Are you a designer or an artist

Lon Y Law
3 min readJul 5, 2023

What is the difference between them?

This is a short one. Artists and designers both create, draw, imagine and design. If you are a designer, do you know what is the difference between yourself and an artist?

Artists and designers had been 2 completely different field. While artists were called artists, designers had been called many different names — craftsman, builder, maker… Designers use their creativity to bring something into life, creating the things we see. Artists on the other hand, uses their creativity to bring something into life, creating the artwork we see. Wait — isnt that the same?

Lets see what these 2 professions used to be in the past.

the legend Bob Ross (Google)

Artists or artisans, in the early days, would create work that depict the landscape, environment and sometimes people who pay them. Regardless of the artist’s style, they strive to capture the essence of the world around them. This slowly changed as they start to create according to their interpretation, for example the impressionist painting, which slowly across the years became more and more reflective of the artist themselves in an environment, their feeling, their though and so on. Modern art features artworks that reflects the artists most inner feelings, the interpretation of their emotions. Their creativity is expressed in their imagination and looking deeper into their hearts.

Designer on the other hand, are hidden in the crowd. They are the builders, the sword forgers, the leather crafter, ring crafters and many more. Although some are only selling their skills more are selling their artistic talent as well, and the more artistic it is the higher the value. As we explore more from the world there are more things to be done, with the advancements in technologies and society the field of design had only expanded.

Artists and designers are the same in both are regarded as the creatives, they both take requests from clients, observe the environment, engage in a creative process, imagine and draw.

However there is a key difference that separated the both of them. While both work for a client, an artist is commissioned for his/her pure creativity and imagination, an artwork, a sculpture. It is a statement, a way of expression of the artist and that is what the client is looking for and what they are paying for. Designers on the other hand are commissioned to create a solution for a problem that the client has, such as designing a pen, or a house. No matter how artistic we get, we have to satisfy the client’s requirements and needs. The most important thing is there are rules to follow. While artists can unleash their brain on an artwork, designers have to work around the rules, and it is the rules that make designers designers. The ability to use these rules, work around and implement it as a feature — this is where designers shine, and their worthiness.

Now you know the differences between designers and artists. Which one are you? I will leave you with a quote I heard a long time ago,

Designers solve other people’s problems and artists solve their own problems.

I am planning to write more about the future of architecture, follow me to read them first!

Thanks for reading. I work in architectural digital innovation. Feel free to get in touch or check out my website.