Has anyone considered the truth that many, if not most, artists have good days and bad days; days when they have something driving their spirits to arms, and others when they simply have to get out and do it, just to earn a buck?
Can you simply split that into good art and bad art, or are we looking at 'artworks' that are art and others that are just product, devoid of art and redolent only of technical ability, even from the same person's hand?
I note the reference about the great PS operator and how that makes him an artist. Really? I don't think so. It makes him a good technician. A woodworker? Yes, perhaps, depending on what he's producing. If he's making wood sculpture to his own design, then artist; if only a chair, then technician. If following another person's design, then I`d call him technician.
Being capable of doing something well isn't enough. Obviously, anyone who can do something well would probably enjoy the conceit of thinking himself artist, but that's something else: desire, not reality. Thing is, not every photographer wants to or thinks of himself as an artist. Most of my life I thought of myself as a photographer. Period. It's a relativey new concept, other than for those old guys in New Mexico who always imagined themselves stars in another firmament. In my memory, it dates back not much further than the late 60s to early 70s; after that, anyone making a print might consider himself a possible artist, especially if he couldn't print. You have the NY and LA and probably San Fran galleries to thank for the commercial birth and promotion of that idea. Paris isn't without blame, either! Democratization of art? Read making of money.