Artful Artisans

Today I'll cover the Artisan Temperament.

Recall that Artisans - or SPs - tend to be concrete in their thinking and communication and utilitiarian in their use of tools. As a result, they tend to excel at tactics. The Artisan bucket contains a smaller bucket for each of the four MBTI SP variants:

  • Operating Promoter (ESTP), charming everyone else into believing and participating in their latest venture.
  • Operating Crafter (ISTP), who knows how, when, and why to use each of their tools in the utmost detail, but would rather ad hoc modify a tool to work well enough than take the time to go purchase exactly the right tool.
  • Entertaining Performer (ESFP), improvising on stage, be that as an entertainer on an actual stage or as a salesperson or teacher or politician on a virtual stage.
  • Entertaining Composer (ISFP), arranging, combining, mixing whatever comes to hand into a work of art for others to consume.

The Thinking Promoter and Crafter are mostly interested in expediency and are not afraid to direct others as necessary in order to accomplish their tasks, whereas the Feeling Performer and Composer would rather make things up as they go along and share their improvised creations with the rest of the world.

Just as each temperament has a predisposition towards or against strategy, tactics, diplomacy, and logistics but have greater or lesser skill in the areas as well, each of the four Artisan variants have some facility with the roles of the other variants. The introvert and extrovert roles can fairly easily switch sides, but it tends to be much harder for a thinker to swap over to a feeling role, and vice versa. Even so, Artisans are likely to be much better at all four roles than they are with logistics, diplomacy, or strategy.

When you look at the interests of an Artisan, you'll see a decided predisposition towards (wait for it...) the arts and crafts - including not only the obvious arts, such as music or drawing, but also athletic, mechanical and industrial arts (think of all those "Art of the Deal" books about business). Practicing the requisite techniques for hours (or days or weeks) on end is their idea of a good time; often the Artisan's ultimate dream is to become a virtuoso in their chosen area(s) of study, and at the very least they will work extremely hard to reach a high level of proficiency. They are even happier when they can work with the equipment and apparati and instruments that fascinate them.

Artisans' approach to the present can be characterized as "make my senses happy". We all want to be happy of course, but for Artisan's it's an imperative, all that they care about. While Guardians do things because they must, Artisans do things just for the fun of it. Integral to this outlook is their view of the future: Artisans simply *know* that tomorrow will take care of itself, so there's no need to worry about it today. Similarly, Artisans are happy-go-lucky about the past - so what if things didn't go so well; that's life you know? Interestingly, Artisans also tend to have a cynical outlook. Whoever said "Don't look a gift horse in the mouth" certainly wasn't an Artisan! Another way to say all this is that Artisans live in the Here and Now and don't care a whit for any other time or place.

Artisans base their self-image on being artistic, taking pride in acting with grace and beauty. They want to be seen as bold and audacious, ready to try anything and afraid of nothing. Their supreme self-confidence comes in part from a deep belief that they can adapt to whatever may present itself. They are happiest when they are being stimulated, when they are excited, and so of course they seek out stimulation and variety. Artisans trust their impulses implicitly and don't really bother to reign them in. They yearn to have impact, to make their mark on society, and they prize spontaneous generosity, giving just to have the fun of giving.

Perhaps because they are so opportunistic, Artisans tend to lead via negotiation, using whatever is at hand to wend their way through difficult situations.

I am an INTJ, but I my iNtuitive and Judging aspects are close to the middle of a road, so I exhibit many of the characteristics of an ISTP Crafter Artisan. A love of tools, and a deep knowledge of how each one works and why, when, and how to use each one - that's definitely me!

*** Want a fun job on a great team? I need a tester! Interested? Let's talk: Michael dot J dot Hunter at microsoft dot com. Great coding skills required.

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