Saturday, January 22, 2011

Are you an artist or an artisan?

How did you answer that question? Artist? Artisan? Both? Neither?

Artisan: I grew up in rural Manitoba. There, crafters surrounded me. In my grandmother’s home, braided rugs lay at the front door and a crocheted afghan covered the sofa. My aunts sewed their children’s clothing. My mom knit mittens, scarves and sweaters. When I was old enough I joined 4-H and was schooled in handicrafts.

Artist: As a child, I never saw adults painting pictures or modeling with clay. These were activities for children in kindergarten.

In 1999 I moved to an island off Canada’s west coast. Here, visual artists, musicians and wordsmiths fill my life. In the beginning I revered them. Now I’m among the artists’ rank. I eat, breathe and write.

Writing The Sweater Curse allowed me to explore my attitudes and believes regarding art and craft. For main character Gwen Bjarnson, crafts, namely knitting, brings her comfort in a tumultuous world.

Yet, her mother tells her, “Crafts are for the common folk. Art is far more worthy of your time and energies.”

What do you think?

In which camp do you belong?

What is society’s attitude toward what you do?

Does the government support you? How? Can it do more? Why?

Does your family/friends support you? How? Can they do more? Why?


Valerie Mann said...

Leanne ~ A man who works with his hands is a laborer, a man who works with his hands and his head is an artisan. A man who works with his hands, his head and his heart is an artist. You tell me? I think we're artists for sure. Writers definitely labor and use their brains to create. But the heart is in our writing, right? I'd say we're artists. As far as the government supporting me? As long as I'm not a subversive, and last time I checked, writing about love didn't make me one, I don't want them involved. I want control of my artistry! Society is iffy but family/friends do support me, even if they don't understand it that well, LOL

Kathleen said...

Hi Leanne, I'd place myself in the artist camp. Unlike an artisan who makes a masterpiece by hand crafting their work, an artist creates their magic by using imagination to write a story that can change the way a person views the world.

I don't really look for support from my government, but my family supports me. Especially when they don't beg for food when I'm locked in my office.

I don't think you can truly understand or help a writer, unless you are one yourself. That's what our writers' groups are for. lol

Author Leanne Dyck said...

HI Valerie and Kathleen,
Thank you for your comments.
The government supporting the arts is a topic that I would like to discuss in more depth. Although, I haven't directly benefit from this type of support I have participated in events that were funded by the government.
I firmly believe that grants and sponsorship should be available to artists.
At one time, in Canada, government funding of author reading was available. Now, this type of funding has been greatly reduced. And it isn't only the author who is suffering from this lack of support--IMHO.

Anonymous said...

Hi Leanne,

Just stopping by to say hello!

Author Leanne Dyck said...

Thank you. I less lonely. : ) And I promise I won't get too deep (does anyone still say that?) again.

Amanda McIntyre said...

Leanne , this is an interesting topic! I guess I've always considered myself an artist, whether that be with a brush, charcoal stick, camera, or pen and paper.(yes, I suffer from Shakespearean syndrome where I LIKE ink on my fingers;)
I'm a bit cautious to have government regulatory support of the arts.I see the advantages, but I'd worry more about what rules could transpire, if not at the onset, down the road. Though I do feel its important that the govenment recognize the importance of the Fine Arts in our schools--and not cut those programs that nuture the artistic side.

I spent every moment possible in the art room through school and give credit to my art teacher for nuturing my creativity. I still paint, but writing to me is painting with words.

Interesting topic!
Be well~
Amanda McIntyre

Unknown said...

Hello Leanna,

I like to think of myself as a work artist, that loves to create worlds filled with fantasy.

I can't really say what the society thinks, because I don't get to involved in the outside world, other then on the net, of course, and my net peeps are wonderful! I guess we could add the government to that also. I'm one of those reclusive writers that pretty much stays in my four little walls..LOL.

My close family supports me by just being here and telling me that I can do anything that I put my mind to...There is nothing more that they could do that they haven't already done. Having Faith in me is all that I could ever ask for!

Have a great evening!

Kate Richards said...

I'm always thrilled with the support I get from family and old family friends in particular. I spoke with an eighty year old friend of the family yesterday, way off in Brooklyn who plans to get all her friends to read my work. My erotic romances. Never think age slows people down!

Maureen said...

I'd prefer to leave the government out of the arts, just invites censorship.

I think of myself as an artist and for the last three years have entered erotic poetry in the Seattle Erotic Arts Festival Literay Arts competition...which is how I think of what I write. A literary art!

Author Leanne Dyck said...

Amanda, Robin and Kate thank you for your comments.
Amanda, I too agree that it's important to keep art in the school. And 'Shakespearan syndrom'--I like that, can't wait to use it.
Robin, it sounds like you have a wonderfully supportive family.
Kate, Wow! Fantastic support! : )
All the best to all of you

Author Leanne Dyck said...

Hi Maureen,
I also heard the argument that government involvement leads to eliticism in the arts.
Also in terms of funding, how do they decided who gets what and who doesn't? How do they justify their stance?
If the government doesn't fund the arts, does that mean that all artists must be business people? Must we all create with the bottomline in mind?
Tons of questions--who has the answers?

Gracen Miller said...

Artist coming at you here! :-) I definitely don't want the government censoring my art, I get enough "attempts" at that from certain family members and friends.

I have a mixed bag of support...I receive limited support from certain family members and friends, but my husband and sons support me wholeheartedly. They're all that matter anyway, right? I think so.

Those that don't support me have "Christian" problems with what I write (I say it's "prude problems") and they're vocal about it. My friend's husband said I was "horny" because I write romances with sex scenes. *rolls eyes* My mother-in-law says I'm going to Hell because I write about the supernatural. *more eye rolling* You see my dilemma? Hence, the reason for a pen name to keep my kid's from suffering any flack. Ultimately, I refuse to be cowed by narrow-minded individuals just to make them happy and feeling safe in their boxy screwed-up world.

Great post!


Author Leanne Dyck said...

In order to please all readers you'd have to write...what? Children stories. Even the Bible has scenes of sex and violence.