What Is an Artist?


Artists are the creators of beauty. Their work reflects their emotions, beliefs and dreams. It’s often the product of a long process, a delicate dance between passion and pragmatism. The path to becoming a full-time artist is unique for everyone, but with persistence and tenacity you can mold your career into the artistic endeavor of your dreams.

The word “artist” has an expansive lexicon of synonyms, ranging from artisan to maestro. Each term carries with it specific nuances, pinpointing different aspects of the broader art world.

In the United States, the Census Bureau defines an artist as someone who makes more than $30,000 a year in income from creative activities. While this doesn’t matter on an individual basis — no gallery will kick artists out for not meeting the criteria — it has a significant impact on national policy. It skews how much money the government appropriates for arts programs and how legislators think about the needs of the art community. It also means that a significant number of people who make their living creating artwork are not classified as artists, even though they meet all of the other criteria.

A more inclusive definition of an artist is offered by a community support organization, Springboard for the Arts in Minnesota. They define an artist as anyone who thinks creatively about the world and their dynamic place in it. This enables them to keep their eyes open to all sorts of inspirations, including things they may not think of as artistic. It’s a deliberately broad definition, with the goal of bringing in more people to the artistic fold.

Art is a form of expression that can be woven into every aspect of our lives. It can be found in the walls of a museum, on the stage of a theater or on the page of a novel. The role of the artist is to reinterpret experiences and ideas in order to connect with others, whether it’s the societal pressures they feel, their childhood, their successes or failures, or the world that surrounds them.

The most important trait of an artist is dedication to their craft. They are constantly searching for ways to improve their craft, and they don’t shy away from hard work or mistakes. They know that the ephemerality of their creations will be fleeting, but they are driven by a passion that pushes them to create works that resonate.

Despite the immense challenges involved in making their dreams a reality, artists find satisfaction in the fact that they are able to turn the invisible into something that can be felt and shared. Their journey is one of persistence and tenacity, and they are unwavering in their quest to give the world a glimpse of their unique perspective. The path to becoming a full-time professional artist is a complex one, but with the right tools and a little bit of luck, you can shape your own artistic destiny. You just need to be brave enough to take the first step.