The Individual Artist


Artists work in a variety of ways. Read this section to get a sense of the many different work styles we see from individual artists.

We have seen art as a community or collaborative effort. Still, many artists work alone in studios, dedicated to creating art through their own expressive means and vision. In the creative process, there are usually many steps between an initial idea and the finished work. Artists will use sketches and preliminary drawings to get a more accurate image of what they want the finished work to look like. Even then, they will create more complex trial pieces before ultimately deciding how it will look. View and read about some of the sketches for Picasso's masterpiece Guernica from 1937 to see how the process unfolds. Artists often make different versions of artwork, each time giving it a slightly different look.

Some artists employ assistants or staff to run the everyday administration of the studio, maintaining supplies, helping with set up and lighting, managing the calendar, and all the things that can keep an artist away from the creative time they need to work.

Some artists do not make their own works. They hire people with specialized skills to do it for them under the artist's direction. Fabricators and technicians are needed when a work of art's size, weight, or other limitations make it impossible for the artist to create it alone. Glass artist Dale Chihuly employs many assistants to create and install his glass forms.

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Source: Christopher Gildow,
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Last modified: Wednesday, February 14, 2024, 3:51 PM