Date of Completion


Document Type

Open Access Capstone

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

First Advisor

Jeremy Szteiter


Being an artist involves the creation and maintenance of an artistic identity. Because there are no specific prerequisites for becoming an artist, like academic degrees or professional licenses, anyone can call him- or herself an artist. Working as an artist differs from working in more typical careers. This paper seeks to examine the ways artists build and maintain artistic identities, and the various actions or modes of thinking needed in order to do so. The author reflects on her own life as an artist, which includes considering how she lost sight of her artistic self, and the steps she is taking to rebuild her identity as a practicing artist. Reflection, research, and self-confrontation all guide her in acknowledging struggles and taking action for future success.