View Full Version : Do you consider yourself to be an artist?

10-24-2008, 06:18 PM
I guess this will depend on what everyone's definition of "artist" is. I don't really consider myself to be an artist because I just follow a pattern, KWIM? I don't write patterns, I don't make this stuff up on my own. It's like, I don't consider myself a cook just because I can follow someone else's recipe.
Obviously, as a knitter, I understand how much work and care is put into knitted pieces, so I'm not devaluing it at all. Maybe I'm just not valuing myself enough?
So, do you consider yourself to be an artist? If so, do you "just" knit, or do you write patterns, spin, hand-dye, or any other creative goodness?

10-24-2008, 07:52 PM
Most certainly not an artist. I follow patterns when I knit and do cross-stitch. I have no sense of color or style. I like thinks to be symmetrical. I believe my right brain is shriveled such that it is no longer retrievable.

10-24-2008, 07:57 PM
I also do not consider myself a artist, to me that comes from somewhere deep inside a person. And I am just not that deep!;)

10-24-2008, 08:24 PM
Nonsense! Everyone is an artist in some form or fashion. It takes an artist to create something from a piece of yarn/thread and a couple of pointy sticks! Now this is just my opinion, but not everyone can do this and it doesn't matter if you are following a pattern or not. I know, you might not feel creative but YOU ARE!

10-24-2008, 09:12 PM
I tell people I'm into the fiber arts as I spin my own yarn. I'm not ultra brave yet as to dye my own but I will take different colors and ply them to make yarn.

10-24-2008, 09:22 PM
Techniques can be learned, practiced and conquered with great proficiency.
The drive to learn and understand design and color, take you over to creativity.

10-24-2008, 10:08 PM
Well, I like to think of myself as an artist, but I'm not sure others would agree! I don't create my own patterns, but I do chose the colors and often use different yarns than what the pattern calls for, and I often change the pattern in some way to customize it to my tastes.

I think that is the most fun part for me, choosing the pattern, colors and yarn, because it is such a creative process. I have taken several knitting classes and no matter how many knitters are in that class, you won't find 2 knitted projects that look the same. Our knitting is as individual and unique as we are!

10-25-2008, 12:00 PM
i wouldnt consider my self an artist ... creative yep... i never follow a pattern i get bored with em easily... but i love looking at pictures of knitted works .. and i get inspired to create my own things ... maybe thats where true artistry comes from inspiration... and i think every knitter or crocheter or spinner gets inspired from there craft... that pushes me to continue at least ... i love to see what can be made from my hands and some yarn ... finishing a project is always super great ... but i like the journey of it all ... fresh ball of yarn favorite needles ... and all that i learn from each project ... still dont want to call my self an artist ... i prefer crafty ...

10-25-2008, 01:32 PM
I never thought of it before but when I read the question I said to myself, well, sure, of course I'm an artist! Even if I'm "just" knitting (whatever that means!). I've been knitting for about 4 months, self-taught, haven't explored past garter stitch yet. When I look at a pattern or see some nice yarn, I have visions of what I might make of it...colors, sizes, techniques, etc. that I will put together to create something out of 'string and pointy sticks'.

I bet most, if not all, of you have the same visions. And anyway we don't need to call ourselves artists or crafty or anything--labels are for pickle jars! If someone asks, I say "Yes, I knit," and they can do with it what they like, good, bad, or indifferent (hopefully good, but in the end I don't really care). I knit to express myself and to be happy, and if I can share some of that it's a good thing, but not necessary for me.

Having said all that I guess I'll be really happy this weekend--my boss and his wife may have their daughter a month early, and I haven't casted on for her little hat yet! Time to go make some art.

Whatever you are, enjoy it!! :woot:

10-25-2008, 01:58 PM
Not really an artist, however knitting is where I can let my creative side out.

10-25-2008, 02:10 PM
:aww: So NOT an artist. I have not yet designed anything or modified anything enough to really be considered an artist. But I consider my self someone who is an art enthusiast. I appreciate others' talents - kinda like going to an art gallery.

10-25-2008, 02:32 PM
I like to think of myself as an artist although others would likely disagree :rofl:

Wanda Witch
10-25-2008, 03:35 PM
I don't consider myself an artist in any way. I can follow written instructions, be it knitting, sewing, putting 'things' together that now come in a carton, but I feel an artist is one who creates and from what I've seen this past year there are many of you here. I am a 'fair' cook but that does not make me a chef who creates recipes/menus. If copying a pattern is rewarding, why not? You just simply re-create. ;)

10-25-2008, 04:40 PM
Hi, folks! :waving:

I was both saddened and happy to read the replies in this thread; sad because so many of you who make beauty from nothing more than sticks and string don't see yourselves as artists. Happy because some of you do.

