Artisan temperament

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The Artisan temperament is one of four temperaments defined by David Keirsey. Correlating with the SP (sensing–perceiving) Myers-Briggs types, the Artisan temperament comprises the following role variants (listed with their correlating Myers-Briggs types): Composer (ISFP), Crafter (ISTP), Performer (ESFP), and Promoter (ESTP).[1]


Artisans are concrete in speech and utilitarian in pursuing their goals. Their greatest strength is tactical variation. Their most developed intelligence role is that of either the Operator (Promoters and Crafters) or the Entertainer (Performers and Composers).

As the stimulation-seeking temperament, Artisans prefer to live one day at a time. They may spontaneously pursue activities that offer fun or pleasure. Artisans tend to be more permissive as parents than the other temperaments,[1] wanting their children to explore and enjoy the world.

Interests: In education, Artisans tend to seek work involving operations and equipment,[2] which could range from a scalpel to a fighter jet.

Orientation: Artisans live in the here and now. They want to enjoy the present moment. They tend to be optimistic about the future and cynical about the past, believing that life is a series of risks or random events without any larger pattern or meaning.

Self-image: The Artisans' self-esteem is rooted in their grace and artistry; their self-respect in their boldness; and their self-confidence in their adaptability.

Values: Artisans perform well when in a state of restless energy. "They are excitable as children and they never seem to get less excitable as they grow up."[2] They seek stimulation and trust their impulses. Prone to spontaneous acts, they want to make an impact on others. They aspire to virtuosity, taking great pleasure in practicing and mastering their technique in the pursuits that interest them.

Social roles: In romantic relationships, Artisans want a playmate, someone who can share in the pleasure and excitement they seek. As parents, Artisans are liberators, exposing their children to a wide variety of activities, encouraging them to push beyond their limits, and guiding them toward independence and self-sufficiency.


As a defense mechanism, Artisans may respond with denial, insisting that a fact is untrue despite overwhelming evidence.[3] Since Artisans feel a need to make an impact and to be spontaneous, they become stressed when their ability to do these things becomes constrained. Boredom is another source of stress for Artisans. When under stress, they can become reckless, and they may retaliate against the source of the stress. Providing Artisans with options, such as new ways to make an impact and new activities, can relieve the stress.[1]

Traits in common with other temperaments[edit]

Keirsey identified the following traits of the Artisan temperament:[1]

  • Concrete in communication (like Guardians)

Artisans are realistic. They want to experience events in the moment. They enjoy manipulating concrete objects, whether for practical or artistic purposes.

  • Pragmatic in pursuing their goals (like Rationals)

Artisan take pride in bold and unconventional behavior. They aren't interested in following a rule if they don't see how it serves a practical purpose.


According to Keirsey:

  • Composers are tactical entertainers, concrete in speech and utilitarian in action. In social situations, they are informative and attentive.[2] Grounded in the here and now, Composers are extremely sensitive to their environment. They are attuned to the perceptions of their five senses even more than other sensing types are. They notice any little variations in their physical world or in the people around them. They are very sensitive to balance and understand well what does or does not fit, whether in a work of art or any other aspect of their lives. Composers are sensitive and sympathetic in the face of human suffering. In addition to working in the Arts, they may find fulfillment in a type of social service, where they can assist the needy.[4]
  • Crafters are tactical operators, concrete in speech and utilitarian in action.[2] Crafters tend to be drawn toward using tools of any type—artistic (musical instruments), technological (computers), or martial (weapons). Although they are introverts, they are authoritative in their interactions with others and can be forceful. They focus on accomplishing tasks efficiently and skillfully. To master the tool of their interest, Crafters require a certain degree of seclusion in which to practice. The result is often a virtuosity that other types find difficult to match.[5]
  • Performers are tactical entertainers, concrete in speech and utilitarian in action. In social situations, they are informative and expressive.[2] The most fun-loving of all the types, Performers excel at delighting others with their artistry and humor. They continually seek stimulating experiences with those around them. Performers dislike being alone, which is seldom a problem because they naturally attract the attention of other people. They live in the fast lane, keeping abreast of the latest trends. They are drawn to sensory pleasure, sometimes without thought for the consequences. Though Performers are more subject to temptation than the other types, their zest for enjoying life is mostly a healthy pursuit. Incurable optimists, they are generous to a fault. They live in the moment and trust that tomorrow will take care of itself.[6]
  • Promoters are tactical operators, concrete in speech and utilitarian in action. In social situations, they are directive and expressive.[2] Promoters are the most adept among the types at maneuvering other people to their position. They make a point of getting to know those in positions of influence. Promoters are also resourceful, knowing where the fun and the action are. They like to indulge themselves in the finer things in life and to bring other people with them. Their goal in life is to sell themselves and their schemes to others. Dramatic and debonair, they are gifted at earning others' confidence.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d " Portrait of the Artisan". Retrieved 2011-04-18.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Keirsey, David (1998). Please Understand Me II: Temperament, Character, Intelligence. Del Mar, CA: Prometheus Nemesis Book Company. ISBN 1-885705-02-6.
  3. ^ Rodionova, D.E. (2007). "Specifics of defensive-coping strategies in connection with typological characteristics of the personality". Psychological Science and Education (in Russian). Moscow, Russia (2007, N5): 259–266.
  4. ^ " Portrait of the Composer". Retrieved 2009-04-04.
  5. ^ "Keirsey Portrait of the Crafter". Retrieved 2018-05-15.
  6. ^ "Keirsey Portrait of the Performer". Retrieved 2019-08-27.
  7. ^ "Keirsey Portrait of the Promoter". Retrieved 2019-08-27.

External links[edit]