An artist is usually a individual engaged in a creative activity relating to making art, practising the arts, or presenting an artistic creation. The term in both academic and everyday speech refers generally to a professional in the visual arts only, except when specified as an artist in a specific category. In the United States, the term refers generally to an artist who lives in this country and who has made contributions to the culture of that nation. A person is not necessarily an artist but may be described as an artist according to certain criteria. To complicate the issue, there are various types of art practice and definition.
Musicians are people who make music for themselves or others. Usually, musicians perform for the enjoyment of others, and create music to share with others. As such, it would be inaccurate to say that all musicians are artists. However, just because a musician chooses to focus on creating music rather than displaying art in its form, does not mean that the musician is not an artist. For instance, if a guitarist plays popular music rather than classical, his or her music is not considered a classic and is not considered art.
Another distinction between the two areas is that musicians may have many influences to their work. On the other hand, artists have only one or few influences. It is also true that many musicians have several musical ideas flowing through their head at any given time. However, the creation of a musical idea in the mind of a musician is different from the creation of a musical idea in the mind of an artist. An artist creates musical ideas in her or his mind and brings those ideas to life by expressing them in sound.
Film and television artists are not considered to be true musicians because their works are produced in a studio and not on a sound stage. Film artists are required to use musical equipment and employ a band to play and record their music. Film music is created in a different way than that of music composed for the piano, guitar, drums, and other instruments. Film musicians create their music in a more collaborative way than that of musicians who are performing live. Film composers and performers work more individually than traditional musicians who are performing in front of an audience.
John Williams is a famous American artist, composer, and performer known for his unique style of classical guitar playing. Williams began his musical career as a member of the Yardbirds, and later went on to compose some of the most innovative and beautiful songs of modern day pop and jazz music. Williams started learning to play the acoustic guitar when he was a teenager, and through years of playing different types of musical instrument, came up with his unique style of guitar playing.
When we think about the definition of an artist, one must understand that both artistic individuals and artists are subjective entities, and that there is no hard and fast definition as to what constitutes an artist. The definitions that are listed in this article are simply used as a starting point for comparing two artists, and are not meant to be taken as gospel or as accurate representations of every artist who ever lived. Because of this, it should be clearly understood that the definition of what an artist actually is, and how one defines the artist, is a very subjective matter.