One of the first things I have discovered in talking with jewelry artists over the past months at the various Holiday Markets is what they call themselves varies. Some have a hard time calling themselves an artist. When I asked, “Are you the artist?” one lady said, “Well, I’m kind of an artist.” What if your dentist said “Oh, I’m kind of a dentist.”? Doesn’t inspire much confidence, does it?
Think about this…you have brought something into creation that had not existed before. You created it. Does that make you an artist? Or are you only an artist if it is beautiful and perfect? (I hear this all the time as a teacher.) Well, my answer is “Show me the perfect tree or a beautiful tree”. Even Charlie Brown’s Christmas tree has its own charm.
What do you call yourself?
It’s hard to market ourselves if we don’t know what we are. This has been a bone of contention with jewelry artists as long as I’ve been making jewelry. Are you a designer, a beader, a wire-worker? Do you like crafter? Maybe you are a studio jeweler? The pretty widely accepted answer from our staff who solder is pretty simple…metalsmith, goldsmith or silver smith. From those who don’t solder, it’s designer. Oh, we had one Renaissance Man, and you will get to know him in our Teacher Feature this week. So what are you?
Lets get some discussion going. Let me know what you call yourself, and maybe we will find just the right title for all of us. Write me at firstname.lastname@example.org…and I’ll answer every one of you. Your thoughts will be posted in the next newsletter.