The Designer Artist Dilemma

By June 15, 2018 No Comments

For the longest time I have been plagued with was the idea that I needed to either be an artist or a designer, and that both could not exist simultaneously. When I think about it now, it sounds ridiculous having wasted so much time and mental bandwidth on the topic. It simply wasn’t necessary and has a very simple and obvious answer. Yes, yes, yes! The two do exist simultaneously. Matter of fact it could be said that they need each other, so let’s explore that. But first let’s give ourselves a base understanding of the two words.


The definitions of an artist and designer

Artist definition:

  • a person who produces paintings or drawings as a profession or hobby.
    “a mural artist”
  • a person who practices any of the various creative arts, such as a sculptor, novelist, poet, or filmmaker.
  • a person skilled at a particular task or occupation.
    “a surgeon who is an artist with the scalpel”

Designer definition:

  • a person who plans the form, look, or workings of something before its being made or built, typically by drawing it in detail.
    “he’s one of the world’s leading car designers”
  • made by or having the expensive sophistication of a famous and prestigious fashion designer.
    “a designer label”
  • upscale and fashionable.
    “designer food”

Looking at these definitions it is clear to see that the two are not exclusive. Many design professions require us to have the ability to draw in order to express our thinking and bring concepts to life. Our abilities within the arts (drawing, painting, sculpting, etc.) allow us to sell and in most cases form the final product or solution. Isn’t our ability to solve a problem the entire point of being a designer? Yes, our profession has many disciplines and our solutions show up across various mediums and that’s okay it’s the beauty of what we do.


Embrace both your artist and designer

If you or anyone you know is battling with the idea of artist vs designer remind them that though there are differences they do not need to compete. In fact the better your ability to design or more control and precision you will have over the story of a painting or any other creative art. The better your artistic abilities, the more freedom you will have to present and form not only beautiful solutions but ones that communicate clearly as well.

Take some time to paint something every now and then you’ll be surprised at how much your creativity will expand on your next design project. Don’t get caught in labels just try and be a better version of yourself then you were the day before.

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