A conceptual artist creates works of art that follow the principles of the conceptual art movement, namely those that place relatively little importance on whether a piece of art is aesthetically pleasing. The idea behind a piece of conceptual art is generally what is the most important. Notable works of conceptual art can also be called "idea art" because they are often intended to provoke a reaction in the viewer as well as provide some type of commentary on contemporary society. Unlike some of his or her contemporaries, a conceptual artist usually does not believe art should be confined to traditional mediums such as drawing, painting, sculpting, or printmaking. He or she will often instead create installations out of found objects that are combined or exhibited in ways usually considered out of the ordinary.
While a conceptual artist may have training and sometimes considerable talent in one or more of the traditional art mediums, he or she has usually decided that creating and displaying conventional works such as two-dimensional paintings are not the best creative outlets for him or her. Conceptual visual art can be a better fit for its freedom and flexibility in terms of using just about any type of medium and any type of artistic process imaginable. Some noted conceptual artists even do not personally create every last facet of their art work; they may instead formulate the main ideas and instruct a group of other artists to make the actual pieces. Any individual deviations from the original vision are often embraced as a natural part of the finished work and the creative process.
Conceptual artwork is often not confined to a smaller space such as a wall where a painting hangs or a display table where a three-dimensional sculpture sits. Some conceptual art installations can take up an entire room in a gallery and allow viewers to walk through parts of the artwork itself. These installations can even require the viewers to take part in the art installation by some simple actions such as writing a note on a board, taking a piece of paper with them, or viewing themselves through an installed video camera. A conceptual artist who creates these kind of art pieces frequently has goals of getting people to consider their own views of themselves and others. Performance art is an additional area of conceptual art in which the conceptual artist sometimes incorporates him- or herself into an installation.