I often have a reoccurring conversation with a good artist friend of mine. It goes something like:
Why do I paint? Do I do it for myself or for others? Would I still paint if nobody wanted my work? If I quite painting and worked in another occupation I would still be an artist, just misplaced, so I might as well paint and try to make money from it.
This is when the difference between a painter and an artist play in. A painter merely loads brushes with paint and unloads them onto a surface. An artist is more concerned with doing something new or original, pushing their boundaries as well as the boundaries of painting in general. Everyone has their place, and all who paint are precious in my opinion but I have more respect for those who have learned their craft well and then speak their heart with it. A musician who doesn't just play their instrument but uses it to express their deepest emotions and intellect. There is a difference. I personally am not satisfied till I'm playing the role of Artist.