In software development, people say you are a full-stack developer if you have skills in all areas of the software development process. For example, a full-stack web developer can do the design, markup and back end server code.

Is there a similar word for artists who are skilled in multiple domains of art production?

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    Wouldn't the equivalent of a full-stack programmer for art be someone who makes their own paint, paintbrushes, and canvas before painting with them?
    – nick012000
    Commented Jul 27, 2020 at 3:17
  • 3
    @nick012000 I thought more of someone who can do multiple tasks that are often split up, such as the penciller, inker, colourer, and letterer of comics/graphic novels. Maybe even the writer! Commented Jul 27, 2020 at 3:50
  • @nick012000 like the story of Mel (You have to love "most Pessimum")? Or, on a grander scale: "If you want to make a pie from scratch, you must first create the universe" --Carl Sagan (now there's a crusty skeptic for you).
    – Conrado
    Commented Jul 27, 2020 at 4:52
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    Your definition of "full-stack developer" differs from mine: It's not software "life-cycle", but the stack of technology making up a product: Back-end concerns, middleware, user application, that whole thing. When you say "full life-cycle", that's more about developing requirements, determining architecture and tooling, developing a product, and supporting it through retirement.
    – Steve
    Commented Jul 27, 2020 at 5:33
  • In web technology "full stack" makes sense but implies a particular stack, which includes a web server and JavaScript and probably a database etc. It already breaks down if you try to talk about a "full stack C programmer" or a "full stack data scientist".
    – tripleee
    Commented Jul 27, 2020 at 8:47

6 Answers 6


If you need a single word, I suggest polymath. A polymath is a person who knows a lot about many different subjects. It can be used in many contexts and convey the same meaning.

If you need a compound word, I would go with multi-skilled artist or many-sided artist.

You could also use multidisciplinary artist, although I think that might carry a bit of connotation that the art style itself is mixed media or multimedia.

Another possibility is well-rounded artist.


Because @Decapitated already suggested my first idea (now an answer), "polymath", this answer is about a nearly-synonymous two-word runner-up candidate.

Renaissance [wo]man:

The term Renaissance man or woman or polymath is used for a very clever person who is good at many different things. The idea comes from a time of history called the Renaissance which lasted from about 1400 to about 1600. One of the most famous people alive during this time was Leonardo da Vinci. He was most famous as a painter, but he was also a scientist, engineer and mathematician. Leonardo is called a "Renaissance man".[1] Another "Renaissance man" was Michelangelo, who was a sculptor, painter, architect and poet. (wikipedia.org)

According to Britannica.com, this person is (emphasis added)

also called Universal Man, Italian Uomo Universale, an ideal that developed in Renaissance Italy from the notion expressed by one of its most-accomplished representatives, Leon Battista Alberti (1404–72), that “a man can do all things if he will.”

Here is a use in the wild, a quote from the new yorker about a con artist:

Allen Wolfson was a Renaissance man, in his own way. Between 1999 and 2002, he was involved in the stock-market rise of at least seven companies. Freedom Surf made wet suits and surf apparel. Learner’s World ran a day-care center. Stem Genetics did stem-cell research. Rollerball International made inline skates. Hytk produced and transported natural gas. The only thing connecting these companies was Allen Wolfson—that, and the fact that they were scams.

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    Renaissance man/woman does not imply any particular artistic skill, let alone skill in multiple artistic media! Commented Jul 27, 2020 at 3:48
  • @curiousdannii What kind of skill does it imply, then? I mean, a skill is, depending on admittedly varying definitions, an art, and art usually includes skill (excepting of course modern art): “Skill without imagination is craftsmanship and gives us many useful objects such as wickerwork picnic baskets. Imagination without skill gives us modern art.” ― Tom Stoppard
    – Conrado
    Commented Jul 27, 2020 at 3:53
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    Well the Wikipedia page you linked to shows lots of people who have been called renaissance men, and only some are noted as fine artists. Also, a renaissance person would usually have to be good at something other than fine art, like literature or science, so the term really doesn't fit the question which was asked, which is just asking for the parallel to "full-stack developer" in art. A "full-stack artist" wouldn't have to be good at history or philosophy or economics or theology... Commented Jul 27, 2020 at 3:57
  • @curiousdanni You're right, it's a fairly general term. However, it's undeniably close, and too much to fit in a comment, and I plead that OP is asking a bit much in a SWR for a term that takes three in the analogous developer's world. Proabably in this sense, LPH's answer is more fitting, as I was able to find a good example use for "consummate artist" in a quick google, to my chagrin.
    – Conrado
    Commented Jul 27, 2020 at 4:03
  • related: english.stackexchange.com/questions/396668/…
    – Conrado
    Commented Jul 27, 2020 at 15:44

A complete artist:

4 : highly proficient

  • a complete artist


From: New York Theater Review edited by Brook Stowe:

We as a group, as well as anyone working today in theater, or poetry and film, have always before us his genius as a model of a complete artist.

From: Complete Works: The Old Wives' Tale, How to Live on 24 Hours a Day, Riceyman ... By Arnold Bennett

Whatever may be Tourgeniev's general inferiority (and I do not admit it), he was a great artist and a complete artist.


One phrase that is often used is "triple threat":

an expert in three different fields or in three different skills in the same field.

A particularly common use of this phrase is applied to performers who can sing, dance, and act.

While "triple threat" is the most common construction of this phrase, "quadruple threat" isn't unheard of and there's no reason why this couldn't be expanded upwards.

  • Would it be fair to say "tripple threat" has a competitive implication? Commented Jul 27, 2020 at 16:34

I think the domain of comics and graphic novels is a good parallel to software development, because the production of comics has traditionally been divided up into several distinct roles: the writer, the artist (which is often subdivided into penciller, inker, and colourist), and the letterer.

Wikipedia notes that when one person is responsible for all aspects of a comic they are often called a "comic book creator", "comics creator" or "graphic narrator".

  • This is a good specific case; what do you think about "content creator" (a term that, by the way, gives me the heebie-jeebies)?
    – Conrado
    Commented Jul 27, 2020 at 4:25
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    @Conrado Probably too generic, I could easily imagine a content creator doing just one thing as part of a larger team. But maybe there are people who use it to mean what the OP asks for? Commented Jul 27, 2020 at 5:13

A term that could be applied in this domain is constructed with the adjective "consummate"; therefore we'd say "a consummate artist" if we had to speak of an extremely skilled artist.

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    This relates to depth of skill, not breadth of skill. Commented Jul 27, 2020 at 14:09
  • @AsteroidsWithWings Admittedly, "consummate" does not make explicitly clear the multi-faceted aspect of an artist's technique, so I understand your disagreeing with this choice of word; in any case we can't speak of a consecrated term.
    – LPH
    Commented Jul 27, 2020 at 16:17

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