Saturday, May 28, 2016

Who's Calling Whom a Professional?

 I received a 'call for artists' this week that said it was for artists of all levels, and it asked the artists to categorize themselves as student, emerging or professionals.
It gave definitions, which were similar to the ones from CARFAC which for a professional are: 
  • 1-earns a living through art making;
  • I earn much of my living from teaching and selling art, but I could not support myself with it, in any style to which I could get accustomed to. 
  • 2-or possesses a diploma in an area considered to be within the domain of the fine arts;
  • I have very little formal fine art training from a place of 'higher learning', just lots of classes, and experience. 
  • 3-or teaches art in a school of art or applied art;
  • I teach (and have an Artist Educators certificate), but not in an 'Art School', applied or otherwise.
  • 4-or whose work is often seen by the public or is frequently or regularly exhibited;
  • I do exhibit, and my work is definitely seen by the public.
  • 5-or is recognized as an artist by consensus of opinion among professional artists.
  • The last criteria is tricky, frankly I've never asked the art community for a consensus of their opinion, and I couldn't ask most of my art friends, since they are in the same position I'm in, I'd have to find 'professionals' to ask!
  • By this definition I will never be a professional artist. Yet in spite of all of this I do consider myself to be one because;
I get paid for what I do. 
I continually try to better myself, and to learn as much as I can about art, and the business of art. 
I'm very active in the art community, some times too active, when it interferes with the making of art!
I keep regular studio hours, inspiration comes from the work, not work from the inspiration. 
I actively market my work on Facebook, Instagram, mail chimp, and my blog etc
I have a business license, a business bank account, and pay business taxes. 
Most importantly I THINK I am a professional, although this made my imposter syndrome kick in briefly lol. 
Really, isn't it where you are in your heart, head and effort that should matter? 
I'm sure the organizers of the show were trying to keep the competition fair for all levels, but I resist being labeled. 
What do you think?

work in progress,
Work in progress

First step for a commissioned work. 


Artist, teacher 

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