What Is an Artist?

An artist creates and displays work in the fine arts, such as painting, music, literature or dance. These creators use their craft to express ideas or perspectives, often challenging or reflecting societal norms. Their works not only depict aesthetic beauty but also evoke emotion, inspire discussion and instigate dialogue.

While it is possible to define art as an activity field, the more useful approach is to view it as a concept that encompasses various aspects of human life and experience. At the most basic level, art is a fundamental human instinct for balance and harmony. It is an aspect of being human beyond utilitarian function and is a way to experience the mysterious in our universe. It is a means to appreciate the beauty of the world around us. Art is the ultimate expression of the imagination. It is a tool that allows us to communicate with the invisible and to imagine the unimaginable.

Traditionally, the word artist has referred to a master of a particular art form and has been synonymous with the term artisan. However, as the arts have become more democratized and accessible to all, it has also come to be used to describe anyone who practices a creative discipline, regardless of their background or education. Artists are unique in their ability to transform the world through their talent, skill, and creative imagination.

For some, art is a profession, where they produce works to meet client expectations. For others, it is a practice that is deeply rooted in their identity, and is an integral part of how they see themselves in relation to the world around them. Whether their medium is painting, photography, sculpture or dance, an artist’s greatest critic is themselves, and they strive to bring out the best in their work to fully express their talents.

As a career, an artist can be characterized by the following characteristics:

Professional Development

Throughout their careers, artists are committed to continuous growth and learning. They participate in professional development activities, attend workshops and conferences, and take additional courses to expand their creative repertoire. They also seek out feedback and critiques from peers to strengthen their work.

In the digital age, many artists have opted to pursue an independent career. This has allowed them to control their branding, marketing and distribution, and offers unparalleled creative freedom. While this path can be highly rewarding, it also presents challenges as the artist is responsible for managing all aspects of their business.

In addition to their creative work, artists are often involved in the administration of their studios and facilities. They may also be responsible for securing exhibition opportunities, managing finances, and maintaining studio inventory. Artists are often paid a fee or commission for their creations, and may receive compensation from clients when their work is purchased or sold. They are also responsible for sourcing materials, scheduling meetings and events, and communicating with clients. They may also be required to travel to various locations as part of their work.