There is somewhat of a segregation between the (fine) art world and design world. My opinion is they both worlds belong to the world of "art".
Both worlds require many of the same talents (a mind open to visual possibilities); skill (an eye for balance and harmony); knowledge (of color and shape); experience and style (one has to develop their own flavor/edge to offer and to do that there is a lot of practice and refining involved); learned technique/methods (whether it's brushstrokes or photoshop); and last but not least passion and dedication (definitely not something you can accomplish over night).
The differences I've observed: (fine) artists are free creators who generate pieces that express their individual style and flavor and designers come up with creative solutions to a goal or problem that tends to be more commercial. My take on it is that one is more emotional, organic, and self serving, while the other is more objective, methodical, and marketable.
The essence of both worlds is to create visual displays for an audience (even if it is just for an audience of one) to share an emotion (whether it to share a message or to evoke a certain reaction). The way I see it the methods may be different but the line being so thin, a designer can easily be an artist and an artist can easily be a designer.How ab