Are you a Crafter or an Artist?

The writing process, writing advice, and updates on your work in progress
bcomet
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Re: Are you a Crafter or an Artist?

Post by bcomet » August 4th, 2010, 11:17 am

In etching, you have to be three things:
an artist
a crafts person with skills
a mad scientist

I like the mad scientist part a lot.
But I think all three apply.

Writing is a lot like that for me:
Being an artist is like being in love or a lover, heart, body, and soul.
I am learning the skills parts as I go. (But, if you're in love, the skills will develop.)
The mad scientist is the license to play, experiment, and light fire!
Last edited by bcomet on August 4th, 2010, 12:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Margo
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Re: Are you a Crafter or an Artist?

Post by Margo » August 4th, 2010, 12:17 pm

bcomet wrote:I am learning the skills parts as I go. (But, if you're in love, the skills will develop.)
Here's where I disagree and the point where I begin to get frustrated (not at you). It does not go without saying that the skills develop because of the love. The problem I have is writers who refuse to develop craft because it interferes with the art, the ones who disdain structure, wouldn't use 'said' as a dialogue tag if a gun was pointed to their heads, feel they are above genre and genre expectations, inflict two dozen adverbs a page on the reader, litter the dialogue with witty but pointless banter that only they find witty, slather on the adjectives, AND THEN when they can't get an agent or a publisher BEMOAN the shallowness of the modern publishing industry that is too scared to take a chance on a new writer who doesn't churn out formulaic crap.

This, and only this, is my problem with writers as artistes.
Urban fantasy, epic fantasy, and hot Norse elves. http://margolerwill.blogspot.com/

Margo
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Re: Are you a Crafter or an Artist?

Post by Margo » August 4th, 2010, 12:19 pm

cheekychook wrote:If it weren't for Velveeta cheesy goodness cheese fries would lack their neon-yellow-orangy appeal. ;)
Yes, that is what gives the cheese fries that nice radioactive glow.

Mmmm, cheese fries. Hungry...

Anyone got a soul they're not using? And some Velveeta?
Urban fantasy, epic fantasy, and hot Norse elves. http://margolerwill.blogspot.com/

bcomet
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Re: Are you a Crafter or an Artist?

Post by bcomet » August 4th, 2010, 12:41 pm

Margo,
It's true that some who study love still make terrible lovers.
I do not discount skills.
But it is usually love of a thing that steers our choice of majors in college and we must start somewhere.

I have long thought the children of educated and literate parents had a mighty head start.
And those of us who were (by punishment or otherwise) directly shipped off to prep/boarding/or military school
also benefited.
And yet neither parents, private school, nor college can polish to a diamond what prefers to be a beer can.

(Except other beer cans, who can so appreciate a good college kegger.)

(Perhaps I should amend that to "can.")

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Mira
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Re: Are you a Crafter or an Artist?

Post by Mira » August 4th, 2010, 12:52 pm

Margo - in terms of what my soul tasts like, I have no idea, I've never tasted it. But if worst comes to worst, everything tastes good if you put enough ketchup on it.

So, how much are you offering? Mama has bills to pay.

And in terms of people not understanding why their art doesn't sell because they think they are above craft, let them moan. No skin off your teeth. They'll figure it out.

Although - and this is an extremely important point - one can NEVER have too many adverbs. Adverbs are the ketchup to my hot dog. Slather it on, baby.
Last edited by Mira on August 4th, 2010, 2:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Margo
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Re: Are you a Crafter or an Artist?

Post by Margo » August 4th, 2010, 1:35 pm

Mira wrote:And in terms of people not understanding why their art doesn't sell because they think they are above craft, let them moan. No skin off your teeth. They'll figure it out.
No, I don't necessarily think they will figure it out. Some will.

If moaning was the only result, I'd change the channel (so to speak). However, as you noted obliquely on another thread, they are also at least partially responsible for the fact that roughly 80% of the queries sent to agents are nowhere near ready for the professional stage. They are also (some of) the people flocking to Amazon as a publishing venue, adding to Amazon's boldness and its war coffers as it assails the traditional publishing industry with its Wal-Mart business model.

I could go on, but it would endanger my calm.
Urban fantasy, epic fantasy, and hot Norse elves. http://margolerwill.blogspot.com/

Margo
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Re: Are you a Crafter or an Artist?

Post by Margo » August 4th, 2010, 1:39 pm

Mira wrote:Although - and this is an extremely important point - one can NEVER have too many adverbs. Adverbs are the ketchup to my hot dog. Slather it on, baby.
0_o

.......
.......
.......

[i'm speechless]
Urban fantasy, epic fantasy, and hot Norse elves. http://margolerwill.blogspot.com/

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Mira
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Re: Are you a Crafter or an Artist?

Post by Mira » August 4th, 2010, 2:20 pm

Margo wrote:"...they are also at least partially responsible for the fact that roughly 80% of the queries sent to agents are nowhere near ready for the professional stage.
Um, well.....I'm not an agent, so I don't really mind that so much. Let them query. Query away.

And I think what you meant to say is this: I am speechlessly responding to your brilliant comment. Adverbs rule!

Nick
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Re: Are you a Crafter or an Artist?

Post by Nick » August 4th, 2010, 10:02 pm

Both. Solid mix. I mean I don't use it for self-expression per se, but I do it because it's fun and I enjoy it, but at the same time I would like it to become my sole income source because I enjoy it and it leaves a lot more free time than a 9-5 job. So at this particular juncture in time, I'd be an Artist by that definition, but I'd like to be a Craftist...Artiftist...thing...

And yes I did just skip like four pages to reply to just the opener. I do that.

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Re: Are you a Crafter or an Artist?

