Today, there are so many forms of art, I think what defines someone as an artist is particular skill...versus crafting which is a common technique applied to various mediums.
For example, I've seen scrapbook layouts hand-drawn and paper pieced that go for hundreds of dollars. But at the same time, there are scrap meets at a local store here where a bunch of people get together and use the same materials to come up with the same design (hence, a craft).
Likewise, there are jewelers who are artistic in their designs!
Very good answer! Couldn't have said it better myself (my dad does fine art, my sis and I used to do performing arts--piano). If it's unique and evokes a response from the viewer, it's art. Else, if repeatable, a craft. A fine line in many cases!
Today art includes traditional art, digital art (to some digital is not art ... why? because it's digital!), sculpture, photography (some exclude photography), and found art (something found and adapted in some way or not adapted at all, as in a toilet), lighting effects and interactive art.
Crafts include so many types that it would take a long time to list them all, as in knitting, crochet, woodworking, jewelry-making, etc.
At one time, a limited number of critics had the say as to what was art and what was craft. However, those critics have lost a lot of their power. Starting with pop art in the 1960s, artwork of a more commercial type -- for instance, Andy Warhol's soup cans -- was recognized as art. Since then the definition of art has expanded even more.
Go to a local art gallery and you're liable to find crafts right alongside of traditional art. So for all practical purposes, the line separating art and crafts has blurred. "In the eye of the beholder" is my best answer.
If you use your hands, you are a laborer. If you use your hands and your head, you are a craftsman. If you use your hands, your head and your heart, you are an artist.
St. Francis of Assisi
Great quote! Thanks, Winston Smith. I disagree slightly with St. Francis, however, because (for example) anyone who has built a house for themselves put their heart into it, too, but the resulting house isn't necessarily art: it's "just" a home.
Fine art is making something purely for its beauty rather than practicality. In the 19th century it was referred to as "art for art's sake." Although true art was to stand on its beauty alone rather than emotional or intellectual attachments, it became nearly impossible to keep them separated. These include painting, drawing, calligraphy, sculpture, dance, music, poetry, art photography among others. Crafts which I like to think of as "applied art" is that which is artfully made for more functional purposes. These include sewing, jewelry making, wood-carving, metalwork, mosaic, pottery, glass-blowing, basketry, candle-making, and many other decorative arts. There is obvious crossover between the two because many functional pieces are truly amazing works of art. The handmade, one of a kind, aspect gives them unique value whether aristocratic or folk art. Today, "crafts" denotes a kind of cookie cutter design for the hobby-loving masses .
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