An artist is a person engaged in an activity related to creating art, practicing the arts, or demonstrating an art. The common usage in both everyday speech and academic discourse is a practitioner in the visual arts only. The term is often used in the entertainment business, especially in a business context, for musicians and other performers.
“Artiste” (the French for artist) is a variant used in English only in this context; this use has become rare. Use of the term to describe writers, for example, is valid, but less common, and mostly restricted to contexts like criticism.