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The Big Bang of Creativity: Art vs. Craft

February 2, 2013

terry_painting_body_of_doveThis argument is as old as the hills, almost.  Older than the debate of crispy versus crunchy, or almonds versus coconut candy bars.  We’re talking art versus craft, and that one is going to keep ruffling feathers as long as humans are part of the equation.

My assertion is that all art begins with craft, or rather, handicraft. The manipulation of materials by our hands (the very source of the word “manipulation”) creates objects that serve a purpose. That purpose may be the most simple, straightforward function, but it is still a purpose. That the results transcend the essential purpose is what begins to constitute “art.”

There is no lofy, elitist, clear-cut distinction of the essence. There is only a distinction in the level of transcendence of that essence. The more the result rises above the mundane essential purpose, the more it becomes an artisitic statement. Whenever the result begins to reflect the personality of its maker, beyond the barebones functionality of the object, we have art.

Art surrounds us, is part of us. We are all capable of it, on some level. Most of us will never push our creativity enough to go beyond the label of handicraft, but some will. Some blessed few have that spark within that explodes into wondrous results that transcend our wildest expectations. And for that, we are all richer. Our lives are better for the exposure to that vibrant explosion of self. And we should all be challenged to push ourselves because of it, because all of us have our own sparks. Like fireworks, they will result in a dazzling array of different explosions of beauty, so go forth and light up your inner night sky!

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