When can you call yourself an “Artist”?

When can you call yourself an “Artist”?

When can you call yourself an “Artist”?


Call yourself an artist do you? This month I got my face in the local magazine for the area I live, talking about my artwork and inspirations. To my Dad, this is the ultimate marketing. Hitting the local newspapers is the key to taking over the world… and with this it’s official… Annabel is a true artist! No joke! It got me thinking, as I’ve been working part-time and have turned what used to be my personal Instagram and social media pages into my online portfolio pages, friends have asked me if I am now “a full-time artist”. So basically, I’ve had the nod and now go swanning around declaring myself to be a “full-time artist” however pretentious that sounds, and I know it does! I thought I’d make a checklist for anyone thinking about when to mentally transition the title “artist” onto themselves and what you have to be doing to really consider yourself an artist.


Are you making art regularly?

Probably the most important question to ask yourself. Are you making art (in any conceivable way)? Yes, then you, my new friend, are an artist! Are you not making art (in any conceivable way)? No, then you’re probably not an artist, but heck call your self what you want!


Did you study art?

How many of you have a degree or qualification in art, then go to a gallery and see someone’s work on display who “just picked up a pencil one day” and got their work in there (AKA they know someone who hooked them up). I really don’t think your educational background makes a difference to whether you’re an artist if you’re making artwork. But then, isn’t the process of making art an education in itself? Discuss?

Are you making sales?

This is a weird point as I’ve had so many people see my work and their first question is “yeah but are you selling any?”. As if money changing hands is a sign that your work has instantly become validated and is now considered “art” and that making a transaction deems you indeed “an artist”. As said by Neil Gaiman in this uplifting speech, “just make good art”. The rest will follow and doesn’t deem you more or less an artist whatever you sell for.

Do you have a “portfolio” of your art?

It’s nice to have a place where you document your artwork, a portfolio folder, a wall, photographs or a website or something. But what if your art is all about the lack of documentation in any form? Or the futile power of the passage of a single second? Mate, live your best artist life and get on with it. Also, invite me to see your work or send me links or anything, I need inspiration 🙂

Do buy art supplies?

If you’re walking into Cass arts or even Paperchase or even WH Smiths and buying some kind of materials for creation, sod it, you are an artist, keep it up, play with it, use it, learn from it and grow with it! Creativity isn’t something a gallery or an another person can dictate to you, or tell you what you can and can’t do with it. If you create or are creative in any way, you’re an artist. If you’re not, you’re an artist too. Just be whatever the hell you want!



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