"I want to live the life of an artist."
Translation:J'ai envie de vivre la vie d'artiste.
But the English we are asked to translate is indeed "I want". The distinction between the two is small and, arguably, "je veux" accurately translates what is expected. The less convincing translation gets the mark, the other is deemed a mistake. Perhaps there is someone who can arbitrate with authority?
I wrote Je veux vivre la vie d'un artiste, which was accepted, but the model answer says la vie d'artiste, instead of my la vie d'un artiste. I was wondering whether these two phrases are equally acceptable and mean the same thing, or my sentence was wrongly accepted.
"Une vie d'artiste" is a set phrase. "La vie d'un artiste" is what it is about when you don't want to use the set phrase but the meaning is slightly different.
"Une vie d'artiste" is typical and maybe a bit caricatural.
"La vie d'un artiste" might need to be further described if it is meant to be distinct from "une vie d'artiste".
Thank you, Mx Sitesurf. So, I should have no reason to choose to say la vie d'un artiste over the fixed expression, unless I have in mind a specific artist about whom I might be able to give further information, like their identity, etc. Am I understanding you correctly, more or less?
"Avoir une vie d'artiste" is a bit pejorative: sex, drugs and rock & roll, if you see what I mean. By the way, you don't need to be an artist to "avoir une vie d'artiste".
"Vivre la vie d'un artiste" can be much cleaner than that: traveling a lot, meeting other artists, taking part in events (concerts, exhibitions, ballets... depending on your art), financing charities, showing on media, etc.