What is an Artist? (Group Writing Project)

I’m working through a book called The Creative Call, and one of the first questions it asks in its interactive workbook is:

How do you define “artist”?

To clarify this, the book is geared toward anyone who practices some sort of art, including writing, painting, photography, gardening, culinary, weaving, pottery, and “anyone else who uses creativity to bring something new and meaningful into the world.”

So, here’s the question I’m posing to you: How do you define “artist”?

My definition? I would say that an artist is someone who has a longing to create and be creative, and who works at every opportunity to fulfill the creative processes.

(Note on definition above: This was an edit that I thought of last night, but forgot to post. It’s also not exactly the words I thioght of originally, so I may update again when I remember.)

This is my first attempt at a group writing project, in the fashion of ProBlogger’s group writing projects.

You can either post a post on your own blog with your definition, and then let me know by leaving a comment and link here, or you can just leave your definition in a comment here.

I will post a link to your definition and your blog at the end of this post. In the case that this list should grow lengthy due to many participants and links, I’ve created a special page called “Group Writing Projects” which will be located under the “Resources for Writers” page. On the project page I’ll link to this project directly (How do you define “artist”?), and add a link to your blog and (if applicable) your post.

I’m looking forward to reading your definitions of “artist”! Thank you for joining me on this creative journey!

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I'm a wife and mommy first, as well as a social media consultant/manager, editor, and writer. I'm also editor of Musical Reviewer and Houston Theatre Blog.

21 comments on “What is an Artist? (Group Writing Project)
  1. alicia says:

    What a great idea, Julia! When is the deadline?

  2. johno says:

    A though-provoking question. I’m not sure that my definition coincides with yours. I think that an artists are defined not by their intentions but by their works, their “results”. However, I’m not sure. I’ll go away and think about it a little more…

  3. Ally says:

    Just stopping by to check out your blg from WAHM….
    I think there needs to be RESULTS when defining at artist….
    I love the group writing idea!

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  4. PIF says:

    My definition? I would say that an artist is someone who has a longing to create and be creative, and who works at every opportunity to fulfill the creative processes.

    PIF says:
    I would agree except amend it to – an artist is someone who has created something others consider worthwhile and stimulating.

  5. PIF says:

    BTW – I mean this helpfully – your header and left side bar load fast but you content portion loads very slowly.

    Your bookstore section shows only 2.5 rows across.

    This comment box extends into the right side bar- check your widths in the css file. Screen Calipers is helpful in this regard – http://iconico.com/.

  6. johno says:

    “…an artist is someone who has created something others consider worthwhile and stimulating”.

    Is the value of art defined by the worth someone other than the artist attaches to it? If we take this to the extreme, then art would cease to exist if the world were inhabiated by a single individual (no comment, no art!). Any Wittgenstein experts out there?

  7. PIF says:

    Johno – that’s a silly argument – of course an artist is someone who has created something others think worthwhile – else galleries would be filled with junk – oh I see – many galleries are … but then I’m thinking more of the likes of pre-Renaissance art, or writers like Shakespeare, TS Eliot. Modern publishing/art is less art, more sales potential which is why there is so much trash around…

  8. alicia says:

    PIF says:

    I would agree except amend it to – an artist is someone who has created something others consider worthwhile and stimulating.

    I say:

    I disagree with this, and thank you for helping me find my entry for this group writing project šŸ™‚

  9. Julia says:

    PIF – I have made a few changes. See if it loads a bit faster now.

    – Julia

  10. Jennifer says:

    This is a tough one. I guess, hmm…

    “An artist is someone who creates something, anything; a song, pot, or text, with the intention and hope that at least one other human in the world will find that one piece meaningful .”

    Egad, that was hard. I just sat her for who knows how long trying to figure out what I mean. To me art is best when it also provides a service. Like my partner was a potter, now he builds (green preferably) homes. He wants to create pieces that mean something but that are also useful; not just hung on a wall. We use all of his pottery every day to eat with. My writing is mainly service as well. How-to articles, tips, interviews, not abstract. It’s harder for me to grasp the personal essay or poetry (although, I wish I could). That’s why this exercise was so taxing to me I think.

    Good one Julia; for making me think. (although, it is a little late to have to be thinking)

  11. Jennifer says:

    Well, I just sat “HERE” not “her” duh.

  12. alicia says:




  13. writer4web says:

    Hi Julia,

    I liked the idea of the group writing project, and I especially liked your thought provoking 1st question.

    Here is the writer4web answer on how to define an artist :


    I hope that this provides some insight Julia. I look forward to hearing from you.


  14. Vikk says:

    Great idea. I’ll give it some thought and let you know.

  15. Thanks for setting up this great project. I have posted my response with a link back here: http://www.thejunkyswife.com/2007/06/what-is-artist.html

  16. Mig says:

    Well, I wrote a small entry about this too. It’s on my blogger blog because I participate in Liz’s group project too (What’s your blogging metaphor) and I’ll post the entry today. But the answer to “What is an Artist?” is waiting for you here

    A great theme, Julia. I’m waiting for more. šŸ™‚

  17. PIF says:

    yes it does load faster but this comment box is still too large for the space – you seem to have a file named comments-template

  18. PIF says:

    this got chopped by wp – this file may contain the css for the comment box width which should be set to something around or less than 908px (same as #container, .topmenu, #header fields in your styles.css file. I say less than since you have a wide greenish margin within which the comments should fit.
    PIF – hope this helps

  19. My definition:

    An artist is a person who expresses an idea, an emotion, a vision or scene in visible, tangible, audible or written form.

  20. Well Said, i like your definition for artist.

    Hmmm in my point of view i can define an Artist supposed to be as a Creative thinker who has the ability to reveals it out in a creative way.

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