Artisans are most at home in the real world of solid objects that can be made and manipulated, and of real-life events that can be experienced in the here and now. Artisans have exceptionally keen senses, and love working with their hands. They seem right at home with tools, instruments, and vehicles of all kinds, and their actions are usually aimed at getting them where they want to go, and as quickly as possible. Thus Artisans will strike off boldly down roads that others might consider risky or impossible, doing whatever it takes, rules or no rules, to accomplish their goals. This devil-may-care attitude also gives the Artisans a winning way with people, and they are often irresistibly charming with family, friends, and co-workers.
They believe that variety is the spice of life, and that doing things that aren't fun or exciting is a waste of time. Artisans are impulsive, adaptable, competitive, and believe the next throw of the dice will be the lucky one. They can also be generous to a fault, always ready to share with their friends from the bounty of life. Above all, Artisans need to be free to do what they wish, when they wish. They resist being tied or bound or confined or obligated; they would rather not wait, or save, or store, or live for tomorrow. In the Artisan view, today must be enjoyed, for tomorrow never comes.
There are many Artisans, perhaps 30 to 35 percent of the population, which is good, because they create much of the beauty, grace, fun, and excitement the rest of us enjoy in life.
Although all Artisans share core characteristics, not all of them are the same. In Keirsey's observations, he noted that there were four kinds of Artisans. They are: the Artisan Promoter (ESTP), Artisan Crafter (ISTP), Artisan Performer (ESFP), and Artisan Composer (ISFP).
Promoters live with a theatrical flourish which makes even the most routine events seem exciting. Not that they waste much time on routine events. In work and in play, Promoters demand new activities and new challenges. Bold and daring at heart, and ever-optimistic that things will go their way, Promoters will take tremendous risks to get what they want, and seem exhilarated by walking close to the edge of disaster.
Crafters are most clearly seen in their masterful operation of tools, equipment, machines, and instruments of all kinds. Most of us use tools in some capacity, of course, but Crafters (as much as ten percent of the population) are the true masters of tool work, with an innate ability to command tools and to become expert at all the crafts requiring tool skills. Even from an early age they are drawn to tools as if to a magnet -- tools fall into their hands demanding use, and they must work with them. Crafters are hard to get to know.
Performers have the special ability, even among the Artisans, to delight those around them with their warmth, their good humor, and with their often extraordinary skills in music, comedy, and drama. Whether on the job, with friends, or with their families, Performers are exciting and full of fun, and their great social interest lies in stimulating those around them to take a break from work and worry, to lighten up and enjoy life.
Composers are in tune with their senses, and so have a sure grasp of what belongs, and what doesn't belong, in all kinds of works of art. While the other Artisans are skilled with people, tools, and entertainment, Composers have an exceptional ability to work with subtle differences in color, tone, texture, aroma, and flavor. Although Composers often put long, lonely hours into their artistry, they are just as impulsive as the other Artisans.