"Even if you don't consider yourself an artist, to make something that is beautiful and not destructive, or to make something that is useful and not destructive, that is the healing power of the artist."
One of the oldest needs of human beings is the need to create. There are people who make beautiful objects, but society does not consider them artists. There are people who make useful objects, but society does not consider them artists. And yet in my opinion, they are artists. A gardener who is passionate about the garden she grows is an artist. A furniture maker who is passionate about the furniture he makes is an artist.
Here is Alice Walker talking about the genesis of her novel, The Color Purple.