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What Are The 7 Common Art Forms

The world is full of artistic expression and the works that we produce with our hearts and minds challenge us to redefine what it means to be a creative being. Whether it be through dance, visual arts, music, literature or other forms, humans have an intrinsic need to manifest and express their inner essence through the outward umbrella of art forms.

In this article, we’ll explore seven of the most common art forms that people have embraced throughout the centuries.

1. Visual Arts

Visual arts are the category of artistic expression that is created by using tangible materials. That may include anything from drawing, printing and paintings, to photography, pottery and sculpture.

The kind of art that fits into the visual art form is usually something that requires a physical form or a visual aspect to be appreciated. This is often done through craftsmanship to create a physical artwork, or manipulation of light and color to arrive at a desired image. Many of the oldest visual artwork known are cave paintings from Paleolithic cultures.

These artwork tend to depict their surroundings such as abundant wildlife, or natural boundaries like mountains. This kind of work has been relevant since the beginning of humanity and continues to be an important part of our lives today. Beyond cave paintings, other visual artwork can take the form of various painting styles such as watercolors, oils, or sketching.

Many art forms involve a combination of materials, such as fabric, sculpture, glass, 3D objects, multimedia and many others. Visual arts push us to explore our creative abilities and inspire us to use our imagination for creating something that is truly unique.

2. Performing Arts

Performing arts involve the use of physical movement, vocalization or other live performances to create an art form. This category includes a wide range of genres such as theater, dance and musicals.

Unlike visual art, performing art typically require a visual and audio element to be appreciated in their full form. Theater performances are often rehearsed interpretations of plays written by playwrights. These plays are often enacted to evoke emotion in the audience or teach a particular message.

Actors often use lines and costume to enhance the authenticity of the performance. The use of stage setting and background music can also promote tension and help direct the narrative of the story. Dance performance is an art form that relies heavily on physical movement to express an idea or emotion.

Many dances have elaborate costumes, but the movements themselves also tell a narrative. The arrangement of the performers can create visual patterns to add to the choreography.

Dancers must be synchronized with each other to be able to express the desired emotion. This can be done either solo or through a group.

Music is another form of performing art. It is often seen as a magical interweaving of sound and emotion that encourages us to tap into our subconscious. Musicians can use several tools such as instruments, amplifiers, or vocals to create their own narrative.

This can come in the form of opera or various forms of popular music, such as pop, rock or jazz.

3. Literary Arts

Literary art is an art form that uses the written word to evoke emotion and evoke a thought. It is often composed of written pieces such as plays, novels and poems.

This art form has existed since human beings first began to write and has since evolved into many genres. Some of the most common genres include fiction, non-fiction, fantasy, and horror literature. In literature, writers often use words to illustrate a certain situation and evoke certain emotions from the reader.

A writer has the ability to use clever wordplay, figurative language, and pacing to create tension and interest. This might include the use of alliteration, personification or poetic meter. The fictional aspects of writing can be used to delve into topics that can be difficult to discuss.

It also provides a vehicle to explore the inner workings of the human mind. Writers are often known to stretch the boundaries of an existing genre and open up new possibilities for exploration.

Non-fiction literature is often more informative in nature and explores real topics, such as history and science. This can give readers a more in-depth look at a subject matter and provide outside perspective and research to gain a better understanding. Non-fiction works can also explore a writer’s own experiences and share their insights.

4. Film/Video

Film/video art is a multi-layered form of art that combines visual and auditive expressions. It uses storytelling, music, sound effects and special effects to tell a story to the audience.

This is often done through the use of dialogue, camera angles and editing. While there are some similarities to theater, film/video can be much more visual and impactful than traditional theatrical performances. Film/video art often uses a combination of real footage, special effects and computer-generated images to create a vivid and immersive experience.

By utilizing varying camera angles and editing, film/video can convey a wide range of emotions and messages. Music often serves as the background to a story or sequence to indicate a particular atmosphere or tone.

Special effects can also be used to create a surreal or fantastical experience. Documentary films are particularly interesting because it seeks to explore a subject matter in a more detailed and compelling way than traditional journalism. This could be about a person, an event, or a place.

The documentary might use archival footage and interviews to tell the story and gain insight from any involved parties. It often seeks to uncover details that would be overlooked in regular reporting.

5. Photography

Photography captures a moment in time and captures an event that is not easily recreated. This is accomplished by using a camera to take a still image that is frozen in time. Photographs can be useful for examining and cataloging a particular situation or scene.

They are often very snap reasonable and capture events that can evoke emotion. This art form utilizes light and shade in order to create a stunning image that communicates a particular emotion.

Photographers can use various tools such as lenses, filters and exposures to manipulate the image and bring out details that may otherwise be missed. Various photographic techniques such as macro, long exposure and panning can often be used to create an interesting and unique photo. Digital photography has become increasingly popular as cameras and other photography equipment have become more advanced and accessible.

This has enabled photographers to capture images much faster and with more clarity than ever before. Digital photographs can often be edited afterwards with digitally software, enabling the photographer to manipulate the color, sharpness, and other aspects of the image.

6. Graphic Design

Graphic design is a form of art that combines elements of visual arts and typography to create visuals that are visually pleasing and communicative. Graphic designers use images, colors and fonts to convey a particular message.

This often requires a knowledge of balance, texture, and proportion as different elements are put together. Graphic design often requires a combination of a creative and technical aspect to be successful. Graphic designers can create logos, posters, signs, or other graphical designs that can be used to communicate a brand or message.

This can involve any kind of medium such as digital art, print or animation. Designers can also use a combination of shapes, images and colors to express a particular idea. They must utilize various tools such as fonts, shapes, colors and other design decisions to create an effective piece of art.

Graphic designers must also be able to work within the confines of different kinds of software, such as Adobe programs or other design programs. Designers are often required to prototype the design before the finished piece is created.

Graphic designers are an important part of our culture today, as they help create visuals that can communicate and influence our journey through this life.

7. Architecture

Architecture is an art form that requires knowledge of design, science and engineering to create habitable structures that meet a certain set of constraints. This often requires an understanding of structural integrity and balance as buildings are erected around hazardous weather conditions and sometimes on unstable ground. Structural architecture has been around since mankind first learned to build shelter.

Buildings have been designed to withstand the elements while keeping their inhabitants safe and secure. Architects often use a combination of materials, design principles and other factors to create building structures that are structurally sound and aesthetically pleasing.

Architects must also take various elements into consideration such as energy usage and sustainability. As the world faces new challenges brought on by climate change, architects must find creative and sustainable options for their buildings.

This could involve using renewable sources of energy, or using more efficient materials in the construction process. Many of the most modern buildings today are designed with these principles in mind.


Art is a dynamic and ever-changing phenomenon that has been a part of human culture since the beginning of time. There are countless forms of art that can bring out different aspects of creativity and expression in individuals. By exploring the 7 common art forms presented in this article – visual arts, performing arts, literary arts, film/video, photography, graphic design and architecture – we gain a better understanding of the various ways in which art can be expressed.

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