Tuesday, January 15, 2008

That line we straddle...

between art and craft is where we work. Has anyone else found this to be a hindrance at times?
Personally, I love working in this medium of plush , but I have had difficulties getting into art shows (that aren't specifically plush art invitationals) and even finding stores willing to take a chance on selling my art. I've had numerous rejections from designer toy stores who say my work is "too handmade" and from others that say my work is "too funky" . I've also had rejections from stores and boutiques that won't take one-of-a-kind work ; they only want something which is mass produced ( if only as limited editions) . I've seen many stores which only carry work from established artists with wide name recognition (i.e. they've been in Juxtapoz or are established low-brow or fine art painters). Anyone else have similar issues? Do we have to choose one side of that line ; craft or art, in order to really "make it" as artists? Let me know what you think.

9 comments:

Caffaknitted said...

I share your frustration. I've had similar problems finding places to display my stuff. Lately, I've become more interested in selling the patterns for my toys. While I love the idea of creating a one-of-a-kind toy, I also love the idea of someone taking a pattern I've created and making something of their own. There will always be people who question whether what we're doing is really "art". Personally, I don't think we should have to pick a side of that art-craft line (who could really define that line anyway??)...as long as I'm happy with what I'm creating. Besides, I think it can be hard to really "make it" in any genre of art or craft.

Claire said...

Yes! Yes! Yes! I think I've hit every wall you've mentioned here. That's part of why I started The Needle - I'm hoping that giving a forum to this medium will contribute to it's being respected as a valid form of expression. I think that we are all onto something new, something that hasn't really been completely defined yet. So many people don't know what to make of what we create...yet. The easy path may be to "pick a side" - but our reluctance to do so is what makes us artists (putting us back on one side of the line, again).

robyn fabsits said...

I can relate 110%!!!!!!!! Art or craft which do you choose. I think they are one in the same in my opinion. I've been doing this here and there for 5 years and I finally have made a little head way. I entered the Plush You show last October and that seems to have helped a bit with finding out about shows. I think it takes just one for people to pay attention to you. If you're not a name they don't want to talk to you. It's hard to find out about a show till they're over and done with and that's frustrating. I'm new here and would love to share any info I get about up coming events I find out about. It would be awesome if we all contributed that kind of info.

Caffaknitted said...

Robyn..you're right! This will be a great place for all of us to share upcoming opportunities we hear about. And speaking of Plush You...I'm sure everyone here already knows, but she extended the application deadline until the 20th. Perhaps one of us should post a reminder?

bisbee stitches said...

thanks ! I hoped it wasn't just me :)

bisbee stitches said...

And that is a WONDERFUL idea to post up info on upcoming shows.

Dre Dre said...

If people have to ask, if we have to ask ourselves, then it must be art. We just happen to be crafty.

lucykate crafts... said...

i think it depends on whether you want (or need) to make money from doing it or not. if you want to sell, then to a certain extent, you do have to take on board what shops ask of you to make what you do more commercial. if you want the notoriety that comes with exhibiting more, then you can design and make whatever you want.

personally, coming from the background i do (i worked as a designer for a needlecraft company based here in the uk for eleven years), i have found there is more money to be made in selling patterns. i can design and make one item, which i can get paid about £150 ($300) for, which will feature in a magazine as an editorial, along with a pattern and instructiions on how to make it, whereas, i couldn't sell that piece as a one off for anywhere near that amount.

Claire said...

Interesting stuff, everyone! I love seeing all these ideas and opinions. Oh, and Caffaknitted: done! I posted about the Plush You date on this blog a little while ago here http://theneedleblog.blogspot.com/2008/01/plush-you-application-date-extended.html.
It must have just become lost in the shuffle!

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