As an artist, I am always looking for ways to express myself. As a web designer, I feel very fortunate to be able to make a living in a very creative and dynamic manner. When I am not designing, I am drawing comic book art (which could very well lead to another blog post, are comic books considered art?). It is safe to say I consider myself an artist. In fact, I think it would be very safe to say that a vast majority of web and graphic designers have an interest in the arts one way or another.
Dictionary.com defines art as:
1. the quality, production, expression, or realm, according to aesthetic principles, of what is beautiful, appealing, or more than ordinary significance.
So how does that relate to web design? Let's break that statement down and see.
The quality production, expression, or realm, according to aesthetic principles...
The aesthetic principles consists in enjoying a thing for its intrinsic beauty, for what it is in itself. The nature of this enjoyment is not, however, uniform. Every viewer will evoke a different response. This is where a designer's job gets interesting. Aesthetic experience must meet usability experience to form a cohesive balance of form and function. Brand guidelines become our palette, browsers our canvas and interactive technologies such as css, flash and jquery, our medium. These are our tools we use to construct our visual pieces.
... of what is beautiful, appealing, or of more than ordinary significance
It is our challenge as marketers, brand developers, designers and interaction developers to make our client's brand, business or product seem better that the competition and a vital part of a consumer's life. The visual identity and interactive experience we create will leave the user with an emotional reaction that will shape their perception. Much like a great painting or portrait, that emotional reaction is what artists strive for in their work. Will web designs ever be hanging in the Louvre? Maybe someday. In the meantime I will be creating on my digital canvas.