The Artist series (or AR series) is a line of electric guitars produced for Hoshino Gakki and sold under the Ibanez brand. The first Artist models were introduced in 1974. It was one of the first series of original models by Ibanez. Prior to the early 70's Ibanez was mainly focused on producing copies of guitars designed by other manufacturers such as Fender and Gibson.
The Artist is clearly influenced by the Gibson Les Paul model, but it is not a Les Paul copy or clone.