What is the Difference Between Artist and Artiste

The main difference between artist and artiste is that artist is a person who either creates or practices an art, whereas an artiste is a person who displays his skilled art on public platforms –  singers, dancers and actors.

The terms artist and artiste are often confused, and many people think that ‘artiste’ and ‘artist’ are synonyms. However, there exists a slight difference between artist and artiste. Although ‘artiste’ is actually the French word for artist in English, it is used to refer to a highly skilled person in a particular craft or a talented public performer.

Key Areas Covered

1. Who is an Artist  
    – Definition, Features
2. Who is an Artiste
     – Definition, Features
3. Similarities – Artist and Artiste
     – Outline of Common Features
4. Difference Between Artist and Artiste
     – Comparison of Key Differences

Key Terms

Artist, ArtisteDifference Between Artist and Artiste - Comparison Summary

Who is an Artist

In simple terms, an artist is someone who creates art, whether it is music, dancing, painting or sculpture. In a broader sense, it is possible to find an artist even in a non-artistic field, most importantly because of their artistic mastery and creativity in problem-solving skills. For instance, imagine that you are a cake designer. If you are creating unique and distinct cake designs which make you stand out from the other designers, you can be considered a real artist in your field.

An artist is a quite creative person who uses his imagination to build his art. For instance, if you are a painter, when you get an idea, you turn it into a painting. Here, creativity is the process of turning your idea into a painting, whereas artistry is the set of skills you possess.

Artist vs Artiste

Artists being people, no two artists will be alike. This is because the skill set one possesses, and the individual creativity is something an artist inherits. Further, an artist and the nature of his art are usually emotionally driven. Therefore, if the artist possesses a better self-understanding of his emotional state, he would consequently get a clear vision of what it is that he wants to create.

Cultivating curiosity is a key quality an artist inherits, which is less common in an artiste. For instance, when you see a beautiful rainbow in the sky, you may simply admire its beauty. However, an artist with his mindset may start to wonder whether the rainbow knows that it is beautiful or if the birds flying close by it think so.

Who is an Artiste

An artiste is a performer or a professional entertainer: an actor, a singer, a dancer, an acrobat or any other public performer. For instance, if you play the piano and make music in front of an audience, or if you are a singer performing on stage, it does not matter whether you are the composer of the performing art or not, you are considered an artiste. In brief, artistes can be both artists and performers and vice versa.

Artist and Artiste - Are they different

An artiste with the “artist” mindset would always try to demonstrate the highest levels of self-expression, while an artist with the “entertainer” mindset would try to bring the highest level of enjoyment to the audience. In brief, it can be said an artist’s satisfaction comes from the inside, while an artiste’s satisfaction comes from the outside.                                                                                                               

Similarities Between Artist and Artiste

  • An artist can be an artiste who is a performer; similarly, an artiste also can be an artist.
  • Creativity is a part of the mindset of both an artist an artiste.
  • Both may possess a set of skills relevant to a particular area of artistry.

Difference Between Artist and Artiste


An artist is a creator of art, whereas an artiste is a professional performer of art.


An artist always tries to reach the highest levels of self-expression through his art, while the aim of an artiste is to entertain his audience, rendering them the highest level of enjoyment possible.


Compared to an artiste, being an artist involves risk-taking. 


The fear factor is something more associated with the role of being an artist than being an artiste. Artists are naturally brave enough to make drastic changes through their art. They realize that flaws are part of the creative process, and they are not afraid to make them.


In brief, the main difference between an artist and an artiste is that an artist is a creator of a particular piece of art, whereas an artiste is a professional performer of art. However, the main goal of an artist would be to conquer his internal fulfilment while an artiste would achieve his gratification rendering the highest enjoyment possible to his audience.


1. “The Life of an Artist: Local Painter Talks Inspiration, Struggles, Success.” The Red and Black.
2. Phillips, Renee. “Take Your Art Career Dreams and Goals Higher.” RENEE PHILLIPS MENTOR FOR ARTISTS.

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About the Author: Anuradha

Anuradha has a BA degree in English, French, and Translation studies. She is currently reading for a Master's degree in Teaching English Literature in a Second Language Context. Her areas of interests include Arts and Literature, Language and Education, Nature and Animals, Cultures and Civilizations, Food, and Fashion.

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