What is the Difference Between Art and Craft

The main difference between art and craft is that the art cannot be reproduced whereas the craft can be. Art is the creative expression of one’s emotions and feelings while craft is the ultimate creative, tangible output from a particular talent.

Creativity and beauty of many things in the world can be expressed in an artistic manner. Art and craft are two such creative and unique, beautiful outputs of a creative mind. However, there is a distinct difference between art and craft.

Key Areas Covered

1. What is Art
     – Definition, Nature, Features
2. What is Craft
     – Definition, Nature, Features
3. What are the Similarities Between Art and Craft
     – Outline of Common Features
4. What is the Difference Between Art and Craft
     – Comparison of Key Differences

Key Terms

Art, Craft, Creativity, Creations, Expressions

Difference Between Art and Craft - Comparison Summary

What is Art

It is difficult to provide an exact definition as to what art means; however, Oxford dictionary defines art as “the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power.” Thus, art can be identified as the expression of someone’s individual feelings and emotions in a beautiful artistic manner.

Some Definitions

This is how some well-known artists in the world defined art:

“The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls.” – Pablo Picasso

“Art is a human activity consisting in this, that one man consciously, by means of certain external signs, hands on to others feelings he has lived through, and that others are infected by these feelings and also experience them.” – Leo Tolstoy

Difference Between Art and Craft_Figure 1

Figure 1: ‘A Girl Before a Mirror’ by Pablo Picasso

Therefore, in a broader sense, art is an expression of a person’s thoughts, emotions, and desires, thus making it an expression of insight into someone’s personality. Art is, thus, described as something that comes from the heart of an individual, giving it a unique value that cannot be reproduced by another. Moreover, art heavily depends on the innate talent of a person rather than the acquired talent.

Difference Between Art and Craft_Figure 2

Figure 2: ‘The Kiss’ by Gustav Klimt

Art can consist of different media such as painting, sculptures, poetry, etc. However, the most popular medium with concern to the word ‘art’ is paintings.

Furthermore, an artist cannot predict the final product of his/her artwork until the end, unlike a craftsman who knows what he/she is crafting before so they can predict their final product. Consequently, what art produces at the end is an emotional expression that can touch someone in an emotional way. This results in making it a unique creation of perfection.

What is Craft

In brief, we can describe craft as an activity involving skill in making things by hand. To do this one should have a creative mind as well as a certain skill to that particular craft style. Hence, in craft work, the style and the talent of the craftsman are the most important factors.

Difference Between Art and Craft_FIgure 3

Figure 3: Pottery Craft

Moreover, a key feature of crafts is that craft involves a high degree of skill on craftsmanship or hand skill rather than just skill with a machine; therefore, it is also known as ‘handicrafts’ as well.

Unlike art, there is no influence of personal emotions in craft. However, the uniqueness of a craft may depend on the creativity of a craftsman. Likewise, talent and skill moulded with good experience combine together to create perfection in crafts.

Main Difference - Art vs Craft

Figure 4: Jewellery Craft

Types of Crafts

There are several craft types throughout the world. They can be classified as follows:

  • Textile craft
  • Woodcraft
  • Papercraft
  • Pottery and Glass craft
  • Jewellery

In addition, craftsmanship is practised as a pastime as well as a profession by many people. Crafts serve as icons of cultural heritage as well as good entrepreneur industries for those who are skilled with creative hand work. The best example of this is the pottery industry and ceramic industry.

Similarities Between Art and Craft

  • They are creative forms of expressions.
  • Both art and craft need a level of talent for perfection.

Difference Between Art and Craft


Art is a unique way of expressing someone’ emotions and desires in a visual manner while craft is the creative way of making creative things by hand. Hence, this is the basic difference between art and craft.

Reproduction or Duplication

The main difference between art and craft is the reproduction. Art is unique and more personal; therefore, it can not be reproduced or duplicated. In contrast, craft can be reproduced by another person having the same talent, by following the same style of the particular craft work. Thus, art is unique while craft is not that unique in an individual perspective since it can be reproduced by another person.

Talent and Skill

An important difference between art and craft is that the art depends on the innate talent of a person while talent and skill need to be well groomed and moulded with experience according to the particular style in craft. Moreover, talent and skill are necessities in craft.


Expression of emotions is the core in art while the core of craft is the creative output out of something made by hand. Thus, this is another major difference between art and craft.


Value is also an important difference between art and craft. A piece of art has more of an emotional value whereas a craft has an attractive and creative value.


Art and craft sound similar, yet there is a distinct difference between art and craft. Both are creative and beautiful outputs an individual can give to the world. However, art is the unique expression of emotions that are more individualised whereas craft is the tangible output of skill and talent. Therefore, the main difference art and craft is that art cannot be reproduced whereas craft can be.


1. “Craft.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 8 July 2018, Available here.
2. Lisa. “Is It Even Possible to Define What Art Is, Exactly?” ThoughtCo, Available here.
3. “Crafts Definition, Types, History.” Crafts: Definition, Types, History, Available here.

Image Courtesy:

1. “GirlBeforeAMirror” By painting by Pablo Picasso, photo unknown – (Fair use) via Commons Wikimedia
2. “The Kiss – Gustav Klimt (1862–1918) – 90x120cm” By Gustav Klimt – photo of public domain art by Gustav Klimt, Public Domain) via Commons Wikimedia
3. “West Benbal Handicrafts 01” By Sukalyanc – Own work (CC BY-SA 3.0) via Commons Wikimedia
4. “Antique Indian Nose Ring Jewellery” By Jainamishra at English Wikipedia (CC BY 3.0) via Commons Wikimedia

About the Author: Upen

Upen, BA (Honours) in Languages and Linguistics, has academic experiences and knowledge on international relations and politics. Her academic interests are English language, European and Oriental Languages, Internal Affairs and International Politics, and Psychology.

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