I've been a full time professional artist for about 30 years now, and have a lot of projects under my belt. I even have a piece of work in the Smithsonian.

But it's not credentials that make an artist. Long before I started racking up a professional portfolio, I tried to create beauty, wherever I could, however I could, to the best of my ability at that time. As I lived longer, I learned more, and used what I learned to make things around me more ideal, more beautiful. And all this was long before I had lifted a single paintbrush, written a single word or done much in the way of traditional "art".

Moms, if you've ever put a hot meal on the table for your family that they could sit down to at the end of a long day, relax and enjoy, you were being an artist. Creating peace and ease around you is a beautiful gift. Everyone, if you've ever helped a friend in need and made them feel stronger and more able rather than weak and inept, you were creating the purest kind of art. If you've ever looked at a room, envisioned how it could look better and MADE IT HAPPEN - hey! you created something artful.

Right now my big project is writing a book for knitters about how to design their own cotton knits. But there are lots of patterns, too, for those who just want to make something beautiful. If their interest doesn't extend to designing, that's A-OK. It's that creative IMPULSE to take something in a picture, or their own vision, and make it real, for themselves and others, that's sadly lacking in a sometimes ugly old world. And that's where anyone can be an artist.

Hopefully this little rant will resonate with some of you and help you recognize your own artistic identity. If so, let's hear it! So, how many of you are artists?

Ruthie :thumbsup:

10-25-2008, 07:12 PM
Ruthie, you words are touching my soul! By that definition, we all are!!! Thank you! :muah:
TOYOTA FTX SPECIFICATIONS (http://www.toyota-wiki.com/wiki/Toyota_FTX)

10-25-2008, 07:40 PM
Yes - as an oboist (my profession). As a knitter - a little bit when I can turn out a beautiful piece.

10-25-2008, 08:59 PM
Knitting is an art, so, yes... I consider myself to be an artist...

...not only as a knitter, guitarist and drummer. Many things we do are art, we just don't realize it.


10-25-2008, 10:42 PM
MoniDew, Doublereeder2 and Andres!!! :muah:

Thank you all so much for your responses. All I could do was hold up the mirror, and if you looked into it and saw an artist, no one is more delighted than I am. There are lots of artists out there, in any area of life, even in life itself. We just need more, more, more to recognize it! :yay: So go be wildly creative and touch the world with something beautiful. Socks might be nice.....or a shawl......or a sweater or even...... well, whatever YOU see. You're the artists, after all!

So, how about it folks? Who else is an artist?


gotta knit
10-26-2008, 10:30 AM
I make things from string & sticks that myself and others are proud to wear or use in public. But I usually don't stray too far from someone else's pattern, so I don't consider myself very creative or artistic.

10-26-2008, 11:44 AM
For the knitting, no, it's a craft.
For the jewelry, not usually. Although it is wearable art without any other function than art most of the work is repair and even a lot of the creation is assembly.
For the sculpture, yes, it's only use is art.
For the saxophone, not really, I'm a hack. :)

So mostly I am a craftsman.

Craft: Useful art.
Art: Art with no other use than eye (or ear) candy.

An artist or craftsperson doesn't make one better than the other.
But if I had to pick one or the other to look up to I'd say it's the one who can not only create something that looks good but serves more of a purpose than taking up space.

10-26-2008, 12:04 PM
Am I an artist? You bet I am!

With or without a pattern, I can knit something that brings a smile to a child's face or warms a baby. I can teach my granddaughter how to knit and create pleasure for her for the rest of her life. I can say "I love you" to my DIL by knittng her a hat to wear on her cold morning jogs.

I mostly enjoy making things for little ones. Things they can cuddle with to take away those 'fraidy times. Or they can just know I love them enough to spend my resources on something just for them.

I also paint (mostly on fabrics, but sometimes on canvas), crochet (not so much now because it hurts my hands and, to me, knitting is softer) and, very rarely, sew.

All of these are creative processes. Art? Yep. :woot: Sometimes. :shrug:

But whatever it is I do, it keeps me off the streets. :yay:

10-26-2008, 12:45 PM
My initial response to this was no but after reading everyone's post and thinking about it, yes I am an artist. I don't design patterns but I create something. I may use a pattern but I choose the type and color of yarn which involves using some artistic part of my brain.

