Art Experiences

Art vs. Craft

Posted on: March 3, 2011

Art. Crafts. Arts and crafts. What’s the difference? In my opinion, lots. Art is an act of creating something personal, something that emanates from your heart, your feelings, your soul, your experiences. The result can be a final product like a painting or sculpture, or it can be a sketch, an idea or something you end up throwing away. Craft is a project where you follow instructions to create an end result to keep or give as a gift. There is some amount of creativity and personalization in crafting and it can certainly come from your heart. Both of these processes are valid ways to learn and create.

Many people like to do crafts because it is comforting to have a set of written instructions to follow or at least to use as a starting point or basis. From there you can put in as much creativity as you feel comfortable with. There is a lot of value in following a set of instructions; be it in cooking a recipe, knitting a scarf or making a necklace. The world is full of instances where you should definitely follow the instructions. It is important to teach children to follow instructions also, not because we want to raise a generation of robots, but because this is life skill that, with experience, they will learn to use in the pertinent situations.

Alternately, there are others who dislike the constraints of instructions, especially when it comes to creative projects. In fact these people often purposely look for opportunities to break the rules, not because they are rebellious or immature, but because it stretches their creativity. It frees your mind to experiment with limitless possibilities. There is a lot of value in learning to “think out of the box”. Creative thinking and innovation has given us thousands of important inventions and breakthroughs. This is the kind of thought process that powers our changing technological world of today. Learning to stretch our creative thinking in order to solve problems big and small is an essential life skill as well. If children are raised to be curious, to question the status quo and brainstorm solutions, they will be well equipped to be successful, happy adults.

A few friends of mine frequent a painting place where you make a preplanned painting in one night. Although this paint by number type of art is not for me, I am glad that people go, paint, have a good time and take home something they are proud of. Since the vast majority of adults never paint, this is a great way to introduce them to the joys of painting and doing art in general. I am also glad we have many painting studios where people can paint what they want to and explore their creativity further.

Clearly there is something for everyone and when it comes to art, that is the way it should be. Go where you want to go, create what you want to create, and experience art on your own terms.

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Hi! I'm Susan Stein and of my many passions in life,
two of my biggest are art and children. In the process of teaching children art, I also teach them problem solving, brainstorming, inventive thinking, originality, working with others, hand eye coordination, and so much more. It doesn't matter if you're good at drawing or not, everyone will benefit from experiencing art.

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