Do You Have the Right to Call Yourself an Artist? Do I?

By Pamela Stirling in Misc > Art Opinion

Recently my right to call myself an artist was called into question—and it completely wound me up!

I was showing my art at a festival and happened to overhear a lady talking nearby. As she gestured towards my artwork, she stated that she didn’t want standards to drop because “they were letting people in” who weren’t professional artists—nor did she want it turning into a “craft fair.”

That last comment was not aimed at me, but at a venue near to me where professional artisans and craftspeople were showing traditional and modern crafts.

The same lady went on to say that “these people” would attract the wrong kind of visitors—”day trippers” to be exact. Now, what exactly is a “day tripper”? Simply someone who visits a place and then goes away again the same day. . . how that makes someone undesirable, I have no idea!

Not only did I feel insulted as an artist but also as a buyer. . . I often go on “day trips” to visit an art fair or gallery, to buy or appreciate art.

So this is my rant!!

Art is for everyone.

Art is for sharing.

I used to find it difficult to say “I am an artist” becuase I felt that I had not really earned that right yet. . . but this woman (who is no longer a lady in my head) has made me say, “why not??”

I think I have done enough to say I am an artist.

I am a natural artist, I have no training to speak of but my drawings and paintings bring people pleasure. They evoke emotion, and that is what art is!

My artwork is created with passion and enthusiasm. People have seen that, commented on it, paid for it, and trusted me to do commissioned works for them.

My art has been viewed and shipped all over the world.

What else do I need to call myself an artist?!?

Nothing. I am an artist and I am proud to call myself an artist. I do not need a professional qualification to tell me I am.

I belong to a group of artists who love to share their work with art-lovers. I am an artist because I love to create art but also because I love to see people’s reactions to my artwork—whoever they may be.

Now, that is my opinion on the matter. . . but what do you think?

Do you and I (and others like us) have the right to call ourselves artists?

Learn more about Pamela Stirling and her art at


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