I have to take issue with your statement that "a folk singer as one who earns his/her living from folksinging". That's a definition of a "professional" folksinger, certainly. But I think it leaves a lot of ground uncovered. For instance, if a person earns only 20% of their living from folksinging and earns the balance from say teaching music in a grade school or some other field not related to music at all, does that prevent him/her from being a folksinger? Would that criteria have prevented Van Gogh from being called an artist?
I guess if I seem to waffle on this point, its because I'm really uncomfortable with labeling and defining this stuff in any rigorous, hard and fast way.
I do think that in order to call yourself a folksinger (or an artist, actor, musician, athlete, etc.) you have to genuinely participate in the field. I'm not one of those folks who believe that "I'm and artist if I say I am" or "I don't have to do art, I am art". I mean, there does have to be some form of sincere effort involved. But, I don't see that making money has that much to do with it. I'm just sayin' is all.
- "artsy fartsy" Sean