I love to draw and paint, but have never thought of myself as an artist. I always thought of it as being a serious hobby. If I had to give myself a title, it would be, Guy Who Paints. But I would never use the word, artist.
To varying extents, I've been drawing since I was ten or eleven. Please don't mistake this statement as me saying that I was a child prodigy. Far from it. My only point is that I have had an interest in art for a long time. In those twenty years since, I have produced thousands of drawings and watercolors. Many paintings. But never once have I considered myself an artist. Simply a guy who paints.
Tonight, I laid on the sofa and found myself genuinely affected by a story I saw on TV. Normally my reaction would be to write about it, or to ponder. File it in my head. Perhaps my thoughts and reactions would merely fade away. But with action bordering on instinct, I went over to my easel and did a painting based on the story and how it made me feel. I put paint to canvas with zeal. It was how I expressed what I was feeling.
And for the first time ever, I feel comfortable calling myself an artist.