Sunday Jul 27, 2008
Art and Craft
The other day, someone who knows my paintings and writing asked me about the difference between art and craft.
There is a distinction worth understanding, not for comparison or ego masturbation, but for clarity. When a sun is born in the galactic mist, the primordial matter and energy do not go back for another go at it to see if they can do better—the sun is born fully formed and perfect, ready to take its place in the universe.
Art from the soul is like the new star. When I paint, the flow is spontaneous, permanent, and does not require improvements, tinkering, or fixing when done.
When I write, however, I am in a different realm. I know can improve upon my words and structure for clarity, so it appears fluid to the reader and that it couldn’t have been written any other way. I can craft and tweak the writing until it speaks for me. If you can improve upon it, then it’s craft.
What a beautiful metaphor that you bring to light for understanding and introspection.
When the poem flows, it’s like that new star.
I like your distinction between the two. It is a question I’ve never answered for myself in a satisfactory way. I don’t like to make the definition for other people though. Oh, but I’m thinking of craft, not as in writing, but as in things sold at craft fairs. I’ve heard some people dismiss craft, and I’m not comfortable with that.
To dismiss craft is misguided.
Great craft is as rare as great art.
Craft is refinement; art is unleashed.