Sunday, November 23, 2008

presumptive rantings on art and creativity

Residing somewhere in the corner of my psyche there is a wee beastie. He is only content when fed upon with bits of creativity. When the scraps are meager or sporadic, he gets frustrated and must be appeased. It is not wise to mess with a cranky beastie. It starts as a mere yearning, but if unfed, soon grows to a ravishing hunger. Perhaps my brain would explode with all of the ideas it is constantly getting, if none of them came to fruition. Probably I would just get rather depressed.

I have in my repertoire too many things that can fill my beastie. And many more I'd love to add. His tastes are quite eclectic. Some fall more towards craft than others. Which leads me to the interesting question. Where exactly do you draw the line between art and craft? First of all, I think very few things fit completely in just one or the other. To me, something that epitomizes crafty is a skill that can be learned and then executed, once you know it, you can repeat it (though improving each time). It is logical, analytical and has definite rules (left brained stuff). Art is something that cannot be easily explained, or reasoned (right brained 'intuition'), is unpredictable and sometimes fleeting. The actual DESIGN is art, the skill of whatever TOOL you are using is the craft part. Its a spectrum, with a built-exactly-by-the-rules kit of some sort on the extreme craft end, and minimalistic or nonobjective abstract art on the pure art end. I personally prefer things that utilize measures of both. Extremism in anything bothers me.
Doing things towards the craftier end is more relaxing to me. I don't have to think as hard. I'm putting less of myself on the line. My beastie is content. But when I really stretch myself and against all odds create a really beautiful painting that echoes truth to my soul it is much more fulfilling. And my creative beastie, swollen belly softly rising and falling, contentedly curls up, and is satisfied. Theoretically at least.