These Are 4 Basic Terms Every Artist Should Understand

As an artist, it’s important to understand certain basic terms used in the industry because they will help you have a better appreciation of the category of art your work falls under. This is especially important as you are working towards building your brand and defining what you do as an artist.

1 Understanding fine art

Fine art is a term used to describe the type of art that is produced by an artist primarily for its aesthetic appeal and value, and not its functional value. These will include artworks that are design based as well as those that fall under the category of drawing. These include sculpting, printmaking and painting. There are also non-design based arts that fall under this category such as photography. In addition, because of technology and more artistic innovation, this area of fine art seems to be extending to embrace other artworks such as acrylic painting, silkscreen printing as well as giclee prints.

2 Understanding visual art

Visual art is basically any type of artwork that is meant to be appreciated through sight. These will include sculptures, paintings, photography, drawing amongst a host of many others. Essentially, visual art refers to all forms of art with the exception of literature and music.

3 Understanding decorative art

Decorative art is a term used to describe artwork that mainly takes the form of ornamentation of items, which are usually functional, but may not necessarily carry intrinsic or aesthetic qualities. Decorative art may broadly include things like ceramics, basket weaving, tapestry, and cabinet making, among others which fall under the category of crafts.  Decorative art can also be considered to be a subset of applied art.

4 Understanding applied Art

The term applied art is used to describe the type of art that is produced by an artist primarily for functional value but it also has aesthetic appeal and value. It essentially prettifying everyday use objects. As an artist works on an object meant for a specific function, it’s designed in a way that it provides aesthetic and/or intellectual stimulation to the viewer as well as the user. Applied art could be used in everyday items like chairs, walls, cutlery, the roof of a building, a concert hall, and many more. Its application is limitless. There are two broad categories of applied art and this include standard machine-made products which as the name suggests will be made by use of machines, and artisan made products which as the name suggests are designed and hand-made by individuals.

There are a number of artistic disciplines that fall under the category of applied arts, and they include interior design, fashion design, industrial design, and graphic art and design. A number of decorative arts will also fall in this category such as tapestry, embroidery, furniture making, precious metalwork, and many more. The profession of architecture, is also considered to fall in this category.

As an artists, take your time and understand these terms and all the forms of art that fall under these various categories of art and this will give you an idea of where you fall, as well as how to define yourself as an artist.

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