What Is an Artist?


A person who creates works of artistic value, such as paintings or sculptures. Artists may also work in the fields of photography, filmmaking, and graphic design. The term is also used to describe those who practice the performing arts, such as actors and singers. Artists often have a deep connection to their work, and many find satisfaction in sharing their creativity with others.

Whether they are known for their paintings or their sculptures, the work of an artist can have a broad impact on the world. Artists play a crucial role in society by challenging norms, questioning assumptions, reflecting social issues, and preserving cultural heritage. Art can even spark dialogue and encourage change.

While it is possible to become an artist through a formal training program, most artists are self-taught. This often involves a lot of experimentation, practice, and perseverance. It is important for artists to remain open to constructive criticism and continue learning about new techniques and skills to expand their creative horizons. Artists must be able to see beyond their own failures in order to grow.

Artists typically manage their own schedules, and their work can be solitary or collaborative depending on the nature of their projects. They can face long hours of intense concentration and physical demands based on their medium and genre, such as the need for meticulous control in sculpture or detailed illustration or the weight of large-scale installations. Artists can also be involved in inter-disciplinary collaboration, working with marketing to create visuals that align with brand messaging or with R&D to visualize concepts.

The term artist has been used throughout history to describe a wide variety of creative people, from painters and sculptors to photographers and filmmakers, and even tattooists and makeup artists. While the work of these creative individuals can seem esoteric and abstract to non-creatives, it is important for the world to remember the power and value of their creative contributions.

The word “artist” is derived from the French noun artiste, which means “person who makes art.” This definition is reflected in the wide range of styles and disciplines that are considered art today—from painting to drawing to printmaking to sculpture to dance to architecture. Each type of art has its own unique mediums, techniques and style that define and distinguish it from other forms of expression. These creative expressions are woven into the fabric of culture and enrich the diversity of human experience.