Desperately Trying to Remove the Air Quotes Around the Word “Artist”

I started calling myself a programmer shortly after I started writing my first lines of code. There wasn’t much to that decision. I didn’t toil over the definition of the word or whether I should be allowed to say I was a programmer. The same isn’t true when it comes to my more creative endeavors.
When someone asks me about my artistic work I find myself searching for words. What is that hanging on your wall? It’s a … thing I made … it’s an abstract visualization … it’s … “art”.  And how would you describe what it is you do? I’m a … maker? a hobbyist? an … “artist”? And every time I say the word “artist” my hands instinctively jump up to make air quotes.
It’s time to come to terms with the fact that nobody will grant me the right to call myself an artist. There’s no external validation to be had. So fuck the air quotes.

Location: Children's Creativity Museum Date: April 25, 2015 Time: 9:00 am - 9:45 am Doug McCune