School Lunches

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Art vs Craft

Whenever someone asks what type of things I like to do/make I can never figure out how to answer. I love to cook, but I also love to bake. More than that I enjoy food styling and decorating. Then, there is food photography and, of course, eating! But outside the kitchen I love to create... stuff. It seems like such a simple question but when someone asks me what I do, I never know if I should refer to myself as a 'crafter' or an 'artist'. When I was in college studying studio art I overheard multiple teachers criticize 'crafts' so I naturally wanted my work to be more than crafty, I wanted it to be art. Well, frankly I never considered my work to truly be art either - it didn't feel meaningful enough to have that title. I felt like I was aspiring to be an artist but in the meantime worried I was just crafty. Maybe that seems silly, but those are the thoughts I have to this day when someone asks me what I do, which is I why I typically resort to "I'm a wife.. mom... daycare provider... oh, and I have a business out of my house making things." Great marketing strategy, eh? 

Furthermore, I have this room. It's always been full of piles of stuff. Call it what you will 'treasures', 'junk', 'supplies', 'garbage', 'projects'... it was a little (or a lot) of all of it. I am not an organized person. I actually love to organize, but it is absolutely impossible for me to maintain any sense of organization. But a few months ago I decided if I was really going to create a brand for myself and turn my 'crafts' into 'art' then I needed a space that allowed me to focus and be productive. So I began purging old projects, supplies, and junk until I only had what I really needed and had adequate space to store. I won't bore you with the details but it was A LOT of work. 

While I was up late one night organizing I came across a small cardboard box that belonged to my grandmother. It was a simple box that had little more than some trim, buttons, and needles (along with a single horoscope). I had kept that box for years, opening it once in awhile to admire then putting it away. I decided to finally make it into artwork that I could enjoy next to my sewing machine. So, at 2:30 a.m. I began gluing her old buttons, trim, and costume jewelry (that I've kept separately in a hot pink caboodle as long as I've had it) to a simple frame. There was one last piece in that cardboard box that my 3:00 a.m. sleep deprived mind thought was some sort of sewing machine part. I was so intrigued by it that I put it right in the middle as the focal point. I woke up realizing there was no way it could be what I thought it was and after careful examination (and some input from others - key, bottle opener), I still have zero idea what it is. Maybe that makes it more interesting. Maybe it looks foolish. It doesn't really matter. But, if you have any idea what it is, PLEASE leave it in the comments below because I would really love to know.

So is the piece 'art' or 'craft'? Let me know what you think. 

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