Thoughts by MIXTURA co-founder and designer @cesargouv.
‘Designer’ and ‘Artist’ are very popular terms that can sometimes get mixed when trying to accurately describe what you do or who you are as a creative. Being a graphic designer, I have probably called myself an artist the same amount of times I've called myself a designer. To most people, these two types of people look like they do the same thing because they both solve problems, they are creative and they produce visual content. But it’s very important to understand the difference between these terms. Words are very powerful and shape our mindset and in turn, our reality.
Here are my definitions for these two very meaningful words that could define your career:
Designer- A person that is a visual communicator that strategically presents a customers point of view by analysing their problem, solving it and presenting the solution to people in the most impactful way possible to attract their desired community.
Artist- A person that is a visual communicator that can create something for themselves by portraying their emotion or personal point of view using a specific medium in the hopes to share this particular feeling with other people.
I have had very interesting conversations with artists about how they make money doing what they do. There always seems to be a bit of hesitation when artists talk about money, marketing and business as a whole because most artists just want to be able to make the things they love and hope that other people find their work just as special as they do. However, most designers talk more about the business aspect of their creativity because their work is only valuable if they meet the customers' expectations.
By knowing the difference between these two words you’ll best know how to describe yourself and therefore manage to grow in your field without being unsure of what you are trying to learn, communicate and identify as. This is not to say that people can't be both. In a way, I think being able to be both is the perfect way to be able to produce the best work and bring it to the right kind of people because you can produce the kind of work that you love and be able to create a profitable business at the same time. Artists should have a designer in them so they are able to understand the business side of visual communication, and designers should have an artist in them because if you produce work that you love it will always be good work and attract the kind of people you want to work with.
Listen to who you are and excel at what you love to do.