Rachel- your post was absolutely beautiful.
I have been struggling with this question hard the last few weeks. I had some personal things in my life happen this year that shook up my creativity as an artist and question myself.
I am an artist. I have a small line of art out on the market. It's not a big line. I am not famous. I am proud of my work. I keep it quiet because I have a greedy family. The money goes to my child and my charities. I know how the art world is. Many disdain stamping, knitting or any of those "crafts". You know they say crafts like it's the bubonic plague or something. I really grit my teeth when I hear it.
Decorating cakes- art form, knitting- art form, needlework- art form, stamping- art form. Many of the "crafts" are profiled in art museums across the world.
I love Stampscapes. I gasp every time I see one. I have tried to do it. That is really hard technique to learn and takes a special talent. Stampscapes to me are some of the most beautiful art in the world.
Oh my gosh some of the girls who do Copics with their stamping creations are better than some Manga artists.
I could go on and on and on at all the beautiful crafts that to me are the most beautiful pieces of art in the world from quilts to die cutting.
I don't feel guilty spending money on my supplies. My supplies are part of me. Every time I go into my studio I smile as I see all my paper, ephemera, coloring tools. My room reminds me of who I am and how far I have come as an artist. I do feel guilty when I get sucked into a trend that is not me. I really feel duped and shaken up about it. Now, I have that wisdom of not getting caught in that trap.