Because of my leanings towards Sci-fi and Fantasy, and my prior work with The Agents, I get pigeon-holed with 'Guy-Holding-Gun' jobs. Don't get me wrong, it's absolutely great doing work like that, but is it art? It's like the Warhammer fan-art I do, as much as I enjoy doing it, it's in now way 'art'. Using someone else's idea and maybe interpreting it differently, or doing it in a different style is, I believe, more a homage than actual art itself.
My other line of semi-regular work is Storyboarding, which is mainly advertising/commercials, and let me tell you, there is nothing creative involved in that when pandering to the money guys in suits.
So what have I become? I'm basically a drawer. I draw things, scenes, characters, skin-deep stuff that needs little interpretation, no interaction and provokes little thought. I find myself looking back at old work (around the time I began setting myself up as an artist) with rose-tinted glasses. Back then I had less constraints, created stuff I liked.
Also, all my work is digital, I never make something solid, something I can hang on a wall and display. I can't remember the last time I painted anything, or didn't rely on the a computer to finish an illustration. My life's work as an artist is 90% internet based. If the internet collapsed tomorrow, what would I even be?
Maybe this is all because I haven't done any personal work for the last couple of years. Even though working with other people is great, and can be more enlightening than working just on your own, it's never really you're idea, and any creative decisions you make can be easily overturned (sometime for the worse) simply because your being paid to do a job. Sometimes it's rewarding, a lot of times it's hollow.
So this year I want to be an Artist, not a Creative. I want to make real things as well as good things. I want to get work based on my merit, not because I'm the cheapest guy out there who can draw a guy with a gun. I want to be free of doing roughs, of worrying about things not looking realistic enough.
I want to be an artist.