Am I a “Real Artist” yet?

2018 is the year I become a real, proper, artist (whatever that means).

I think I have always attached the notion of being a real artist to being able to sell my art.  Thus far, in my art lifetime, I have sold one birthday card for a grand total of $3.50.

I’m not a real artist then…

Ah but now I have an actual “commission”.  A money-exchanging-hands-commission.  This one is for my good yogi friend Kirsten (aka the Pink Princess).  Kirsten’s beautiful daughter, SJ, has just graduated as a defence cadet and is about to celebrate her twenty-first birthday.  Kirsten asked me to draw a portrait of SJ with her grandfather as a surprise birthday gift.

Kirsten provided me a photograph of SJ and her grandfather with instructions to “pimp” pop (Kirsten’s words not mine).  Not RuPaul Drag Race pimping just removing anything that said hospital.  Kirsten wanted the lipstick kiss on pop’s forehead to stay (which thrilled me no end as I like a bit of colour in my graphite drawings).


Work in progress photos.



FINAL cropped

So now that money has exchanged hands, do I actually consider myself as a REAL artist?

I make art; therefore I am an artist.  I am a living breathing human; therefore I am real.  That must make me a real-artist.

Or much more eloquently from artist and designer, Victoria Rose Martin

“Am I a real artist? Real or not I am an artist and I make things because of a deep desire to do so. Nothing more. And people’s opinions, I was once told “opinions are like backsides, everybody has one.”  I don’t make things with the thought of pleasing the masses or selling them; instead I make art because my fingers and brain give me no option to do anything else.” – What Makes a Real Artist




4 thoughts on “Am I a “Real Artist” yet?

  1. > 2018 is the year I become a real, proper, artist (whatever that means).

    Snap!! Glad to hear it, I’ve only been pretending until now as well.

    > I think I have always attached the notion of being a real artist to being able to sell my art.

    I used to think the same. However, I sold several items last year (my first year of being online) and it even led to a couple of commissions. Proper paid work, cor blimey!!

    But… you know what… now I’m the other side of having got some pennies for drawing I don’t feel any more like an artist. And I haven’t sold anything for a month, most likely because I’m dreadful at actually posting anything up to etsy for people to buy (marketing genius here) – so am I now any less of an artist? Well, apparently not according to a few “real” artists who have been paying some nice compliments on social media who reckon I’ve actually made improvements still.

    I think I’ve reclassified the artist thing in my mind now, right now I tend to think of a “real” artist as the following;
    – someone who earns their primary source of income from art, or at least a significant amount of it
    – someone who has exhibited their work in a gallery
    – one of those people that have a billion(ish) followers on Instagram and their posts are their artwork
    – someone who has had their work published, either in a book, a newspaper, magazine, etc.

    So… what would that make me? A hobbyist? Maybe amateur artist would be the ideal description.

    Anyways, enough waffling, I need to leave the keyboard alone and pickup a paintbrush. Here’s to you Alison – becoming real and proper 😀


  2. Pingback: The Side Hustle – Hustle

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