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Creative Forum

What is the difference between art and craft?

Posted 4 Months ago by Tek Shmansen

I have decently strong opinions on the matter but I'd like to hear more thoughts if y'all would care to share them.

There are 18 Replies


I tend to think of "art" more as the creative side of it. And "craft" is more the technical side of it. Like, the portrait is the art. The painting is the craft. If that makes sense?

Or "craft" also kind of carries a more pragmatic connotation. That it's like, music is art; woodworking is craft. (But this is also pretty reductive because there's clearly pragmatism to art and artistry to craft.) I mean, there's a reason it's "arts and crafts." They might be different, but they're related.

4 Months ago
Jet Presto
 

I would define art as the selective reproduction of elements as an aesthetic practice.

I would define craft as the collection of technical skills relating to an aesthetic or pragmatic practice.

These are mainly unimproved definitions, as I have not had many chances to discuss the definition of art, though I have wanted to for many years. They are subject to revision, and I would like to hear what you have to say about this.

4 Months ago
CZM
 

The easiest way to describe my feelings is:

Art is a form of expression. If you're making something that attempts to convey a concept/emotion/whatever then you are making art, regardless of skill level (I didn't say good art lol). If you're making something that looks cool, it's craft.

4 Months ago
Tek Shmansen
 

I had an interaction recently where I called someone out for taping a bunch of Romance Novel covers together and calling it art. Worse they called it a corset and bitch lemme tell you it was not. So Whitelady Toxiposi made a wad of crap and in one fell swoop claimed to be an artist and a costumer.

This is degrading to people who've spent years and money learning the arts and crafts. And it made me think about how people LOVE throwing the word Art around and expect to be respected as artists without doing the work and earning it.

4 Months ago
Tek Shmansen
 

Shit I turned into a grumpy old betch. Up next: I yell at Alexa to help me find my glasses

4 Months ago
Tek Shmansen
 

I would define art as the selective reproduction of elements as an aesthetic practice.


If you're making something that attempts to convey a concept/emotion/whatever then you are making art


Abstract art fails both of those definitions but (hopefully) conveys beauty.

I'd define "art" as "aesthetic or creative expression". There are a number of skills involved with it which become stronger independent of the ways art is used.

I guess a good definition of "craft" is something that applies a personal sense of artistry and the skills associated with it to some kind of field of expertise. "Crafts" have a lot of technical and/or physical and/or muscular things associated with them as well, whereas art is just the raw expression.

Furthermore, I believe that crafts can be learned while art cannot -- art is subjective and inherent, whereas crafts are just practical skills that use whatever someone's artistry is.

4 Months ago
Riven
 

Abstract art fails both of those definitions but (hopefully) conveys beauty.


I'm not sure what you mean by "abstract art".

both of those definitions


What the Tek quote said was:

If you're making something that attempts to convey a concept/emotion/whatever then you are making art


He did not say that if you are not attempting to convey a concept/emotion/etc. then you are not making art.

Perhaps abstract art has no room in my definition (though I would doubt that, depending on what you mean), but there is definitely room in the definition given in this quote. Perhaps the way it was worded does not quite reflect his intent accurately, but I cannot assume that.

(Semantics to the rescue once again.)

4 Months ago
CZM
 

I think abstract art can definitely fall under my personal definition of art, but to me it has to attempt to convey something. Simple aesthetics (like a well-designed room layout) are a practice of craft and do not attempt to communicate/express/evoke anything. They exist to be pretty and that's about it imo.

4 Months ago
Tek Shmansen
 

I truly believe art is a mode of communication, regardless of the intended audience.

4 Months ago
Tek Shmansen
 

Abstract art fails both of those definitions but (hopefully) conveys beauty.


This is kind of a wild thing to assert. I get that abstract art isn't for everyone, and not everyone is going to feel moved by the same things, but abstract art isn't just about conveying some sense of beauty (which, not for nothing is an aesthetic thing). More often than not, abstract artists are using their artistry to convey an emotion or elicit an emotional response.

Furthermore, I believe that crafts can be learned while art cannot -- art is subjective and inherent, whereas crafts are just practical skills that use whatever someone's artistry is.


