You wouldn’t believe how much time artists spend discussing the issue of what to call themselves. Try calling certain art fair artists a “vendor” and then sit back and watch their creative little heads explode. For others, the issue is more along the lines of artist vs. craftsman. Or, God forbid, crafter. Their point being that only a supremely talented few have earned the right to call themselves “artists”, and that merely being a skilled artisan or having a good idea does not allow you the privilege of assuming the lofty mantle of “artist”.
So the issue had been on my mind lately when, at a monthly luncheon of self-employed neighbors, someone inquired as to what I did for a living, and then asked what I called myself. I was prepared to give some flippant answer, but the word that leapt from my mouth surprised both of us.
That’s it. I’m happy. I love what I do. I wake up in the morning excited to go to my workshop and create new things. I adore traveling the country with Phil and meeting all you lovely people at art fairs. I am thrilled beyond repair that people seem to like what I do and are willing to give me money for it. So call me an artist or a craftsperson or an artisan or a vendor, or “that damn trinket maker”. I really don’t give a rat’s ass. I’m happy. I am, quite possibly, the luckiest person in the world.
Of course, on my income tax forms, I’m putting down “artist”. No sense trying to explain “happy” to the IRS.