I read an article last night about a fashion designer. The author made an interesting comment, saying that this man was "more of a craftsman than an artist" in his approach to creating new fashions. I've been wondering what that might mean ever since.
As near as I guess, a craftsman takes things that already exist and makes them into something different, whereas an artist puts words or color or shape onto something that was blank or formless? I'm not sure.
I'm a little uncomfortable with words like this, to be honest. Of course, I'd be delighted to be called either an artist or a craftsman at pretty much anything; it they're terms of honor. But maybe that's why the words make me squirm: they carry so much heft in terms of expectation. Doesn't it feel like artists and craftsmen should have more of a persona than the rest of us? That they should know or have access to hidden realms of creative power or something?
Most of the writers I know don't orbit in this rare air. We're more like worker bees, putting word after word on a page, trusting that over time it will amount to something. I guess that can become a persona of sorts, but not in quite the same way. It's not a fun persona...
I love to read about folks with big, fun personas (personii?)...I think I'd like to have one. As I read this article (it was in the New Yorker, about the creative director of Burberry) and another one about the genius/lunatic designer who is decorating Gwen Stefani's new house, they both had this ambiance about them that set them apart from the rest of the world, like little kids playing dress up or something. It looked fun. I mean, who wouldn't want to go through the whole day being melodramatic and demanding that bold splashes of color be tossed across the room?
I'm not sure if I buy it, though. I wonder if maybe they really ARE like little kids playing dress up when they're interviewed, when they're in public...but when no one is watching, they're just gifted people who work really, really hard at what they do?
Okay, I'm rambling a bit here. Let me get to my question: If YOU could have a persona (and I'm pretty sure that you can) what would it be? If someone from the New Yorker showed up today and asked you where you were taking your inspiration from in this season of your artistic development, what would you say?