Monday, July 26, 2010

Define ART

Scoutie Girl, a blog I just discovered, had an interesting question they were throwing out to artists and crafters.  "Let me know how you define handmade versus homemade – or any other this versus that you’re passionate about."

This is an interesting question because  defining the products I sell has been a difficult process for me--and not one I've worked out completely.   The actual physical products I sell through CafePress and Zazzle and Printfection can hardly be considered hand-made OR homemade.  I don't silk-screen the shirts myself, I don't hand-kiln the mugs and tiles, and the posters are prints, not originals. 

But the designs are MINE.  They are made by me...the result of my own creativity.  So, am I, and all the other many artists who print through Zazzle, CafePress, Spreadshirt and all the other PODS part of the indie world or not? 

This comes up most often when I'm trying to find places to advertise.  This listing is for "independent artist."  Do I count?  At some indie listings my shop has received a welcome, at others it's been denied.  I sometimes feel like I'm sitting on the fringes of the indie and corporate world, with my feet dangling on both sides.

And is this art, what I do?  That's another "this versus that" question that comes up in my mind often.  My Scribbleprints started at doodling (which is art, in some children's paintings and even my toddlers scribblings are art in their own way), and worked their way into something I'd call art without question.  But my humorous designs are a different story.  The pure font designs certainly aren't.   (Yes, words can be art...but these are just typed in a graphics program, not calligraphy).   Even the humorous designs that took some artistic skill to create don't feel like "art" to me.   They're an expression of my wit...and as different from art to me as a joke is from a poem. 

There are many other "this vs. thats" that stumble through my mind.  Is what I do a business or a hobby?   Are my scribbleprints "drawings" or "digital art" (since they start on paper then are scanned and edited and reworked and sometimes made into something else).  Defining can be hard to do.

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