What is it. An interpretive craft? A developed skill? A spiritual gift handed down from - enlightened being of your choice?
I don't know. But we tend to struggle with the definition of what makes art Art and not a craft.
Take for example the act of custom/scratch building a model kit or figure. First it is imperative to define what is a custom, what is a bash and what is scratch building.
Custom - As its name implies, the definition of the custom project includes the act of taking pieces and making them different in some fashion. For example: a piece can be considered custom if any one part or more are repainted, re-sculpted, modified in some way as to not be considered stock or out of the box.
Bash - A bash is simply a collection of pieces from two or more models/figures, compiled to make another piece. Not much to talk about here.
Scratch build - Pretty straight forward here: a scratch build is something made from raw materials. Can be machined, by hand, using molds, etc. The objective here is to have the majority of the piece made from 'scratch'. A scratch build can include some pieces 'out of the box' and still be considered a scratch build. For example. I am working on an astronaut helmet that is not available in the retail market. I started with a clear, quarter-round piece of clear acrylic for the face shield. Beyond that, the rest of the helmet is sculpted by hand. This can still be considered a scratch build because although the clear piece was already made, I used it for something other than it's original purpose.
So of these definitions, is one more likely than the other to be considered art and why? If at the end of your project, you have something you made, something that did not exist prior to the start of your project, than could that not be considered art?
Why do we care. Why is it important for some people to have a clear understanding, a definitive set of words that make an attempt to interpret what it is we really cannot put into words? Is that not the reason Art exists in the first place?