Well, that's why you don't look at the work of only two or three extremely well known artists. I look at comic art, I look at Magic: The Gathering cards, I look at Anime and Manga, I look at traditional illustrations, I look at art books. I then compare my work to the work I've seen in those places. I compare it to the people I know HAVE to be getting paid.
HAVE to be getting paid is the lowest common denominator of professional. But again if you can't read your own work how can you compare? To me compare is a very specific act and it's impossible to get specific with all the different things you listed. The original question is one we have all asked or will ask but there is never, at least in my experience, that one aha moment. 30 seconds ago I was an amateur and now I'm a pro. Some of our moments may be easier to define, as in one job that got things started, but most just sort of ease into be a professional.
So my point is if you have the tools to compare your work to another's then those same tools should tell you if you are doing good work or not. So for me it's not as much comparing as it is understanding.
I disagree with Bill on this. A professional is one who makes their living from the profession. That said it isn't a good measure of quality but more a measure of tenacity. I do think words have meanings though and you can't claim to be a doctor or lawyer or even a plumber if you don't make your living as one so why is art any different? Plenty of room to suck at those jobs and still have it as your profession.
Sounds like we might agree a little Armand. The level of pro comment had to do with comparing work not being a good measure of being professional. All my comments were directed at comparisons not working in calling oneself a pro. Making money or a living is actually the only tangible measure of calling oneself a pro.
The problem in defining it solely as making a living is that there are many levels of making a living. I can live on the street and do drawings of tourists and make just enough to feed myself and drink beer and be called a pro. So hustle then would define pro and not quality? An interesting discussion but I don't think it's all that black and white in my head. I worked full time as a security guard for years but would never call myself a professional law enforcement guy. Maybe at the time technically you could cal me that but I never felt like I was a pro. Anyway, black and white definitions are too easy for CA.
Last edited by bcarman; June 11th, 2013 at 11:26 AM.
I think dpaint is right and 'pro' refers to a way of making living, but bears no measure of quality.
Professionals do have a certain job acceptance standard, but in such a subjective business like this one, that really doesn't mean much, if anything.
However, a distinction must be made between profession and vocation.
One can be a painter by vocation, but not by profession and the other way around.