Am I an Artist?

What makes an artist? A lot of you would answer that question with something along the lines of “person who creates works of art” – and that is true. Here where I live, however, the term ‘artist’ is somewhat defined as “a person who has undergone minimum three years – ideally five or more – of Fine Art education at University level, and is therefore eligible for Art Project Scholarships and/or funds” – which is, for the most part, true for many artist who do art full-time. It is also, however, limiting in that getting accepted to a Fine Art University program is anything but easy.

My personal definition of what makes an artist is wonderfully vague: Person who creates works of art and have these works of art exposed to the public. Very often I define the “exposed to the public” part of this as having their art shown at a gallery or similar. Whether or not they do art full-time is largely irrelevant.

In spite of this, I (still) struggle with calling myself an artist, because I have not gone to art school (although I have taken a few painting courses, many years ago), and I have not exposed my art to the public by way of exhibition in a gallery. For now, my personal definition of when I get to call myself an artist is the moment I have sold a work of art. I would like to call myself an artist now – but I’m not entirely sure I can.

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What do you think makes an artist?

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