Defining the basic terms: Creativity, Art, Crafts


English: Railings outside Skirling House. Skir...
English: Railings outside Skirling House. Skirling House was designed by the architect Ramsay Traquair in 1908. Both the interior and the exterior incorporate many features of the Arts and Crafts movement, including the railings illustrated. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Creativity can range in realms from interior decoration, to lawn care, to educational methods, to child care, to janitorial products, and everything in between.  Dictionary.com defines creativity as the ability to transcend traditional ideas, rules, patterns,relationships, or the like, and to create meaningful new ideas, forms, methods, interpretations, etc.

Almost everything in life can be broken down and looked at in a creative light.  Let’s take a simple command like: “clean your room” and interpret it in different ways.  Spacial interpretation: You could start in one corner, or section, and work your way outwards, putting things away, dusting, vacuuming as you went.  Chronological interpretation: You could pick up everything off the floor, then dust, then vacuum.  Crazy interpretation: You could vacuum your floor, pick up the objects on the floor, dust the dresser, and then put away the objects on the dresser.  I dunno how clean your room would get with the crazy interpretation, but it’s an option.

How would you define art?  What makes something art-worthy?  You can take any activity in your life and think about it like a form of art.  I once wrote a post (on another blog that has long since been deleted) about how drinking from a water fountain was an art form (seriously, if you’re too close the water will shoot up your nose, and then you are working against gravity to suck the water up into your mouth without making a giant water mess on your shirt, girls haft hold their hair out of the way while also pushing the button…some people look really clumsy while doing it.)  Let’s go to one of my favorite websites of all time: dictionary.com.  Art is the quality, production, expression, or realm, according to aesthetic principles, of what is beautiful, appealing, or of more than ordinary significance.  So, what defines ordinary significance?  The answer to that would be your own personal perspective.

Some of the greatest works of art have been ordinary household objects taken and twisted and contorted to force the viewer to see it from a different perspective.  If you start looking at your life as an art form, you might find yourself in a whole new world.  Anything that can be done, can be viewed as a form of art: that bologna sandwich you ate for lunch, the way that you filled up the ice trays after emptying them, even the position that you contort your own body (either as you are sleeping, or to reach your tiny toe in the shower).

Arts and crafts
Arts and crafts (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

You often will hear art grouped together with craft in the phrase “arts and crafts”, but to take it singularly, a craft (as defined by Dictionary.com) is an art, trade, or occupation requiring special skill.  Notice that the word “art” is used in defining the word “craft”.  I think that a craft is simply taking art to an extra level of expertise.  A silversmith is in the craft of working silver, but he also views his silver-workings as art.  Ok, so let’s put these together: “Arts and crafts is the skill of expressing, according to aesthetic principles, that which is appealing”.

I want to now apply all of these terms to hand-craft sellers.

  • Creativity.  To be really successful, you need creativity to create a product that hasn’t been seen before.  Or even to interpret a commonly sold product in a new light.
  • Art.  Each product is a little piece of art all in its own light.  Since each one is hand crafted with care from you, they are each going to be slightly flawed (giving character and personality).
  • Craft.  Well, I mentioned in the previous point how each product is hand-crafted.  You have a method and an order of crafting your products.

And there you have it, three commonly used terms that describe what we are aiming to do.  I’ll even put them all together in a sentence: Arts and Crafts in a creative light to earn an income.  Nothing fancy there!  What do you think of when considering any of these three terms?

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