no, i don't think you can be a pro and a hobbyist at the same time. i would say that a professional artist is someone who
-gets paid a lot for their work -regularly
i can't really define "a lot" but say, if someone makes commissions that are $10, i wouldn't call them a "professional." i think it should be enough money to either be your full income, or at least provide a sizeable supplement to income from another job. if you make only a little bit of money off your art then i wouldn't call you a "professional" because i feel like professionals have a certain skill level, and people at that skill level don't sell art for a tiny amount of money. their art is worth more.
and about "regularly," i think that if you only sell one piece of art every once in a while and it's not consistent and it's pretty rare, i still wouldn't call you a professional.
so i think a professional is someone who puts a lot of time into their art, and is pretty good at making money regularly off of it. it's a job. it's serious. and again, i think "professional" requires a certain skill level. because, that's what i and many of my da friends are working toward- we want to improve our skills so we can be at "pro level." it's something an artist works hard for years to do. right now though, i'm a "hobbyist." but i'm am aspiring pro
I'll approach this from a slightly different angle:
Certainly one measure of being a professional is that you are paid for the work you do.
But what does it mean to be a professional? I think that's as much about the attitude you bring to the "job". It means you commit to the work with integrity (you aren't stealing other people's work)*, you apply your skills as best you can.If you're working for a client, you put the client ahead of your ego & if there's a deadline & you've agreed to meet- you meet it.
*I'm going to say to be a professional in terms of dA- well...they say good artists borrow, great artists steal. I say artists with integrity name their sources. I think to be professional, still talking attitude, is how you treat your fellow artists & what you post to the site & where you put it. I also think it's how you treat your own art. One of the worst things, I think an artist can do here is disrespect their own work- "Here's some shit I did last night. It sucks, huh?" The next thing worst thing- disrespect another artist's work.
Technically: The second you get paid you are professional. Art is one of those things where you don't need any other qualifications.
This means if you are taking paying jobs you can't enter in amateur competition.
The QUALITY of the work has nothing to do with it, a professional has just figured out how to sell it. Art is SO subjective that no matter what it is, somebody is going to LOVE it. You could close your eyes and randomly draw three lines on paper and it's going to speak to somebody. It's just about finding who that 'somebody' is.
A person can be an incredible artist, with amazing technical skill and original ideas, but if they don't sell the work they will always be an amateur.
I agree with a lot of these comments, but an amateur is certainly not to be confused with a professional on skill level. The word amateur dictates that they are not at a professional standard.. they are sub par.. they just arent there yet. Now Ill probably get flack for this but I dont think a lot of these "great" modern artists should even be called professionals. They've just duped people into thinking their stuff is special and is worth buying when really their skill level is nil and they are better at persuasion than art. The renaissance artists would laugh at them. You cant even compare Warhol to Michelangelo, DaVinci, or any of those guys. THOSE were true professionals.. and while they did make their living off of it, that wasnt all they did, they had an immense amount of skill to back it, much more than a hobbyist or an amateur. A true professional is someone who is good at what they do and makes a living off of it because of it.
You're right, I did look it up. But while that's true, someone who does it for the love of it rather than as a profession is not putting the same amount of time into practicing to better themselves and competing with other professionals, they arent going to be at the same level.