Thursday, June 30, 2016

Artist, Designer or Both?

Recently I saw a link to an article on Facebook with the title Designers are not Artists.  In the opinion of the author he stated that designers weren’t artists and visa versa – basically the whole jist of the article was that designers created to promote a product and artists created to express emotion. 

Someone else sent me link to a similar article that stated good art inspires, good design motivates (people to buy products, participate or join).  It went on to state that artists start with a blank slate and work from a viewpoint, opinion or feelings while designers have a fixed starting point such as a message, idea, image or action.  It also went on to state additional differences – good art is interpreted, good design is understood; good art is talent, good design is skill; good art sends a different message to everyone while good design sends the same meaning to everyone.

Why am I talking with you about these articles?  Someone asked me about why I’m “wasting time” being on design teams (and sent me the link to the 2nd article).  This isn’t the first time I’ve been asked about it over the years and I’m sure it won’t be the last.   It got me thinking about why I am on design teams and that maybe I should explain my reasoning’s.

Let me first start by saying these articles (IMO) are crap and that I consider myself a good artist, teacher and designer!  In my experience greedy, mediocre or lazy designers intensions are only to get free products and to entice people to buy/participate/join (and there are many of them out there).  Great designers can take anything presented to them (be it an idea, product or image) and create art which speaks to people in different ways AS WELL AS inspire and motivate.   This is what I strive to do on all of the design teams I participate on and with my own personal art.

Sure I’ve seen lots of designers who are only out there to sell a product (or get free products or are motivated by the all mighty $$$’s) who in turn do a minimum amount of work and just pile on the crap with their only intentions being to put product on the screen in front of as many people as they can making them want more, more, more. 

On the other hand there are other designers out there who put lots of time and effort into each piece of art they create which not only showcases a particular product but inspires, instructs and encourages others to create as well.

Lumping these two very different groups of designers together is like mixing oil and water or saying that the Eiffel Tower is just a pile of metal.

I “waste” my time on design teams because as an artist I have found that IMO the products these companies offer are quality items and that with knowledge and instruction can benefit other artists.  I try to provide that knowledge by spending my time experimenting and through trial and error come up with new, different or fun innovative ways to create art which I in turn share with you.   It might be something as simple as instructing on how to use a new product with an old or forgotten technique; using a product in a totally different way that originally intended or simply make a piece of art to share its beauty.   When the artist in me is truly inspired to create the teacher in me comes out and wants to share it with others.  I want to encourage, instruct and make you want to create as well.

Design teams also offer me a challenge and give me the opportunity to use products I might not normally have thought of purchasing or wouldn’t have been able to purchase.  Ink Stains isn’t a money making proposition… I purchase products for both use and giveaways from my own pocket.  I purposely don’t sell ads or monetize the blog so that I’m not beholding to people/companies that I wouldn’t normally stand behind.

I couldn’t (and wouldn’t) represent a company that I didn’t have 100% confidence in; I’m not in it for free stuff and it’s not paying my bills. I won’t lie or deceive to try to get you to purchase a product, I won’t have you believe that brand “X” is the be all and end all.  I do it because I am inspired and want to share that inspiration with you. 

I design with my artist soul and yes, I’m proud to say I am an Artist AND a Designer!


  1. I agree with you 100% Roni. I am an artist first whether my art teacher ever thought I was or not. I am a designer second although for the longest time I didn't consider myself one until several people disagreed with me. It is nice to get the stamps but that is not why I'm on the team. I "waste" my time on the team to showcase what can be done with stamps. To show what techniques can be done. As well as how someone can create outstanding creations without spending an arm and leg on products. I like showing people what they can do with what they may already own. Of course it is nice if someone sees one of my projects and wants to buy what I use. That is great! If I don't believe in a product I won't endorse it. I've passed up on applying to some design teams because I realized it would not be a good fit. I'm picky about who I design for even if it were to mean never being on a team. Whether I'm on a team or not I'm a Designer and whether anyone else thinks so I'm an artist. I create for fun and for me. :-)

  2. DEar Roni, I love your work and am always interests in your comments, keep up the good work and ignore the bad comments, I am sure you have broad shoulders , and thanks for all the inspiration you have given me for the past few years, since I found you blog!!!!!!!!

  3. Roni, I agree with you! Hobbyist, designer, rubber stamper or artist for me it is the fun in creating and passing it along to this knowledge along to others. keep up the good work/art!
    stamping sue

  4. I agree with your ideas 100% and am also an artist/designer on several design teams. The articles you quoted are nonsense- but I guess everyone is entitled to their opinion and interpretation of the words. I follow and subscribe to your blog to see your great ideas and art. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this subject- you worded it perfectly.

  5. You're so right, Roni! And, without artists/designers, so many people would not get to see wonderful ideas and art, thus inspiring them to try new techniques and ideas for themselves! So keep up your art and designing, please!!

  6. Thank you for your candor. It's refreshing. The advent of the Internet, despite its amazing benefits to us all, has also ushered in a sense of intrusiveness and quick judgment from many people. Be who you are, whatever that is. I'm an artist in my dreams and as such, I enjoy reading blogs, seeing how various artists/designers use products in their creations. Thanks for sharing your art and designs.

  7. Well said. I took offense at the first author's opinion that designers aren't artists. I read many art blogs that are also designers. I find myself inspired and amazed at the creativity I've seen on most of them. It's the techniques I watch for, not the products. I benefit from artist/designers' experimentation. Thank you for always inspiring me with your creativity. Dorothy

  8. Very eloquent Roni! I love both your blog and your creativity. I appreciate the time, effort and honest opinions that you share with us. I have been reading your blog for years, have made projects inspired by your sense of artistry and design sense, and played along with different swaps. Never once have I felt as if you were "pushing" a product. ! Hugs from Montana. :)

  9. Hi Roni. Totally agree with your opinion on this. Being on a design team is hard work if you intend to do it right. It takes every ounce of creativity you have to use the product inan artistic way. You have great artistic talent and I appreciate the effort you put into your blog to help your readers on their creative journey. Have a great day.

  10. Great discussion here. I agree that you can be both. Thanks for sharing your opinions and ideas. Art is so subjective, ya know?!


Thanks for your thoughts and comments!