Being an artist depends upon a cultural context. When I was young, art was all abstraction, in particular the Washington Color School. This seemed to have little to do with me, since I liked to draw. In addition, I grew up in a working class neighborhood, where art was not a proper interest for men, and certainly not a career option.
Instead, I became a social scientist by training, and was a technical professional by occupation, although visual art was always important. Since my retirement one of my goals has been to be recognized as an artist, whatever that may be. The current era presents its own difficulties, but it is now possible to be a representational artist.