Right from the outset, calling yourself an 'artist' is a risky concept. 23 years and a degree in art history later I've learned that historically, artists (at least the most famous ones) are seen as individuals who operate in a completely different realm from everyone else, and spend most of their time smoking opium and entertaining Parisian prostitutes.
There are definite connotations of superiority and egotism surrounding artists of the past. This means that for those of us who just want to create things and maybe sell a piece once in a while, there's a specific set of hurdles we have to jump over first, to prove we're not doing this because we think the label 'artist' makes us seem cultured and bourgeois.
The next punch in the gut you're likely to face as an artist (whether that be painter, illustrator, writer etc) is the realization that some people will think you're lazy. An artist studio space costs around £300 a month to rent (at least where I live it does). That means pinning down a place that I can travel to each day to work on my portfolio and proposals is as about as likely as me being commissioned by Tate Modern, and that means most of my work is done from an at-home work space aka the kitchen table.
Working from home means you can pop out whenever you want to get coffee. You can have Netflix on in the background if you want and if you accidentally oversleep it's not a big deal - you can just make up the time later. However, I still think a lot of people have this idea that working from home means rolling out of bed at 10 am, doing a few hours of work then watching Loose Women and calling it a day. Recently a flatmate (during an argument I won't bother expanding on) accused me of 'sitting on my ass all day', which is funny because I used to be blisteringly self conscious that people thought about me that way. I would tell myself that because I didn't have an office to go to or a daily commute or any of the traditional marks of a full time job, people would assume that I did nothing all day long, but hearing it come out of someone else's mouth, rather than from inside my own head, made me realise how ridiculous an assumption that is.
I used to work at a traditional 9-5, where to be honest about 20% of my time was spent on Daily Mail and my colleagues often had conversations amongst themselves for significant chunks of the day. I'm sure a lot of people work at places like this, maybe even with a poor attitude towards the work itself, as I used to have, but their legitimacy is never criticized.
I guess I'd like to round off by saying that as I become more accustomed to ducking these sorts of insults, the fear of what people might think of me slowly loses its grip. I truly admire people who work in traditional jobs, earn great money and love what they do, and hope that in the very near future, people who work from home, freelance, work part time or even choose to not work at all, receive exactly the same amount of respect and admiration.