People might look at you a bit funny, but it's okay. Artists are allowed to be a bit different. ~Bob Ross
The candid down-to-earth, yet a little corny advice of Bob Ross always rings with the truth.
Bob Ross's style and uniqueness had mass appeal. And still does posthumously almost a decade later.
You can paint a painting was the underlying theme.
Can you paint a painting?
I see that there is often difficulty with this question of whether one is an artist.
But the question, I believe, is often confused with another question that is what is on people's hearts.
Are you a professional artist?
At which point I would expect most people to say no.
The general distinction is one of orientation, interest, economic return, and of skill level. I know a guy who creates stick figure cartoons and has been paid by Disney to do so. Is he a professional artist or does he just create art?
At the end of the day a happy tree is still a representational tree whether someone says its a tree or not. It would be better for them to keep their opinions to themselves and let you create until you come to the point of asking for more returns from your art. Until that point let's just paint!