I once had a conversation with my uncle where he asked me to name some artists. I answered Michelangelo, Leonardo, Donatello, Raphael (What do you want? I was like 8 and big into the Ninja Turtles). He asked if I knew any that weren't turtles. I knew a couple, but he suggested that anyone who creates is an artist, no matter what the medium. I thought this was a pretty neat idea, and I've carried it around with me for quite a while... but is it true? Well, I suppose part of that depends on how you define creating something.
Does painting a miniature that someone else sculpted count?
Building a megadungeon using someone elses rules?
What about writing up a variant monster for D&D? What if it's based on a picture someone else posts?
Much of the time I feel very much that I am more of an artisan than an artist. Someone who is at least marginally skilled, but not original. I'm creating works, but they aren't original, and that lack of originality pushes them out of the realm of "real" art. I'm often inspired by the things I see, and I like tweaking them, putting my own spin on them, but the original idea, the soul of it isn't mine. On the worst of days that makes me feel less of an artisan and more of a charlatan.
Taken to an extreme this becomes a very silly idea. The guy who sculpts a historical mini is an artist. The guy who sculpts a squad/company/regiments worth of historical minis is an artisan.
So what am I: Artist? Artisan? Charlatan? I'm leaning toward the middle one. How about you? How do you see it?