Saturday, January 26, 2008

Artisan: The Forgotten Word

After a couple years of circulating in the creative 'scene', one hears the word ‘artist’ enough to become a little tired of the term. Now I’m not gonna put my snobbishly attired foot down, making some narrow definition of ‘art’ or what it is to be a ‘true artist’. However, characterizing myself as an ‘artist’ makes me feel like a poseur, which makes for a slight quandary: Do I call myself a ’crafter’ or an ’artist’? I despise feeling like a poseur, but calling myself a crafter conjures up mental images of cutesy kids crafts; a pastime one does not take seriously.

And then (insert fanfare) appeared the most delightfully convenient word since the invention of ‘supercalifragilisticexpialidocious‘: ‘Artisan‘! Whereupon I slapped myself on the forehead and said “Of course, THAT is what I am! An artisan!” The word has actually been in circulation for some time; in fact, it is a word with which I’m familiar, but which has largely been forgotten. ‘Artisan’ refers to ‘a person for whom his/her creative outlet is a serious interest’. Oh dear; I accidentally went into scholar mode on you. Ok, forget trying to make a pat definition of ‘artisan’.
I’ve worked hard at making my creativity and technical skills the best that they can be, and can truthfully and without self-pride, say that as a result of that hard work, I am good at what I do. I take my work seriously, but most of all I take joy in it. That’s what I expect from an artisan, and that’s what I expect from myself.

No comments: