Is there a word that encompasses artist, poets, architects, dancers, musicians?

The correct word to use is surely "Artist" but in my context that word is confusing as it connotes someone involved in the visual arts making it unacceptable for me.

Is there a word that covers creative pursuits?

  • Perhaps creator? – Bradd Szonye Mar 8 '14 at 20:53
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    Yes, the word 'artist' ostensibly means any kind of art: writers, painters, musicians, etc. But without any context it usually does mean a painter. As to an obvious word that is the hypernym of all those examples without the default connotations that 'artist' has... we'll see what people come up with. – Mitch Mar 8 '14 at 20:54
  • What exactly do you mean by "involved in the arts"? For example, would this include people with no creative talent or aspirations, who donate time and/or money to theatres, for example? What about those who just like to appreciate art (go to exhibitions, etc.)? – FumbleFingers Mar 8 '14 at 21:13
  • @FumbleFingers sorry I mean people who directly create the art – Harry Mar 8 '14 at 21:23
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    You might be able to use "artists of every sort" [not just painters] as a noun phrase. – Jim Mar 8 '14 at 21:28

We would call them a creative type.

Jane is really a creative type. She always seems to be producing a short film, painting, or drawing!

It describes people with an artistic bend to them of any type.

Otherwise, artist is still appropriate to describe anyone who creates art of any type.

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    Hmm I like this. "Creative artist" might be suitable, adding the word creative there implies that it should not be thought of as just a painter. – Harry Mar 8 '14 at 22:36
  • @Harry - You already had creative and artist in your post. Also an architect isn't a creative artist. That is really the profession that is hard to fit with the others. – RyeɃreḁd Mar 8 '14 at 23:03
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    @RyeBread why isn't an architect a creative artist? Yes they have to conform to building codes, etc. but you can't say someone like I.M. Pei wasn't a creative artist. – David M Mar 8 '14 at 23:20
  • Indeed, art history classes generally include architecture along with visual arts. – Bradd Szonye Mar 9 '14 at 0:59

executant might fit. It has a broader meaning and still might depend on the context. It is usually used in musical art though.

noun ~ An artist or musician:

she could play, though not an advanced executant

adjective ~ Relating to artistic creation or the performance of music:

music is both an art and an executant skill

Also, to be more specific, "executant artist" might be used.

But as mentioned, artist itself can be used and you can construct your sentence or sentences accordingly.

I'm going to push the limits here because I love art. Using "creator" was not a bad idea also, though it still depends on the context. So why don't we go with art-creator. It still means artist but puts the emphasis on creation also.

Google Ngrams will show a few sparse hits, but the term does get used to refer to different kinds of artists, such as DiVinci and composer Franz Schubert.

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And here are some usages and explanations from books: (I compared past and contemporary usages and included the ones that mentions art-creator and artist together, though there are usages with religious connotations as well and I excluded them)

enter image description here Source: Gadamer and the Legacy of German Idealism By Kristin Gjesdal

enter image description here Source: Evolution in Science, Philosophy and Art: Popular Lectures and Discussions Before the Brooklyn Ethical Association by Brooklyn Ethical Association

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Source: Phenomenology World Wide: Foundations - Expanding Dynamics - Life-Engagements, A Guide for Research and Study By Anna-Teresa Tymieniecka

  • It's a pretty antiquated term, and using it for anyone except performing musicians (as opposed to composers) would be rather unlikely. – FumbleFingers Mar 8 '14 at 21:28
  • @Fumble: Thanks for the emphasis. OP was asking for a single word other than artist so this word came to my mind. Though, artist or other phrases can be used depending on how you form the sentence. – ermanen Mar 8 '14 at 21:57
  • That Ngram doesn't show that the usage has diminished; it shows the term was never very prevalent. (Notice the ultra-small values on the Y-axis, and then compare it to this Ngram.) Also, if the O.P. is concerned that people may need to think twice before associating the word artist with musician or performing artist, I don't see how the word executant would help much; I think artist would probably be better. It's still a cool word, though. – J.R. Mar 8 '14 at 23:36
  • @J.R. Except in the 1860s. Wow, those were the days! :-) – Mark Raishbrook Mar 9 '14 at 0:00
  • @Mark - Ah, the 1860s; there are about 12 instances from that decade. Some are praises to God ("Thou art creator of heaven and earth"); some are self-help ("Thou art creator of thy own happiness"); while some do use it in the executant context ("He was truly an art-lover, and should never have been an art-creator"). Incidentally, art creator is a valid option; I'm simply offering a cautionary word about reading too much into Ngrams without further investigation and analysis. – J.R. Mar 9 '14 at 0:16

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