Kinda disagree with this assessment as well. "Creativity" might not be something one can learn, but no one just sort of innately knows how to create their art. Obviously, much will depend on the form in question, but arguably most artistic forms do require years and years of study and practice. Novels, cinema, poetry, painting, architecture: all forms of art that people ultimately have to learn.


Simple aesthetics (like a well-designed room layout) are a practice of craft and do not attempt to communicate/express/evoke anything.


I'd maybe take the weird position of, all aesthetics are ultimately attempting to evoke something. Not everything is super deep or anything, but I mean, why would you care at all about the aesthetics of your living room if said aesthetics didn't bring you a sense of comfort or calmness?

4 Months ago
Jet Presto
 

Simple aesthetics (like a well-designed room layout) are a practice of craft and do not attempt to communicate/express/evoke anything. They exist to be pretty and that's about it imo.


It's interesting that you should say this.

Do you make a distinction that also allows for something like a specifically-designed room layout that communicates, expresses or evokes something? Is that outside of the realm of "simple aesthetics", which is why you did not allow for that in that statement?

I ask because, at least in my personal experience, room layout is actually something that I use as a coping and stress-management mechanism. I semi-regularly redesign my den and move all of my furniture around based on particular emotional needs that I need that sanctum to respect and represent. When other people see how I've arranged this room, it communicates something to them as well.

4 Months ago
CZM
 

CZM that's a great example to bring up. Because you are endeavoring to evoke specific emotions both in yourself and in your guests, I'd say you are wielding interior design in an artistic manner. For me it would need to be more than (for example) "I want this to feel cheery". It sounds like it is in your case. I feel like you're methodically expressing how you feel and who you are as well.

4 Months ago
Tek Shmansen
 

OK, so you're making a distinction between "simple aesthetic" and "sophisticated aesthetic", and it appears to be categorized by either implying a generality or communicating a specific. Do you think that that's an accurate description of how you think of it? If so, do you also recognize that there are things that are general but less general, or specific but less specific, and that it may be more accurate to reality to look at the collection of these things as a spectrum instead of two categories?

4 Months ago
CZM
 

Ugh, tough question. This is totally why I started the thread. I really love seeing other perspectives and and finding that they help me see my own more clearly.

If I apply this thinking to my own sexuality, I prefer to see a spectrum. That tells me to rethink my trying to steadfastly declare What Art Is.

I really don't know and I need to think on it. I'll holler back after rehearsal.

I've missed this place...

4 Months ago
Tek Shmansen
 

Awesome, thank you for actually thinking about it. Take your time.

4 Months ago
CZM
 

I think the 'spectrum perspective' actually gives me more to work with in describing my interpretation of a creative endeavor. It may give me a way to look at things which allows for different levels of different variables to be considered.

If I rough-draft this thing rn, I'd say it might need to include Art and Craft as main poles but also include Skill (learned), Skill (natural), Effort, Time, Use-of-said-endeavor (intended), Use-of-said-endeavor (applied), and maybe more...or less.

One of my biggest drives in seeking definitions here is to figure out how to give credit to those who have invested more of their time/resources/etc and yet respect hobbyists (for lack of better word). How to disambiguate one 'level' of creation from another when all are referred to as art by many people.

So mebbe this spectrum looks a bit like a green bean: a definite beginning and end but plenty of wobbles in between.

4 Months ago
Tek Shmansen
 

Oh Jet, yeah. I'm thinking now that "simple expression" (ex: I want this room to feel cozy) deserves better treatment by me. It's still expression, still deliberate intent, still evokes "felt" responses.

4 Months ago
Tek Shmansen
 

And Riven, if art is a communication of any kind it HAS to be learned. All communication is.


Sorry for the weird reply style alla y'all... I'm trying to pretend like I can use mobile for this site just as easily as when I had a laptop. I in fact cannot. I miss looorge chunks of text while thumbling around.

4 Months ago
Tek Shmansen
 

Semi-permanent Lockdown

Accounts are required to post for the forseeable future. Contact me through discord for account issues or registration: Riven#7868