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Readers Respond: Do You Call Yourself an Artist or Painter?

Responses: 85


When you refer to yourself or talk about your artwork, do you call yourself a painter or an artist? Perhaps something else? Does it vary depending on who you're talking to, or do you try to avoid using a label of any kind? Share your thoughts and experiences here.

Test of Humility

I believe that the term "Artist" is only truly applicable when others describe you this way. Then you know you have truly succeeded in becoming one. This is the test of humility, not blowing your trumpet, but quietly pursuing the goal of an artist in an unassuming way.
—Guest Paul

Just Enjoy

What ever you do, do it with love, knowing that non-doers will find fault with what ever you do. Doing is love in action.
—Guest mikebel

Art vs. Painter

We are all artists in our own ways: the art of expression through our chosen medium. Some are chefs, others gardeners, some sing, others dance. Some inspirational speakers, authors or salesmen have and "art" in communication. The painter, paints. The artist expresses herself however she pleases!
—Guest Amelia

I'm not an Artist, yet.

I don't paint much, I mostly use pencils & charcoals. I'd rather call myself a hobbyist? I can't call myself an artist no matter how great and creative my work gets, it's a BIG word, and I don't think it's okay for everyone to call themselves that either. It takes time, experience, and plenty of super great art pieces to be done. Yeah, it's THAT big to me.
—Guest Aye

Artist, painter or what?

I see myself as someone who paints, I paint what I see before me, so therefore I don't feel I have yet introduced 'Art' into my paintings, I'm hoping one day I can say that I have.

I think I'm crafty & creative!

I like to do many different kinds of projects- I sketch, use water colors/pastels, I'm great with a glue gun. I like using the word creative, all art is creative and beautiful in its own way.
—Guest Maggie

Making Art

Making art is being artistic... no one has the right to say anything negative... it's your creativity ....you are an artist
—Guest kathleen


Only one out of a million wannabees is actually an artist. That may be overestimating actually. To the majority, whatever you're doing is nice I'm sure, but it's only a hobby. Truth hurts. Stop cheapening the word "art". Everybody is a #### "artist" these days. It makes me cringe.
—Guest geez

Eureka !

A painter paints, creates. An artist (a painter here) paints, creates and... above all, innovates.
—Guest Yover


Selling has nothing to do with whether or not you're an artist. There are countless excellent artists do beautiful work and never sell anything. Art is creating art. Not selling. A painting doesn't have to sell to be art. An artist creates art whether he/she sells it or not.
—Guest Anne

What an insult

A true artist would never box themselves by clinging to fit beneath a word and its transitional meaning. A true artist would want to be called anything except an artist because to consider yourself an artist is to say that you fit into a group with many like you and that group is called "artists". A true artist strives for individuality and through that struggle emerges many emotions, and from these emotions many great pieces of work have been composed. But anyone who claims or concerns themselves with whether or not to call themselves an artist is just allowing their ego to cling to an idea for the reasons of status, fame, and or fortune an should stop wasting their time making more junk for the world to weave through. If you ask an enlightened Buddhist how to become awakened, the Buddhist will only smile.
—Guest Anonymous


I have had no formal training in painting or any other art form but I love to paint, knit and embroider. I do not sculpt or know printmaking or any other art forms except watercolour, pastels, pen rendering, oil and acrylic painting on paper or canvas. I really do not understand installations etc. but I love whatever I do and do it sincerely so, yes, I am an artist.

Follow the Artist Within

When I approach the canvas at the start of a project I never know what will happen, but the artist soon takes charge. The painter follows the artist within.
—Guest Edward


Call myself an artist, but admittedly am timid about it. Perhaps artist in training... but never intend to be completely trained, want to never stop learning.
—Guest Lee House


I would call myself an artist! I do however paint walls as well. But a painter in my opinion is someone using paint to cover a surface, or painting something without being "arty", whereas an artist will tell a story and stir an emotion on canvas!
—Guest Desi

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