I've finally got a name for it- that feeling of intimidation in the face of college educated artists. The feeling that, because my artistic knowledge was mostly gained outside the classroom, it can never truly measure up to people who went to a four year and got a degree. It dogged me for years, the sense that I wasn't "allowed" to make "real" art and so stayed away from showing my stuff and even from entering art supply stores.
It's called being a bastard. An artistic bastard.
Pretty mean, but don't misunderstand. I am not using this term to describe anyone but myself. Self taught artists abound and flourish in careers everywhere. But for myself, this feeling of being illegitimate, suddenly I've got a label to put with the feeling. Like my thoughts aren't good enough, my work doesn't count and my application for the Artist Card has been denied. But even by my own rules, its inaccurate. If going to art school makes you a "legitimate artist" (which it totally does not) then I'm doing it. I'm doing the art school thing right now. But deep in my heart, the bastard idea persists. I have a strange sense of peace about it. Giving it a name is the first step towards acceptance, maybe.
If you ever feel like this, then let's set the record straight. You become a full, legitimate artist the moment you call yourself that. No one needs to give you permission. Produce work. Keep going. You are allowed to make art. Allow yourself to make art.
Lessons its taken me 30 years to learn and am still learning.