Ep 13: 10 Reasons Artists Are More Awesome Than Designers

Now before you shut me down and kill the messenger, just see me out. My more politically-correct title was 10 Differences Between Artists and Designers but it was just a little too Aniston and not enough Jolie, no? Disclaimer: I've been called both an artist and a designer, so these two distinct personalities have found homes within many of us worldwide. With that said, I must confess, artists rule. They're textbook mavericks! Here are 10 reasons why:

1. Purpose

  • Artists create because there is no other way to convey their truth.
  • Designers create to get the job or fulfill the job.

2. Expression

  • Artists uncompromisingly voice themselves through their art.
  • Designers voice themselves through their creativity...until they meet the client from hell.

3. Vulnerability

  • Artists are at the mercy of an addiction to create. Whether or not they have audience, they will always produce work.
  • Designers are at the mercy of their clients, validation, and marketplace.

4. Pleasure

  • Artists get their high during the journey of creating a piece that might not ever even see the light of day.
  • Designers get their high once the project is complete, the client has signed off and the invoice is paid.

5. Replaceability

  • Great artists are irreplaceable - because no two are alike.
  • Great designers are unquestionably replaceable - because there's always a better designer that can do it faster and cheaper.

6. Perseverance

  • An artist down to his last penny will likely at that instant create his most memorable work.
  • A designer down to his last penny will be forced to trade autonomy for the next paycheck.

7. Company

  • Artists enjoy solitude, music, a canvas and their tools (to a fault!).
  • Designers enjoy brainstorming, collaboration, and proofs.

8. Talent

  • Artists are artists since birth. (Picasso said we are all artists as children and that the problem is how to remain that way as adults.)
  • Designers acquire the skill to design from education and experience.

9. Gratification

  • Artists are never 100% satisfied with anything they do, but they'll eventually publish their work as is without future changes.
  • Designers are never 100% satisfied with anything they do, so they will continue refining, editing and tweaking - republishing newer editions.

10. Testament

  • Artists set trends.
  • Designers follow them.

Thank goodness that both artists and designers exists - it would be a boring world otherwise. Differences allow us to grow, to learn from one another, to add diversity to societies. Maybe one isn't better than the other after all. Apples. Oranges. DeNiro. Pacino. I'm happy to be a little bit of both - so much for a biased opinion! To prove it, my next post will outline 10 reasons designers are more awesome than artists. Sound good?