A While ago I posted my thoughts regarding craftsmen and the value of their work. Interestingly I noticed a tweet from Shelter Publications on Twitter that further provoked my thoughts:
"He who works with his hands is a labourer, He who works with hands and head is a craftsman. He who works with hands and head and heart is an artist".
I have often felt an affinity with the craftsman, I work with materials such as metal and wood, as well as with ink and pencil. The focus on a task is something I greatly enjoy. To draw the mind to a point of focus and concentration with the aim of creation becomes a meditation in itself. Outside of that task and focus, the issues of the world fade away to allow both the conscious and sub-conscious mind to dedicate themselves to perfection.
After reading the above quote I began to think of the line between the craftsman and the artist. Again it seems to become an issue of the focus of the mind. It seems that the artist draws inspiration from external sources and allows the mind to open rather than narrow onto a set task. The issue of opening the mind while remaining dedicated to the task is difficult, the mind can easily become distracted and wander from the task. So at what point does the craftsman become the artist?
I would suggest that it is like undertaking a journey down a track. The destination may be arrived at by watching the ground beneath your feet and stepping carefully. It can also be reached by learning to walk and read the ground with your sense of touch. This way the eyes may be lifted and the ears opened to all the information around, this way the everything possible is gathered on the journey to the destination. The inspiration around becomes part of the solution to a task and the artist is then revealed.