Am I an artist?

By Ian | 25 September, 2012

Over the last few weeks I have been asked if I am an artist. My answer has always been “No”.


Because for me an artist was somebody who had perhaps studied the arts, paints /sculptures/video-creation regularly but had definitely had a couple of exhibitions.

In the mean time, my awareness or “definition” is slowly changing.

In everyday speech it refers to a practitioner in the visual arts, or a musician and other performer.

“Wiktionary” defines the “artist”:

  • A person who creates art.
  • A person who creates art as an occupation.
  • A person who is skilled at some activity.

The “Oxford English Dictionary” has a broader meaning:

  • A learned person or Master of Arts
  • One who pursues a practical science, traditionally medicine, astrology, alchemy, chemistry
  • A follower of a pursuit in which skill comes by study or practice
  • A follower of a manual art, such as a mechanic
  • One who makes their craft a fine art
  • One who cultivates one of the fine arts – traditionally the arts presided over by the muses

“” definition is:

  • creative person (a person whose creative work shows sensitivity and imagination).

“Wikipedia” general definition is more:

  • An artist also may be defined unofficially as “a person who expresses him- or herself through a medium”.
  • The word is also used in a qualitative sense of, a person creative in, innovative in, or adept at, an artistic practice.
  • people who use imagination, talent, or skill to create works that may be judged to have an aesthetic value.

And what is “Art”?

Wikipedia again:

  • The word art is derived from the Latin “ars”, which, although literally defined means, “skill method” or “technique”, holds a connotation of beauty.

Then we have the splitting of the definition into:

  • fine arts - items resulting out of the intellectual skills/process
  • applied arts - items resulting from manual skills

Some people say that the arts have to please, have to provoke, to change the way we live.

I have a creative urge. Looking back at on what I have visionised, visualised, specified and created I have definitely been an artist using intellectual skills at a high level, conjuring up “things” out of nowhere.

An example of such things is a technical high level conceptual paper or a technical system, which for a normal art critic, is not understandable but for an engineer has aesthetic beauty, perhaps in its design or form, These things are printed, manufactured, are exhibited, and change our world.

I have also sketched, painted, created videos, designed jewelry.

So the answer now is “Yes, I was, I am and will be artist”