You did call artists with great skills amateurs.
If you go around calling someone an amateur despite if they make an income or not, but if they are skilled in a field regardless, they are not going to like being called that. So, yeah, learn about context or maybe choose a different set of words, It almost sounds as if you lack social skills or means to communicate with people without being a cut-out of the dictionary.
I can call them different names and adjectives:
- Skilled, Talented, Pro, Hobbyist, Specialist. Dedicated, ETC.
Someone can be a professional in something they do regardless if they don't make an income with it, again, it depends on this interesting word called Context, "the parts of something written or spoken that immediately precede and follow a word or passage and clarify its meaning."
You can say someone is a pro gamer in a game, not necessarily because they make money with it, but because their perfomance is good and incredible, they don't die in the game, they know or grasp very quickly how to play it and achieve the goals within the game.
You can say someone is a pro artist, not necessarily because they make money with it, because they have great art skill, they know how to make interesting works, or gather a big following, they caught the interest of people, know different artistic branches, can guide and help others out. Even more, despite they don't make an income they can advice and provide with amazing tips to those that are interested, but lost, in making an income.
No one is going to die nor get the wrong idea for as long there is context, if you cannot grasp the context and usage of the word for a specific situation, then idk... learn to be more flexible with your vocabulary
Don't go around getting stuck in one single meaning, and its not like people don't get the """"""Real""""" meaning of amateur. A lot of words can be used to mean more than one single thing.
Learn that these words can also be used as both nouns and adjectives, so again, you can bend the meaning and fit it properly too according to its context.
AMATEUR can be used as. And this coming from my own dictionary at home, spanish edition:
- Someone who does something out of passion, not a job (This is what you're seeing)
- Someone who lacks skill or knowledge in an activity or something they do (This is also VALID)
- Someone who is skilled in something but lacks knowledge, like someone who knows in theory but lacks the practice, and viceversa.
PROFESSIONAL can also be used for very different things, not only regarding to income:
- Someone who has a job that required a high level of education and training (This is what you're seeing)
- Someone who has been long enough and worked hard in a certain field, regardless if as a job or hobby, at the point that has become skilled at dealing with any problem that might happen.
- Someone who has good qualities such as effectiveness, skill, organization and seriousness of manner.
Stupid yet very simple examples, now is up to you if you can be flexible about meaning.
A. I'm an amateur in shooting games, I don't know how to play nor load my guns, I loose all the time and I don't benefit my team.
B. I'm an amateur in using Sony Vegas, I know how to edit videos from both my Video Production classes or how I've used other programs such as VideoPad Editor, yet I'm at loss when it comes to Sony Vegas
C. I'm an amateur in nail art, I know how to do it, and despite I could make an income with it, I decide not to do so.
A. I'm a professional in the Sims 2 game, I know several cheats, I know how to play with and without them, make custom content and elevate my gaming experience and entertainment.
B. I'm a professional in hairdressing, I have a title yet I don't make an income, I win contests from time to time and solve a few hair nightmares caused in Salons when friends come visit. Quality of result is good and even better than of the one you call a professional.
C. I'm a professional webcomic artist, I make a living out of this, have a decent curriculum, skillset and very organized.