Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Artisan vs. Craftsman

Artisan vs. Craftsman

I was attending Comic fest a while back, and in one of the sessions, I asked an artist (who I will not name) how to be less derivative. I told him that the way I got my ideas is from watching bad movies and improve them. He responded by saying that I should get ideas from good movies.

Afterwards, I happened to met him in the hallway, and I told him that he didn't really answer my question. So I clarified the question. How can I be less derivative from the movies I watched? He kind of stumbled before telling me that I should follow the genre of the conventions. Say, a zombie movie has certain sections that define the genre and that I should follow that.

True enough. But how does that make me less derivative? He still didn't answer the question!

So, should I have clarified the question, yet again? I don't think so. He stumbled in the beginning, which tells me that he really doesn't know how to do it. How come an experienced professional artist doesn't know how to be an original? Answer: He doesn't because he's not an artist! He's a craftsman.

An artist thrives on original works. He seeks new ideas. A craftsman, however, seeks great execution of ideas. He may or may not generate original works. A designer is an artist. A woodworker is a craftsman. An artist designs cabinets; a craftsman makes them.

So, it is clear to me, that however skilled this craftsman is, he is not the person to seek when looking for original ideas. Therefore, I politely excused myself and left him to his way.

No comments: