True story, bro.
— Sir Ben Kingsley
So I’ve been working on a theory about Hollywood filmmaking professionals that might be true for any field involving creative types: The theory of artists vs craftsmen.
The artist sees all the realms of possibility. He dreams, he sculpts his dreams in to reality, he shows the inner workings of his mind to the world. He revels in the joy of expression, hoping to evoke feelings and thoughts in his audience - pain and joy, awe and terror, indignity and acceptance. The audience is the instrument that the artist wishes to play. He’s the cutting edge screenwriter, the visionary director, or the passionate actor.
The artist may have absolutely no skill whatsoever.
The craftsman takes a vision and forges it into reality. He’s a problem solver to his very core. He has the mental tools to see the landscape before him, the current reality, and the ability to change the ‘as is’ to ‘as it should be.’ He dissects, he tinkers, he fidgets, he forges and from his hands, his mind, his skill, new vistas and visions arrive. He is the hardworking grip, the ever focused set builder, the producer on the front lines.
The craftsman may have no vision whatsoever.
It’s the age old battle of talent vs training, and a worthy goal of every creative type should be to cultivate both. Learn to grow big dreams. Learn the tools of the trade. Learn how to be a whole person. That’s a good goal, right?