Was there a moment, or a period, when you could say Now I'm an Artist™! ? Was it the day you received your MFA, or the time you made your first sale? Was it when you finally mastered that hard technique? Fired your first bead? The first time your mom wore the macaroni necklace?
This won't be an essay since I don't have my own answer, but I'm guessing a lot of artists don't think of themselves as artists because the boundary of the idea is invisible and moving all the time. If you're wandering through, tell me what you think.