An artist is a person who exercises the arts and produces artistic works. The definition of the term, therefore, will be associated with what is understood by art.
From the Latin ars, art consists of the expression of sensations, emotions and ideas through plastic, linguistic or sound resources. The concept allows us to encompass the creations that human beings make to express their sensitive vision of the real or imaginary world.
The notion of art has changed throughout history and, with it, the meaning of an artist. The prehistoric men who painted the Altamira caves, for example, are considered artists today. Medieval artisans, Renaissance engravers, and Greek architects are also artists, as are today’s painters, sculptors, musicians, writers, and cartoonists.
Among the many types of artists that exist, we should highlight poets, novelists, playwrights, painters, sculptors, musicians, singers …
The list of classes of artists that exist is vast, and the list of characters that due to their qualities in any of those arts have managed to become true milestones in world history is also very extensive. Among the most significant would be the following:
Leonardo da Vinci. His versatility and high quality in each and every one of the types of art he practiced were two of the main hallmarks of the one who became a key figure of the Renaissance. His most significant works include paintings such as “La Gioconda” or “The Last Supper”, without forgetting the drawing of “The Vitruvian Man”.
Miguel Angel. Within the field of painting, architecture and sculpture it was where this artist especially stood out, who has become one of the most important figures of all time. It was in the Renaissance that this personage who has bequeathed us works such as the “Sistine Chapel”, St. Peter’s Basilica or the “David” was present.
Diego Velázquez, Cervantes, Picasso, Mozart or Beethoven are other artists who have become indisputable figures who have gone down in history for their talent, their qualities, and their works, which come to reflect that they were true geniuses of painting, literature or music.
It is possible to distinguish between fine arts and other minor artistic manifestations. In this sense, the definition of artist will also come into play. A person who is dedicated to drawing comics or comics can be considered an artist by some, while others will not include it in the category.
There are also different qualities in artistic works. Painting is generally part of art. But not all people who paint pictures receive the nickname of the artist. In some cases, even, a subject can define himself as an artist despite not receiving such social recognition.
It should be noted that art is associated with human practices for having an aesthetic or symbolic intention. Some zoos or trainers have had animals like dolphins or monkeys paint pictures, although hardly anyone can consider them as artists.
What does an artist need to be an artist?
Being a visual artist in most countries is difficult, personally I have often asked myself: Why did I choose this path? if in my country it is almost impossible to live from art and it is even frowned upon that a woman decides to dedicate herself to this, in more practical terms, dedicating herself to art is seen as a complete “professional failure” compared to other professions, that is, nobody would ever doubt from someone who wants to dedicate themselves to medicine or the administration of a company, but when mentioning that you are dedicated to art they even suggest that this is just a hobby that they hope will soon go out of style for you and you dedicate yourself to a true profession.
So if it is almost impossible to live from art, why want to dedicate yourself to that?
The artist finds in art a way of living, I am not talking about subsisting, but of using art as its engine. An artist not only likes art, but always has the need to express himself through it, it is more than just putting a few brushstrokes, it is leaving in each work a part of himself. We summarize then that for the artist, art is one of his greatest reasons for living.
Now, it is important to mention that in this journey some basic qualities are necessary in addition to passion and love of art, qualities that will help us to go from simple draftsmen to artists. For example:
1) Talent – This is essential, that is, it is not something that can be negotiated with, if it is not there is nothing that can be done because it comes from the factory; it is carried in the veins, it is a birthmark. Now, yes it is, it can always be developed and taken to better levels. In children, if artistic practices are encouraged from an early age, they can show whether they have skills or not.
2) Technique – Without technique, talent is conditioned. It is always transcendental to know about painters, art history, techniques, in short, there are so many concepts that can help us refine.
Every day something new is learned, without a doubt in the life of other artists there is where to take lessons for those who we are undertaking, the one who thinks he knows everything does not fit or by force in the art world, because it is a world of incessant change.
An artist with a well-developed technique has in his hands a great capacity for expression, I am of the opinion that an artist should move freely between various techniques, without fear. An artist must know how to paint everything.
3) Sensitivity – Today it is difficult to find an artist with a good technique, but it is even more difficult to find an artist endowed with sensitivity, someone who not only moves through an “artistic current”, but is capable of feeling color and shape in a different way, something beyond being part of the “artistic movement of the moment” does not give it.
One of the biggest challenges for an artist is to get colors, shapes, spaces, etc. they combine with each other and speak to others with their own language embedded in their work.
In art words are superfluous because he is able to speak without words when seen he is capable of transmitting emotions, that is why sensitivity is something necessary, of course, sensitization is something that can develop over the years, looking, of course he is not reading, as I said before: the abundance of words is not relevant to art.
4) Vocation – As I already mentioned, becoming an artist will not be an easy thing, liking and knowing about art is not enough to be an artist.
Now, as we already mentioned that living from art is almost impossible, the remuneration is not enough, that is, the vocation should not be confused with the illusion of becoming a well-paid art professional.
Repeat it daily: “Living from art is not the same as living for art”
Vocation reminds you on a daily basis that art is carried in the soul, rather than in your pocket, although the path is very difficult sooner or later the true vocation emerges.
5) Discipline – In my opinion, it is just as valuable and necessary as the others, but it is one of the most satisfying, throughout my short career as an emerging artist I have seen parades of great talents with perfect techniques, some others full of Impressive sensitivity but both are no more than just that, good cartoonists.
But I have also seen simple talents, with current technique, become the most assiduous artists due to the discipline with which they carried out their works daily.
Discipline is what helps you by whispering in your ear, you are doing well, but you can go better, or you are better, but you can give more, in a few words discipline will never tell you: “Genius, you have nothing else to learn!”
These are the qualities that in my opinion are precise in all artists. I don’t doubt that they will find more or that others will work for others, but in my own experience, this is the marked path, this is what an artist needs to be an Artist.