Most people could offer a solid response to the question, “What is an artist?”
Wiktionary defines the noun 'artist' (Singular: artist; Plural: artists) as follows:
1. A person who creates art.
2. A person who creates art as an occupation.
3. A person who is skilled at some activity.
Can one sustain the self as suggested by #2 above over long periods of time, so throw time into the mix of defining an artist and one realizes that an artist must generate income from the art they create in order to be termed an artist through time.
One can really complicate the issue by adding the term, “emerging artist” and you’ve got real trouble in River City as it pertains to artists who long to entertain their fellow citizens. Come on, I mean how does one become skilled as a writer; musician; painter; sculptor without an income to put beans on the table all the while spending time becoming a skilled writer; musician...
I know musicians who are in transit to their goals. They are in different stages of their migration along the Emerging Artist Hwy. Look at Jo Peverill for example... she is just begun and if she persists she will likely become an artist for keeps which is to say one who earns her living doing what she loves doing https://www.facebook.com/jpeverill1. Then there is Steph Johnson https://www.facebook.com/mysteriousfeminine. She also can be defined as an emerging artist, but one who is further along in her quest to be one with the arts. And perhaps my favorite artist Dave Scott who has been around the block and back https://www.facebook.com/davescottmedia?fref=ts and I do enjoy his work a lot.
The common denominator in the quest for sustaining the arts is money. Musicians start with “open mike nights” where they can hone their skills. I wonder how the sculptor hones the skills which would take them to the level of Michelangelo. In this age of digital publications, most emerging writers can become a self publisher but will they generate any more money from that endeavor than an open mike session at Hart Lounge for a musician? I asked one such writer, Phineas Gage how his writing career is coming along https://www.facebook.com/phineas.gage.9619?fref=ts and he suggests all it takes is time and belief in yourself to make it as a writer. “And if you go to Amazon.com you can get my book. It’s a new release called One More Tumbler Please. And if enough people buy the book, I can afford to write my next book.”