art design

The Difference Between an Artist and a Mere Decorator

Glading Marteen 

The word ‘decoration’ has an equivalent meaning with other words like embellishment, beautification, adornment, ornamentation etc. All these words point to the art of aesthetics. The term aesthetics is often used to mean the study of beauty especially the ‘outward appearance’ of an object or the way something looks when considered in terms of how pleasing it looks. The inclusion of ‘outward appearance’ in definition of aesthetics indicates that there is also an internal appearance of any art object. This means that beauty itself has two sides: internal and external beauty. The phrase ‘internal decoration’ is therefore seen in the light of artistic designs made in enclose structures most especially in different parts a buildings/apartments, being it an office or for residential purposes.

There is a mark difference between a decorator and an artist. The latter (artist) is somebody who combines his or her talent and skills in bringing out a design. Such designs are mentally created and sketched in various forms to consider how suiting it will be when put in reality. In the process of making the design, the artist can at different stages modify the original sketch all in a bid to make the design come out in more pleasing manner. A decorator, on the other hand, is more or less like an individual who is technically effective in handling designs. He or she does not do much to modify a given plan when executing a design job. To a decorator, what count more is often skill, talent has a lesser percentage in the work of a decorator. The difference between talent and skill is that, talent is the exceptional ability to do something creatively or artistically in a manner that the genus in the person is revealed. Skill on the other hand, is one’s expertise due to consistently practicing the rules and processes of a particular thing. The artist is more like a person who combines his talent and skill in bringing out a design while a decorator is one who uses more skill than talent in execution of a creative work.

A few months ago, a friend of mine who works with a small musical firm in Kaduna invited me to attend a meeting which its main agenda was to deliberate how on to decorate their small studio complex. The four decorators who submitted poorly written proposals and were bidding for the job, understand very little about internal decorations as they could not defend the designs they were offering the musical firm. An artist defends his or her designs by explaining its relevance to an organization before carrying out his or her job. A decorator just does it as suggested or requested by the company without minding whether or not the design has a link to meaning of the organization.

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