Thursday, 7 May 2009

Here's a comment:

My sweet and very non-judgemental sister left a comment after my last post:

"Hey sissy, I think I would call the die cut cards "working smart"...... sounds GREAT to me . Here's another question for you, if i sketched out a cute little family of cows, scanned it onto my puter and colored it in and gave it amazing effects, printed it out, stuck it on a background paper and sent it to you.. would it be cheating?"
You remember that she's at UC Berkley, studying design and being super skilled, one aspect of which involves a lot of knowledge of the graphics and photo programs on these 'ere computer thingys. My response is actually, for me, quite considered..I wanted to be sure that my 'knee-jerk' response was the same as my considered response; and it is.
Of course, if Sissy sent me such a card, I would know how the design had been arrived at and of course it wouldn't cross my mind to consider it a 'cheat'. It would be an incredible card, particularly and especially because I have seen Sissy's design process from start to finish and it's unbelievably difficult, full of effort, research and concept. And here's a 'BUT'. If Sissy sent it to someone who didn't know that she was a designer, would they know that she hadn't just downloaded some clip art? If they even thought that far about it - in hand made terms, if it's not in at least 2d, no-one will even know it's a hand crafted card, in my experience. That doesn't detract from the work involved in bringing it to the recipient, but it's unlikely to be acknowledged. I know it's painful to say - Sis and I discussed this last autumn; it takes a knowing eye to spot a non-digital design on fabric and paper, and not many people would understand why one bolt of fabric is £20 per metre more than the next one because the original design work took hours and not minutes because it was hand drawn. And that's the crux of my 'cheating' accusation - digi scrapping and die cut cards - one is digital designing and the other is frankly, card constructing; for me neither is crafting. Maybe it's time to redefine 'craft' so that the generation behind us and people like me can learn to adjust our focus. As my dear friends said at the weekend, why does it matter? My answer to that is; it doesn't matter; I mean, we're all still breathing. But is it fair? People with Sissy's skills need to be acknowledged, she could easily have been the person who developed the design of the 'construct-a-card' kits on qvc (they are here, the monochrome one is a perfect example). And they are design genius, no doubt in my mind - and my word, they sure have found a huge market! Nevertheless, I stand by my wobbly and by now, boring theory - not using ink, or at very least scissors to turn out a pile of cards seems like cheating to me. I need also to point out again that it doesn't mean I wouldn't use or don't like them, but as a 'get down and inky' type crafter, they don't represent what I consider to be craft products.
Clear as mud huh! I will of course, let you know if my sweet sister ever speaks to me again!
Oh and the pics are a moment in time in my workroom - to the left of my still messy table!


Jo Power said...

You always make me think about things and I think your right and we do need the next generation to know what we consider craft and what we consider designing does that make sense. On dear now I'm confused. lol. thank you for getting the brain cells working. xx

SHEN'S ART said...

fab craft room luv, me jealous.:)

redsmudge said...

Love your craft room! I do have a cricut and cuttlebug, which I love, but like to jazz the shapes up with glitter, ink and stamped images,can I count that? Hope so! Great post!

Pam said...

Julia-what a lovely thing to say about my blog!! and I love visiting yours-I really admire your writing.

ffroggie said...

Still with you Julia, sticking die cuts to a pre printed background and calling it craft is not, in my opinion crafting. It is what I give to my Granddaughter to do to make cards, and even she is getting to the "I want to make my OWN cards" stage. She will be 4 in June!
Like you, I am not against anyone wanting to use these construction methods, and I would not be adverse to receiving one (constructed means more thought and preparation than shop bought) but crafting, to me, means MAKING something from scratch.
As usual, my opinion and not law :)

Angie said...

I have many thoughts on the matter of aelf assembly cards and am glad I feel well enough today to join in!
While I too feel it is cheating (for me) to pop out bits and stick them on a card I remember my first cards ... using peel offs and die cuts etc and a lot of imagination but more than that I remember the looks of admiration from the recipiants who had never tried or even thought of making a card. I and my technique have evolved and that is a good thing but we must not forget that everyone has to dip their toe in the water by whatever means attracts them to it.
Craft means 1/To make by hand .... 2/a skill in doing or making something .... 3/ An occupation requiring skilled dexterity
therefore I think it is up to the individual how they construct a card but I think there should be at least a little of the makers imagination in there some where. Some people just enjoy the making/constructing and why shouldn't they. Everyone should just get the fulfilment in their own way
Having said all of the above, I was nearly tempted to buy the animal cards kit on QVC, that showed both sides of the animal, as they were so cute. My grandons and friends young children would not have been bothered how they were made but I resisted !
Sorry this was such a long post but you do make us think about topics xx

Lyn said...

Great post as usual! The thing is, I know just what you mean and I, too, am still torn. When I first started crafting about 5 or 6 or so years ago, die cuts and peel offs were the perfect start - I did not know about stamping, embossing, colouring, embellishemnts, yada, yada. I then discovered this board and was amazed at what could be done. I followed everything avidly, my style changed on a regular basis, I bought books and magazines and the wealth of talent still scared me. As for Altered Art - it is still something I aspire to. It is only recently that I have been getting really down and dirty with inks and loving it. HOWEVER. Let's face it - I LOVE using "tools" and this includes in my crafting - my die cutting machines and embossing folders, die cuts if they no longer "offend" my new style of crafting and my cricut. I love my embossing powders, and inks and expecially my humungous collection of stamps. After all, using my computer for research and inspiration, stamping, embossing, using my heat gun and then getting my paints out and my collection of slicers - MM slicer, Woodware with different blades and my guillotine for cutting chipboard. Ok, my secret's out - I LOVE playing with my toys. Ok. That doesn't sound right - so, I love my crafting tools, heh, heh......

Anne said...

Great post! I totally agree with you. I see some amazing and stunning digital layouts that people have done, and they really are beautiful. But they just don't have that same pull for me. For me, making stuff and scrapbooking is more about the pleasure I get from the process of cutting up bits of paper and inking and stamping and gluing than it is about the end result. Don't get me wrong - I love my finished pages and albums, and get a lot of pleasure out of looking back at what I've done - I'm sure that they will only get better as the photos and memories I'm merrily recording become more distant. But the main thing I get from it is the pleasure of actually doing it - and I just don't get the same joy out of doing it on the computer.

As for the die cut thing - it's definately a good way to dip your toe into the water and the first craft thing I ever bought was a card kit from Lakeland. But I wouldn't use them now, so I suppose as you become more confident you don't need them so much.

Sorry - long comment!

Milliesmarvels said...

Random question: do you still have this massive jar of ribbon? It is fab!!!