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Around The Arts

December 22, 2012

An artist label can be placed on many types of people


June, the co-writer of this column, does this too. She is so incredibly crafty. She creates baby shower gifts that other people pay for — diaper castles, cupcakes out of baby clothes and socks. Every year, she creates a wreath for the Cooperstown Art Association Wreath Festival out of found objects. One year she made the wreath out of Scrabble boards, another out of sheet music. And so many people comment on her creativity.

A hobby like this can sometimes be a source income, however small it may be, as we have seen from the myriad people that sell homemade items on the website Etsy.

“You’re so artsy. You should start an online business,” I told her. “I would much prefer to purchase a diaper castle, among other things, for a baby shower than try to make one myself, and I’m sure others would agree.”

But she won’t … or hasn’t yet. I know she really wants to, but something is holding her back. The standard that the title “artist” brings? Perhaps. The fear of rejection? Maybe a little of that too. 

Some people are just a little more comfortable with calling their creative outlet a hobby. They are hobbyists, not artists. That doesn’t mean their product is any less artistic. 

Well, I think they are artists. And I will continue to tell them this and encourage them. And I will smile a little every time I see a tag next to something that says, “created by local artist.” 

Brittany Lesavoy is secretary of ArtsOtsego, the alliance of Otsego County arts organizations, and director of public relations for The Glimmerglass Festival in Cooperstown. Column ideas may be sent to ‘Around The Arts’ columns can be found at

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