I believe that designers and artist operate very differently.
Artist can’t become a graphic designer without the similarly obtained knowledge that a designer has through their experience in the practice of design-related art disciplines.
Designers may have to absorb everything there is to know about art to help broaden their perspective to compliment the execution of various design work but it doesn’t require an artist to undergo the training it requires a graphic designer to become an artist.
I think that because Mason is a liberal arts school that many of us, here as students may find ourselves more deeply drawn into art and art making than usual- in other programs in various universities where graphic information design is categorized under a different department ie. the school of marketing- where the program may have the tendency to prepare their students with a more business-oriented mentality.
I also believe that designers and artist sometimes share a similar mentality and outlook where their work reflects their awareness of the environment around them. However, when compared to work produced by a graphic designer, work generated by an artist varies greatly by their objective.
Graphic designers and other designers are problem solvers rather than problem seeker
It doesn’t matter where you are, or what the task is, when you are given a task, you are able to apply yourself and work around the problem.
When art’s goal is to make a statement or confuse, design aims to communicate by presenting information in the most concise manner.
The distinction between art and graphic design is apparent in the way work is being presented. While art usually requires a brief explanation to back up the concept behind the work (because not every person who may come across art have been previously educated to understand the historical context underlying the work.) In contrast, a graphic designer has the responsibility to take into account the audience and how ideas such as the history of art function or can be implemented to impact its overall effectiveness in relation to the objective.
Also, design often doesn’t require further explanation because the designer has done all the thinking and planning so that things are more apparent to the viewer and appealing to the targeted audience.
What is most important is that both artists and designers have a keen eye and sense of creativity. Because we see and look at things differently than the average person, who wasn’t taught to do so- we are at a greater advantage. But I believe that in order for a graphic designer to maintain that advantage, it is important to submerge ourselves in art so that we can be informed and inspired by the concepts in art making, the history, the dynamics, and the process required for producing them. Therefore, understanding the intricacy in art making can become a viable asset for any designer- this is why we study and practice art.