Post by wetair » August 5th, 2010, 12:46 pm

no idea which i am. i write because i want to be able to tell a great story, but i also want to be able to make a living from it.

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dios4vida
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Re: Are you a Crafter or an Artist?

Post by dios4vida » August 5th, 2010, 9:08 pm

Artist. Absolutely. If I don't write I start doing the scary twitchy motions and muttering incoherently to myself. I'd like to be a Crafter and earn money, but since I don't have a job that I want to free myself from anymore, I'm not in it for money. I want to be published because I want others to enjoy my art as well. (Cheese fries on the side.)
Brenda :)

Inspiration isn't about the muse. Inspiration is working until something clicks. ~Brandon Sanderson

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MedleyMisty
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Re: Are you a Crafter or an Artist?

Post by MedleyMisty » August 6th, 2010, 6:37 pm

Definitely Artist.

I want to hang out here because it's people talking about writing and literature, which are things that I love and love to talk about. But well - when faced with a forum full of craftspeople, it feels like I'm back in daycare in elementary school and finding out for the first time that other kids didn't know how to play chess. My face went all hot and I got dizzy and the world didn't make any sense at all and I screamed and cried.

The more I read about publishing as a business, the more I realize that maybe just continuing to publish for free online is the right thing for me. I mean, hey - I estimate that I've got around 1400 readers, with at least one new person reading Valley every day. I hear quite a few traditionally published books don't even get that. Of course Valley is a Sims story, but my new project is full text and its audience is starting to grow.

And Margo - I'm not one of those artists. I read books on writing. I run my stuff by a beta reader. I think the delete key is the most used key on my keyboard. I learned my art from Austen and the Brontes and Dickens and Poe and Hugo, not fanfic written by teenagers. ;)

And I do lean towards seeing it as a right/wrong thing, but that's because...I think it's a worldview thing. When I get the direct deposit stub at work, I throw it somewhere and don't even open it. It's just money. As long as my husband is able to pay the bills with it and we have food and water and shelter and computers and an internet connection, I don't care about it.

Also it doesn't help when people talk in generalities and seem prejudiced against people who take writing seriously as an art. That puts me on the defensive and then I have to say "Hey, you know, not all of us go crazy with the adverbs or are pretentious or write pretty sentences but don't have a decent story to go with them!" Or when people imply that publishing independently means your work sucks, and I have to say "Umm, no, actually I participate in a whole subculture where people put their stuff out serially on blogs for free, and some of it is really really good and is in fact better than most of what I see in corporate bookstores."

I think that we tend to talk in absolutes about our worldviews. When I see someone say that the only way to know if you're a good writer is to be traditionally published, I spit nails. 'Cause I don't believe in needing validation from corporate gatekeepers. If the person in question said "The only way I will know if I'm a good writer is by being traditionally published", I'd scroll on by and just note that person as someone I probably couldn't have a good conversation with. But when they say it's the only way for anyone to know if they're a good writer, then I have to stand up for my beliefs.

So I guess we can't all get along because some of us are too attached to our worldviews and talk as if everyone should share them, as opposed to acknowledging that it's just our view and that other people have different values and ideas that are just as worthy as ours.

And I'm guilty of that too, because I prize art and freedom highly and am very strongly anti-materialism and anti-rules and anti-conformity. I'm growing and learning all the time though, and in the future I will try to make it clear that my opinion is just my opinion.

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RhiannonEllis
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Re: Are you a Crafter or an Artist?

Post by RhiannonEllis » August 7th, 2010, 10:40 am

Craft = skill (technical writing stuff--grammar, sentence structure, etc.)

Art = creation/creativity

The goal is to be/have a lot of both, because where would one be without the other?

I blogged about this very topic a few weeks ago. My summary: The craft speaks, the artistry resounds. Skill without creativity is lackluster. Creativity without skill is well-intended but falls short.

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CharleeVale
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Re: Are you a Crafter or an Artist?

Post by CharleeVale » August 7th, 2010, 11:13 am

I think I would like to be more of a crafter, But I am an artist right now.

CV

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polymath
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Re: Are you a Crafter or an Artist?

Post by polymath » August 7th, 2010, 11:29 am

In another vein, another question of craft or art might ask hobby activity or business activity. Hobbies become businesses and businesses become hobbies. Businesses serve hobbies and hobbies serve businesses. According to U.S. Internal Revenue service defintions, a business activity is one in which a profit is made three out of five years. One buck is a recognized profit. Say two grand in revenue, one thousand nine hundred ninety-nine bucks in expense writeoffs, that's a business activity.

I do a little better than that ratio and revenue-wise, about a third in expenses, two-thirds net, all nonfiction work and writing-related activities. But because my business activity designation is writing-related activities, my fiction writing activities is a part of my expenses. I underreport them down because there's a limit on how much business activity can be written off for the purpose of increasing revenue flow that doesn't amount to much, if anything, near term yet. Yes, I'm a hobby fiction writer working on it for for-profit activities who nonetheless is entitled to writing fiction-related expenses off as business activities. But I'm no less committed and passionate about the persuasive arts of literature's creative reflections and influences.

One frequent hobby/business activity authors and struggling writers profit from is writing and talking about writing, authors monetarily and reputation-wise and struggling writers from writing growth. There's an entire creative writing subindustry dedicated to writing how-to's plus writing on the aesthetics of poetics. I currently prefer the latter, but frequently survey the former. A copy of E.M. Forster's Aspects of the Novel, 1927, is on it's way to me via interlibrary loan. Three bucks postage and handling business expense. Forster coined the oft remarked in writing venues phrase, "'The king died and then the queen died,' is a story. 'The king died and then the queen died out of grief,' is a plot."
Spread the love of written word.

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