Like Mike I consider myself mostly a crafts-person but really, most of what I do involves eye candy. Whether it is painting, knitting sewing, stitching or any of the other crafts I do, it is art in it's own way.
Besides, I just love doing these things, it feeds my soul and isn't that a function of art???

10-26-2008, 04:31 PM
So, do you consider yourself to be an artist? If so, do you "just" knit, or do you write patterns, spin, hand-dye, or any other creative goodness?

Yes, I do consider myself an artist. I consider anyone who makes anything an artist in their own right.
I started 10 years ago with 'just' crochet. I taught myself, but I had been doing crochet without knowing it since I was a toddler. 7 years ago a sweater unraveled. I helped it along. I memorized the stitch pattern, and found a set of knitting needles that had not been touched since before I was born. I grabbed them and some yarn and after figuring out how to cast on, I started knitting. I've been doing it ever since.
I knit, crochet, write patterns, spin, hand dye, and many other things. But I felt that the artistry began before I was old enough to know what it was.

I don't go around saying, "hey, I'm an artist" but still, that is what I am. Profession: Artist. :D

10-27-2008, 01:24 AM
I knit, crochet, write patterns, spin, hand dye, and many other things. But I felt that the artistry began before I was old enough to know what it was.

Tropicflower, you got it in one! :yay:

Ruthie :)

10-27-2008, 01:56 AM
I love this thread! :hug:

Just another 2 cents worth from me - There seems to be some difference of opinion about what art really is. It's getting divided into "art" and "craft" when there's really a simplicity to the whole subject.

Art is, pure and simple, a communication.

The artist wants to say something to others and expresses that message in his or her chosen medium. A writer uses words, but others use different things, like wool or paint or whatever.

Rosemary, what you wrote is beautiful, and believe me when I tell you that all those wonderful communications from your heart go in with the yarn! It's all part of the package and does get across to others.

It's not about the practicality of the art, or even the end result. A young child who has limited language capability can still get his or her message across, if only by screeching! :) As the child grows and learns, his communication range broadens and he can make himself understood more smoothly. Same with anything you're using to create art. The first rose I painted took me 2 1/2 hours and ended up looking more like a daisy. Now, about 12,000 roses later (I kid you not!) I can paint a rose in 5 minutes that looks real enough to pluck off the canvas!

Practicality? I've probably done nearly as many hand-painted furniture pieces as I have murals and canvases. And it always gives me an extra zing to know that my "practical art" will be lovingly used as well as enjoyed visually for years to come.

So, if you've got the impulse to create something, whether it's from a pattern or not, whether you're an expert at it yet or not, go ahead and communicate that desire by making it happen.

OK, that's it for now from the peanut gallery here! :)

So, who else is an artist? Let's hear it...

Ruthie :muah:

10-28-2008, 11:52 AM
I consider myself one. I make all my own patterns. I like to be original. I take a few stitch pats and make them my own.

10-28-2008, 12:15 PM
No, I don't consider myself an artist. To me an artist has to have a vision that he or she wants to get across, and I don't. I just want to make pretty and snuggly things to keep myself and my kids warm and comfortable. It doesn't mean I don't take pride in what I make! I get a kick out of finishing something that someone else can actually use. But I don't see myself as trying to get a message across to people, other than "look, I made this for you because I care about you".

10-28-2008, 01:00 PM
But I don't see myself as trying to get a message across to people, other than "look, I made this for you because I care about you".

What a GREAT message! :yay:

Ruthie :hug:

10-29-2008, 04:52 PM
The dictionary defines an artist as one who professes and practices an imaginative (synonymous with creative) art.

It takes major imagination to take string and two sticks and turn it into something beautiful. How is knitting any different than painting? Or playing an instrument? You're taking an object that, left to its own devices, has no intrinsic value. What you do with it gives it value. Most people would see the words on paper (patterns) and see nothing. For us who knit, we see objects that we can mold. We can create anything we so desire (within reason) with a little time, effort, and education. Doesn't that sound like any other kind of art?

Yes, I most certainly consider myself an artist.

Edit: I also wanted to ask... If a painter does nothing but reproductions, are they not considered artists? If they are considered artists, then why wouldn't we who recreate patterns be artists?

10-29-2008, 05:09 PM
Agree (1)