Often, if the skill is being used in a common or practical way, people will consider it a craft instead of art.Likewise, if the skill is being used in a commercial or industrial way, it may be considered commercial art instead of fine art.However, even fine art often has goals beyond pure creativity and self-expression.The purpose of works of art may be to communicate ideas, such as in politically, spiritually, or philosophically motivated art; to create a sense of beauty (see aesthetics); to explore the nature of perception; for pleasure; or to generate strong emotions. The nature of art has been described by philosopher Richard Wollheim as "one of the most elusive of the traditional problems of human culture".Art is a diverse range of human activities in creating visual, auditory or performing artifacts (artworks), expressing the author's imaginative or technical skill, intended to be appreciated for their beauty or emotional power.
Until the 17th century, art referred to any skill or mastery and was not differentiated from crafts or sciences.
One early sense of the definition of art is closely related to the older Latin meaning, which roughly translates to "skill" or "craft," as associated with words such as "artisan." English words derived from this meaning include artifact, artificial, artifice, medical arts, and military arts.
However, there are many other colloquial uses of the word, all with some relation to its etymology.
Works of art can be explicitly made for this purpose or interpreted on the basis of images or objects.
For some scholars, such as Kant, the sciences and the arts could be distinguished by taking science as representing the domain of knowledge and the arts as representing the domain of the freedom of artistic expression.