More of us than ever before wading into acts of making has done little, however, to discourage the unhelpful distinction, long been made in our society, between the 'true' artists and the rest of us who, in our creative endeavours, are faking it, or merely muddling through. We all know who the ‘real’ artists are: those with the imprimatur of institutions – galleries, publishers, music press, and the like – with certain cultural cachet or commercial clout. The ruthless ranking done by the cognoscenti, together with our society’s deeply competitive ethos, have the terrible combined effect of discouraging many people who might otherwise have had a go from simply playing. Creating for the sake of creating.
Just as unhelpful for the would-be creative are distinctions such as those between the so-called fine arts and other artforms – or, really, ways of being creative – and, say, art versus craft. The latter posits art as employing superior faculties such as originality and deep emotional expression, where craft is about the repetitive application of a narrow skillset. These kinds of notions encourage us to believe that only some people are creative or, perhaps even worse, deserve to be creative. It also leads many of us to dismiss things we already do, or that are already within our skill set to do, as acts of creation.