An artist is usually an individual engaged in a creative activity relating to producing art, practising the arts, or showing an art in its form. The term artist can sometimes be applied to a single individual, whilst at other times it is used to describe an ensemble of artists, whether planned or spontaneous. The most common use in academic speech and everyday language refers generally to a creator in the visual arts alone. However, this usage can also apply to a collective creator who may have no fixed gender, for example, T.S. Eliot, whose works still delight many people today.
A truly artist must display, in all or some of their work, the ability to relate to people on a personal level. The ability to “get inside” the minds and feelings of others is an essential quality. Being able to interpret the emotional meanings behind the designs of different artistic mediums is another critical skill. Being imaginative and having the courage to confront the difficulties inherent in conceptualizing and visualizing artistic forms are other important traits.
In contemporary society, the term “art” can seem to lose its meaning, with the proliferation of media-based art, movies, and other visual means of conveying ideas and concepts. Art becomes a somewhat abstract pursuit, with a potentially infinite number of interpretations. This allows the artistic medium to be anything and everything that an artist can imagine, challenge, and create within the parameters of their own personal ethics, aesthetic vision, and understanding of the human experience.
While the artist may differ fundamentally about the message they wish to communicate, the overall purpose of the artwork remains the same: to convey an idea, to beautify the senses, and to beautify the world. No meaningful artist would consider themselves to be merely an artist, unless that artist was willing to transcend themselves and their art to become one with the masses. What all artists have in common, regardless of genre, style, or message, is that they share the vision of their artistic soul. Each artist must constantly strive to keep an open mind to new opportunities, and learn to welcome criticism, no matter how constructive it may be.
The most important quality required of an artist is their commitment to continually develop and improve themselves and their art through personal introspection and observation. Through this process of self-discovery, artists begin to learn more about themselves and about the nature of their own creations. At the heart of this exploration is the need for the artist to be constantly open to their own feelings and their creative ramblings. As a result, many contemporary artists have written countless songs and poetry based on their internal dialogues and wanderings about their inner lives.
Ultimately, each artist creates art as an expression of their personal experiences and a gift to humanity. However, many artists share these same beliefs with each other and work together toward a common goal. The fact of the matter is that artists have a responsibility to each other as individuals and to the world at large. Artists must continue to explore each other’s beauty, and seek to share their humanity in their art.