On being an artist

What’s the difference between an artist and a craftsman? I’ve always wanted to be an artist but my dad is adamant that artists are born, not made, and the most I’d ever be is a crafts person, which is better left as a hobby. I’m 27, is it too late?

Your dad is a dream-killing asshole. He’s also wrong about artists being born. There’s nothing magical about being an artist. Artists make themselves, so if you have art in you, go make it. That’s not to say it will ever become your career, but who gives a shit? Just because you keep your day job, that doesn’t mean you’re not an artist.

(Oh, and since you asked, an artist masters a medium for the sake of the artist’s expression. A craftsman masters a medium for the sake of the mastery of the craft itself. It’s a subtle distinction with quite a bit of overlap.)


One thought on “On being an artist

  1. Art Dad says:

    Gotta call bullshit on the dad. My 6 yo come home and draws for an hour every day. Her art is better now than it was before. My 15 yo started writing stories a year or so ago. Thise stiries are better today. Because of the sweat put into it. Not the inherent ability to draw or write.

    It’s a stupid notion. Like saying contrarian idiots would make a great lawyer because they love arguing.

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