The Difference

Here are two statements, one about an artist, and another about a technician:

1. A technician is someone who specializes in making things that already exist — things that come from nature, or from culture, and need to be either reproduced or reshaped.

2. An artist is someone who specializes in making new things — things that wouldn’t exist otherwise.

Most artists spend a lot of their time acting like technicians, and it’s entirely possible for a technician to make art, but the difference is that the one is about creation irrespective of need, and the other about shaping what’s already created to meet some need.

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