separation of artist from designer?

I have a BFA in sculpture but I’ve always been more drawn to the applied arts rather than fine art intellectualism. Unfortunately, only recently have I discovered ID. Core77 has been a valuable resource for me. I started learning ID skill sets in my free time on the weekends, but I just feel like I’m spinning my wheels.

So, recently I called an owner of an Industrial design firm to explore the idea of pursuing a design career. I asked him what lead him to design and listened to his story. After talking to him he told me I sounded like more of an artist and suggested that I maybe look for a job as an in-house model maker. I liked the model maker idea but don’t understand his separation of artist from designer. Besides motivation and training are there really such clear separations of personality types? Because there seems to be some overlap.

I fantasize about going back to study ID at a school like UC, but the question I keep asking myself is where I fit? What makes a designer is it school, personality, experience?

Design is about problem solving, where art is about expression.

You can be a great artist, but a lousy problem solver.
You can be a great designer, but lousy at expression.

What is it about ID that appeals to you?
Which IDers or Products do you most admire?

I think it is more who you are. A designer makes a more public but more anonymous impact. To design objects that people love and use everyday, to be discontent with the things around you, to want to make things better in a small way… sometimes this can be very artistic. All watches tell times as their base function, but their are millions of aesthetic variations on that function.

A good point.

Aside from perhaps a few of the “rock star designers”, for the most of us, design is not about “I”, but about “them” (the user). An artist, almost by definition, is expressing a personal thought, concept, or emotion.

it’s not that there isn’t room for personalities to show through in design (what i might find as a solution and you would find would invariably be different), but in general, the designer is tasked with finding a solution to a problem so should set their own perferences aside to some extent and put the themselves in the perspective of the user.

Not a really clear distinction, perhaps, but something I have found when interviewing different types of designers from art vs. more eng based schools.

That being said, I think this is something that can be learned and taught and isnt as the person you spoke to suggested, something that is necessarily inate in a personality.

I, for one was in a special fine arts based school in high school, but went into ID, and now footwear design.