Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Who influences your work?

Luann Udell made an interesting observation on her blog today titled 'Influence'.

She makes the point that 2-D artists will often declare that they work in the style of a well known artist. Craft workers seldom do this.

It made me wonder why this is so.

Could it be that more artists have had a formal arts education and have been exposed to thinking in depth about their work and have practiced analysing and talking or writing about it?

Or could it be that the art world is better developed, and is written about by art critics and art historians? This must give artists a strong incentive to declare their influences before the critics do so.

Perhaps if crafts publications paid as much attention to concepts and design as they do to technique, things might be different.

1 comment:

Woodminer said...

Who does influence our work?

Your statements about the artworld being better developed and the implication of being driven by an integrity that will be reinforced by informed viewers, critics, and art historians are good, in my opinion, and certainly worth exploring.

While there is nothing new under the sun, and while the shapes being touted by many artisans as their signature pieces have all been around for centuries or millennia, there is still a matter of courtesy and integrity that many turners, carvers, and other woodworkers neglect. Many musicians borrow snippets of melody to augment their own works. Well-known themes are often acknowledged in the titles of those resultant works. "Variations on a Theme by Paganini" is the example that comes to mind. How hard would it be for us to include credit for the design on our labels? "A birdhouse ornament by Woodminer, based on designs by Dale Nish. Made of Walnut/Maple/Ebony/Bloodwood".

There is a scriptural principle at work as well. It has to do with sharing the results of what you've learned with the one who taught you. It honors those who have gone before, allowing the craftsman to take credit for the work while sharing someone else's creative vision.

My 2¢ worth.