Tuesday, 6 January 2015

"Crafty" vs. "Creative"

craft, creative, diy, maker

I grew up with a creative mama.  Dressmaker, cake decorator, baker, sign painter, artist, designer...these were only some of the hats she wore.  When, as homeschooled kids, we had an art project, we didn't pull out the construction paper, plastic scissors, and markers.  No, we had cardstock, sharp craft knives, and watercolour pencils.  We even each had our own self-healing cutting mat and cork-backed metal ruler (both of which I still have and use).  So I was exposed early to quality hand-crafts.

So it's no wonder that I have a slight unintentional contempt for projects I consider "crafty", like egg carton caterpillars, or anything with googly eyes or brightly-coloured acrylic yarn soaked in Elmer's glue. (My kids, on the other hand, love this stuff.)

This is why I have loved the trend these days toward designer-quality creative projects rather than crafty make-work projects.  I would rather spend my creative energies making something useful and beautiful rather than creating more clutter.  I've always disliked an overabundance of knick-nacks, so my shelves are filled with books and baskets and dishes and natural elements instead of figurines (except for one shelf of Willow Tree figures that we received as gifts and sort of fit my aesthetic).  And after a few false starts in buying large artwork that I tire of within a few years, my walls decor is slowly moving toward a style I prefer: salvaged elements, vintage mirrors and frames, beautiful clocks, and meaningful creative projects, such as my display of Grandma's spoons.

But back to the craftiness, I want to only make things that I would be comfortable giving as a gift.  If it isn't classy enough to consider giving to a friend (or for an even better test: one of my mothers-in-law), why make it?  Now, that's not to say I always hit the mark.  Many, many of my projects just don't turn out how I envisioned them.  But that's ok.

I'm working on possibly a new focus for my creative endeavours.  It's still in the contemplation stage. Wish me luck as I try to figure it all out!  Although most of the figuring has to happen after I finish my two current editing projects...work first, play later!

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