Do You Call Yourself An Artist?

by Barbara Burns on March 13, 2017


Barbara Burns weaving “Amandaconda.” Photo credit: Michael Wilson

According to the English Oxford Dictionary an artist is: a person who practices or performs any of the creative arts.

I didn’t call myself an artist for a long time. I would skirt the idea and say things like: “I design and weave tapestry” or “I’m a weaver.” I just wasn’t comfortable with the label “artist”.  What changed? Well, some people were calling me an artist, so I decided to try it on for a while. It felt like a new pair of shoes: a bit stiff at first but, after wearing them for a while they mold to your feet and feel comfortable. That’s how it happened for me. So now I say: “I’m a tapestry artist, I design and weave tapestry”. I’m still getting used to my “new shoes.”

There’s a great blog post written by Luann Udell in California, USA 

WHO IS AN ARTIST? (And When Can You Call Yourself One?)

I’ve quoted a few lines from Luann’s post with her permission:

“If you are making something that makes your heart sing, if you enjoy it, if it connects you to your higher self, if it connects others to their higher self, even for a few brief moments, then yeah, you’re an artist.”

“And you can start calling yourself that right now.”

“You have to SAY “I’m an artist” before you can believe it.”

“If people are curious, and it’s hard to explain what you do, hand them your business card (which absolutely should have a bit of your artwork on it, if at all possible) that has your website (because you need to have an online presence of some sort so people can see/hear/watch what you do).”

“And let them decide for themselves. Don’t doubt what you are. Don’t second-guess what you do. Just constantly strive to make it as good as you can.”

“After all, only you can do it.”

“Say it loud, say it proud, “I’m an artist!” right out loud.”

 You can read the full post here.

For more reading try:

Huffington Post article: How Do You Define Artist?



  1. Donna M Graham says:

    Calling myself an artist was difficult. Your are right on in explaining the process.

  2. Barbara Burns says:

    Donna, I just wanted to make it clear that the article “Who Is An Artist” was written by Luann Udell. She did do a very good job explaining the process. Thank you for commenting,

  3. I must agree that wearing the mantle of ‘artist’ has been difficult for me to do. I draw, do leatherwork, beading to some extent, embroider, cross-stitch, designed some of the wood furniture in my own, designing the floor plan of my home. Some designs from of all of this being my own, others from other sources. Tapestry is my own and i proudly consider myself tapestry weaver but still hesitate in saying artist. If others choose to use that term, I do not disagree or correct them. They are describing what they see in even if I don’t always see it myself. Guess I’ll get used to it eventually, but I’m afraid it will inflate my head if I do. Anyone else feel that way?

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