What is visual art?

Table of Contents

What exactly is visual art? When can someone give themselves the title visual artist? And how can a visual artist make a living from his artworks?

There are many differences between an art exhibition and an artistic performance. A painting is just as much art as a play. But there is an important difference: an exhibition does not require the artist to be present, his art speaks for itself, they are timeless and independent of the person who created the artwork. Any art form from which an independent entity emerges at the end of the creative process, such as painting or sculpture, is called visual art.

Then it is clear why a play is not visual art, it needs performers, a stage, sets and someone to recite the text. So the art has to be replayed to experience it. That is why this category is called performing arts.

Definition of fine art

The simple definition of fine art is: the term used to describe any art form that creates tangible works that can exist in space.

Since we usually perceive paintings, photographs and sculptures only with our eyes, these works of art are counted as visual art. So visual art is always visual art. This also an important difference from stage art where you have to use multiple senses to take in the art.

Tip: Also check out our paintng by numbers range with motifs for young and old.

What makes you a visual artist?

Art has a close connection with craft and technology. It is not always possible to draw a clear line between these two entities. For example, is an architect designing a car park a visual artist? Are the painters who give the facade a new lick of paint visual artists? Is taking product photos visual art?

Whether we can name something as art depends on the following two factors:

  • The intention of the creator. Was a photo taken with artistic ambition or was it a selfie for fun?
  • The perception of the art. Some people don’t take abstract art seriously, thinking “I could make that myself”. Is that art or is that blather on a canvas? The answer to this varies from person to person. Finally, if an artwork has made it to a gallery, its creator may call himself a visual artist.

To the point where the artworks are recognised by a wide audience, it is a long road for most artists. Some are exhibited but do not earn enough from the art they create to make a living from it. Others sell their artworks for record amounts without ever having been in a gallery, this brings us to the next topic

What exactly does a visual artist do?

How did visual artists earn their money before artworks became worth millions? And how do you make ends meet when you are just starting out as a visual artist?

At the beginning of a visual artist’s career, artworks are only a fraction of the price until the artist breaks through. Therefore, it would be wise to wait to sell the first artwork until an artist gets more traction through exhibitions and is a bit more publicly recognized.

So for painters and photographers, it is a good idea to offer art prints of their paintings until then. There are many sites online where visual artists can offer their works directly. Many potential buyers specifically look for a good offer from young artists, through this way they want to support emerging talent. However, it is difficult to stand out due to the wide range of offerings on these platforms.

Start working on a commission basis, this way you will learn a new techniques and can hone your quality. You will thus be seen more through the artworks you also create for others and bring in the first pennies so you can have more focus on your own work.

It is worth considering setting up your own walk-in studio or a small shop where potential customers can view your works and make a decision at their leisure.

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