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'Artist' is a descriptive term applied to a person who engages in an activity deemed to be an art. It is also used in a qualitative sense of a person creative in, innovative in, or adept at, an artistic practice.

Most often, the term describes those who create within a context of 'high culture', activities such as drawing, painting, sculpture, acting, dancing, writing, filmmaking, photography and music — people who use imagination, and talent or skill, to create works that can be judged to have an aesthetic value. Art historians and critics will define as artists those who produce art within a recognised or recognisable discipline.

The term is also used to denote highly skilled people in non-"arts" activities, as well — crafts, medicine, alchemy, mechanics, mathematics, defense (martial arts) and architecture, for example. The designation is applied to illegal activities, like a "scam artist". The term 'artist' could also refer to a con artist.

There is no consensus about what constitutes "art" or who is, or is not, an "artist". Often, discussions on the subject focus on the differences between "artist" and "technician" or "entertainer," or "artisan," "fine art" and "applied art," or what constitutes art and what does not. In addition, the French word 'artiste' (which in French, simply means "artist") has been imported into the English language; in English-usage it has connotations (some of them derogatory) which differ somewhat from the English term artist.

The Oxford English dictionary, cites broad meanings of the term "artist,"
* A learned person or Master of Arts.
:* One who pursues a practical science, traditionally medicine, astrology, alchemy, chemistry.
:* A follower of a pursuit in which skill comes by study or practice - the opposite of a theorist.
:* A follower of a manual art, such as a mechanic.
:* One who makes their craft a fine art.
:* One who cultivates one of the fine arts - traditionally the arts presided over by the muses.
(referenced from: {{cite book | author=C. T. Onions | title=The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary | publisher=Clarendon Press Oxford | year=1991 | id=ISBN 0-19-861126-9}})
In Greek the word "techně" is often mistranslated into "art." In actuality, "techně" implies mastery of a craft (any craft.) The Latin-derived form of the word is "tecnicus", from which the English words technique, technology, technical are derived. Our word art is derived from the Latin "ars", which, though literally defined means "skill method" or "technique", holds a connotation of beauty.
Many contemporary definitions of "artist" and "art" are highly contingent on culture, resisting aesthetic prescription, in much the same way that the features constituting beauty and the beautiful cannot be easily standardized without corruption into kitsch.

Examples of art and artist

* Actor: Samantha Morton
* Architect: Antoni Gaudi
* Ballet: Ivan Petrov
* Calligraphy: Hokusai
* Ceramicist: Lucie Rie
* Choreographer: Martha Graham
* Collagist: Cecil Touchon
* Comics: Will Eisner
* Composer: Giuseppe Fortunino Francesco Verdi
* Conceptual artist: Vanessa Beecroft
* Digital collage: Istvan Horkay
* Digital photographer: Daniel Lee Xiao Jing
* Dancer: Isadora Duncan
* Entertainer: PT Barnum
* Fashion designer: Alexander McQueen
* Neo-Figurative Artist: Veronica Ruiz de Velasco
* Figure Skater:Michelle Kwan
* Flop art: Ray Johnson
* Game designer: Shigeru Miyamoto
* Graphic designer: Saul Bass
* Horticulture: André le Notre
* Illusionist: Houdini
* Impressionist: Claude Monet
* Industrial designer: Pininfarina
* Jeweller: Fabergé
* Movie director: Sergei Eisenstein
* Muralist: Diego Rivera
* Musician: Niccolo Paganini
* Novelist: Dostoevsky
* Musical instrument maker: Stradivari
* Orator: Cicero
* Outsider Art: Henry Darger
* Painter: Rembrandt
* Performance Art: Istvan Kantor
* Photographer: Robert Mapplethorpe
* Pianist: Glenn Gould
* Playwright: Alan Bennett
* Poet: William Shakespeare
* Potter: Peter Voulkos
* Printmaker: Albrecht Durer
* Sculptor: Michelangelo Buonarotti
* Typographer: Jan Tschichold

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Artist".