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What Is an Artist?

10 min read

Artists make and conceptualize much of the world we live in today. Their ability to conceptualize and consciously create something new with only their imagination makes the world much brighter and easier to navigate. Moreover, What exactly is an artist and what does it take to be considered one? Is it just a term assigned to those who enjoy drawing, is there more behind what an artist is and what they do? Let us quickly examine what an artist is and how you can also become one. You might be surprised about the true definition of an artist and what you are about to learn when it comes to making a living as an artist.

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Definition of an Artist

An artist is anyone capable of conceptualizing an emotion, idea, or moment, or of more value, someone who can express themselves using their imagination. Art is considered any creative work whether it is a painting, a sign, a poem, a sculpture, or even a tattoo. An artist doesn’t necessarily have to work with the common materials associated with the arts to be considered an artist.

 Every artist was first an amateur. Ralph Waldo Emerson

So you may ask, is an artist anyone interested in art?

While the answer might be yes, there is a bit more that goes into what makes someone an artist.

What Is The Role of an Artist?

It’s undeniable that artists have been a significant aspect of society from the beginning of time. Art has been used as a form of expression, education, and a way to make sense of the world around us for centuries. From as old as hunters’ drawings of their hunting plans and prays, to Egyptian hieroglyphs, to the modern use of art to design buildings and advertising campaigns, art is needed in almost every aspect of our daily lives.

This is exactly where artists come in. They’ve been assigned the delicate role to make sense of the world helping us make meaning of the unexplainable. This is while sharing some of their talents to help make the world a little brighter for us. This can be with their music, their films, their books, their poems, their drawings, their abstract paintings, or something as simple as asmr content.

Artists perceive the world from a fresh perspective. To an artist, there is always something new to learn or unlearn. Even their mistakes are a chance to learn and improve. Artists oftentimes don’t wait for inspiration or opportunity to come knocking at their door, but make sure to seek it and keep an open mind. For an artist, everything they touch, hear, taste, smell, or look at is a possible inspiration.

Artists are unique. To be an artist, one is to be authentic. There is no room for artists to try to be like the rest, this is the easiest way to fail in any artistic field or industry.

An artist’s main critic is themselves. Finally, an artist is never worried about what others might say or think of their skills, personality, unique style, or way of seeing the world. An artist is loyal to his or her talents.

Artists embrace the way they express themselves and worry little if others like or dislike the way they choose to find meaning in the smallest of things. Moreover, while artists are their biggest supporters, at the same time, an artist’s biggest critic is him or herself, as they constantly push themselves to give their full potential.

What education is needed to become an artist

While artists are innovators and often rule breakers, it is not uncommon for many to go through some sort of schooling or training before starting their artistic career. While there is no formal education requirement for artists, many chose to acquire an undergraduate degree in some sort of creative major whether it be art appreciation or something like graphic design.

The truth is, education will vary for every artist based on their particular skills, interests, and industry. For example, a make-up artist will often go through cosmetology schooling, a filmmaker will often pursue a film degree, music artists will consider signing lessons or songwriting training, and so forth.

Education often offers a good foundation, nonetheless, I think we can agree experience and practice are often the best teachers when it comes to an artistic career. Also, those with education are by no means more of an artist than those who found themselves successful through self-training or mere talent.

Do artists charge for their work?

While there are many who enjoy doing art for the mere purpose of appreciation, hobby, or as volunteer work, most artists that choose to make a career or living from their skills and have made a name for themselves charge either hourly, salary or per project.

What is an artist’s fee?

An artist fee is typically determined by the artist. Fees are more common for independent or freelance artists. They are also usually different for every project and vary based on hours required, experience needed, the complexity of the proposed artwork, location, and a few other factors. For example, a make-up artist may charge an hourly fee for a two-hour session or choose to set a specific price for the finished work. This is how artists get to make a living out of their art.

As an artist grows in experience, gains popularity, and builds a bigger client base, they’ll be able to slowly raise their prices and charge higher fees. Some artists also choose to sell their work online or at local events, which allows them to set their own prices or fees.

What Is an independent artist?

You may be now wondering what’s an independent artist. Is it someone who makes art on his or her own without any supervision or deadlines, who gets to make money from their art without the need for a schedule? Well, as good as it sounds, a little more realistic, an independent artist is someone who is not bound to one client or company, or that chooses to work under a temporary contract. As an independent artist, you’re usually paid a commission or in some cases per project, while getting to work under a schedule you set yourself.

As an independent writer, it’s unlikely you’ll need to report daily to your supervisor or work a specific amount of hours per week. Moreover, this can sometimes be required under an independent contract. The reason many artists choose to work independently is that it provides them the freedom to find more clients, the ability to end the contract whenever they wish, and requires less supervision and more freedom to make their own schedules.

What is an artist’s commission?

As an artist, you might also hear the term “artist commission.” This is similar to an artist’s fee, with the difference being that the artist agrees to work under a contract in which the commissioner typically agrees to pay the artist for his skill and labor and not for the sale of finished artwork or pieces. This is different than a contract for sale, which refers to the sale of an artist’s work.

What Does It Mean to Be An Artist?

As technology continues to take over, as we spent more time indoors looking at screens, as we have less and less time to spend watching and making sense of the world around us due to our hectic schedules, artists make sure that creative side and stimulus needed and required as part of the human experience and our creative nature is kept safe. This is whether it is with their murals, movies, songs, or even books. We have the artists to thank for keeping our sense of wonder and curiosity alive.


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About the author

Max has been working in the ecommerce industry for the last six years helping brands to establish and level-up content marketing and SEO. Despite that, he has experience with entrepreneurship. He is a fiction writer in his free time.

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