I’m hard at work on the end stages of my next book, Hook to Heal. It’s a book of creativity exercises for crocheters. At the end are exercises specific to artistic development. This reminded me of something I wrote about in an early interview about the project that was done over on the Moogly blog. I wanted to share that excerpt again here today.
In your writings about this new project, you say that it will help those who fear calling themselves “artists.” Why do you think some people have trouble with this?
Oh this is such a big question!!! So many people are afraid of calling themselves artists, whether they crochet or paint or sculpt or just do random crafts with their kids … It’s a topic that I’ve discussed on my own blog, in groups of artists, in women’s networking groups, in craft groups and through various online chats and forums and what I’ve gathered is that people feel like “artist” is a word that applies to people who are “great” at a craft and they don’t feel comfortable labeling themselves that way.
It’s a really complex issue and there are a lot of reasons behind it. I think a lot of us believe art is some thing out there that other people do and not just the act of creation that all of us are doing in our homes. I think many people have a fear of calling themselves artists and then being told by someone else that their work is “bad” or “not art” or whatever.
I also think it’s really important for people who struggle with discomfort around the “artist” label to explore why that is. I think that there can be a lot of value in learning to call yourself an artist, to honor the craft of crochet as art, because it celebrates what you do. It gives you the ability to take the time out to do that for yourself and to take it seriously and not to put yourself down for your “little hobby”. I’m not saying that everyone will want to call themselves an artist in the end. There are many terms including artisan, craftsperson, maker, crocheter, hooker … and some people will just be comfortable with other terms but I think trying to honor the artist within as you craft is a valuable thing.
Do you call yourself an artist? Why or why not?