Thursday, March 5, 2009

Are You an Artist?

I was at the American Craft Council show in Baltimore last weekend, looking at work from the top artisans in the country. I stopped to look at a vase, and spoke with the artist that had created it. As I was struggling to explain the emotions that vase called up, he asked me if I was an artist.

I answered, "I like to think that I am," and while he was gently seeking what media I worked in, I distracted him back to the topic at hand, the vase he had created.

But the truth is no, I'm not an artist. Not really. Not of the caliber that I'd like. What I am is a technician. I can carry out the steps of a process and I can even control the results pretty well. But I am not an artist. I have designed and created objects from the raw materials to the completed item. But ever since I was in junior high school, I've known that my strength is not in design, but in execution.

I'm fine with that. For the things that I do, it's more than enough.

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