A Question of Labelling!
I was crestfallen because of course I’d hoped that he would say I was the next Russell Flint but it also started me wondering about the difference between Fine Art and Design. Were the gorgeous watercolour poppies on my curtains ‘Fine Art’ or were they ‘Design’?
Sometimes the line separating the two is hard to define and trying to arrive at an answer sent me into a state of paralysis with my work for quite some time. Fortunately I was prompted by a neighbour to stop worrying about it and ‘just do it’!
But this question has been floating around in the back of my mind again in recent months, since I joined GCU and Zazzle. Mostly we refer to ‘artists’ in those environments but why not ‘designers’? And then, just to complicate matters further, there are ‘illustrators’.... and dictionary definitions aren’t really much help.
I’m wondering whether what separates Fine Art from Design or Illustration might be to do with the intention behind the work? It begins to make some sense if the intention behind Fine Art is simply to communicate, while the intention behind Design is to decorate a surface of some kind, fabric, china, stationery, greeting cards or to address the visual aspects of something of everyday practical use such as a car or a window-frame.
Of course the line is still very blurred. I have ‘created’ mugs for my Zazzle store using images that were intended as Fine Art.and offered them as prints as well.
Piet Mondrian is just one of many fine artists, whose work hovers around the border between Fine Art and Design - in fact, Google images brings up Mondrian's images used to decorate clothing, shoes and even a car as well as the 'artworks' themselves!
At what point does the original image change from being Fine Art to being Design?
Why am I bothered about this? Well, the obvious reason is that the human brain is wired to seek patterns and sort things into categories. But could it also be that the sting of that tutor’s words all those years ago is still lurking somewhere, nagging me to resolve it once and for all by making sense of it?