The terms are often used interchangeably but are they really the same? The common phrase “arts and crafts” suggests they’re not. What’s the difference? Get a quick explanation and learn whether your current hobby, or the one you’re eyeing on, is either an art or a craft.
What is an Art?
It is unstructured, unquantifiable, and unique. It relies hugely on talent. While imitations may be made, only the original can be regarded as the true work of art because of the artistic vision that went into it. The purpose of art is to evoke emotions from the viewer. There are neither limits nor rules as to how art should be made.
Artists do not require skill though some are masters in crafts. However, it does not automatically make their trade a craft. These skills may be used to create works of art but many artists are not experts in technique such as Henri Rosseau, and Vincent Van Gogh.
What is a Craft?
It is reproducible and made to be functional, not simply aesthetic. A craft is a learned skill, or a set of skills, which can be learned. These are then used to bring about standard results. Quality can be graded and compared with other works.
It also involves the proper use of materials and tools, which is practiced consistently, and mastery is developed over time. Whereas in art, there’d be no such thing. The complete freedom of self-expression would include what would qualify as tools and materials, and how to use them.
What is a Hobby?
Merriam-Webster defines hobby as “a pursuit outside one’s regular occupation engaged in especially for relaxation.” A person can take up learning and practicing a craft as their hobby, such as woodworking or knitting, but not all hobbies are crafts such as reading.
Refining a non-work-related skill is a great way to de–stress, keeping worries that can wait the next day from your mind. When you want to rest your mind, hobbies that involve little skill, like listening to an audiobook, are recommended. These, which have a low barrier of expertise, aren’t considered crafts but are just as enjoyable.
Is Your Hobby an Art or a Craft?
It depends. How much skill is required? Is there a standard for outputs? Your hobby can be an art or a craft; it can also be both.
Take candle making for example. Candle making is both an art and a craft. You can use your creativity to make a candle that’s truly one of a kind. However, the process also involves factors that have to be strictly followed. Set characteristics have to be met for an object to be considered a candle.
There’s a lot of room for freedom of expression in candle making. You will notice that in the unique designs that people come up with these days. If you’re interested in learning this skill and using your creativity, get an easy start with curated candle making kits that come with guides to help you create your first successful batch. Have fun!