Should You Follow Your Dream?
Yes, it is possible to succeed.
This is an impossible question to answer in a few short sentences. It’s also probably impossible to answer with a simple yes or no. But Yes, it is possible, is it likely? Or will it be easy? Is it right for you? That is the real question. So I can’t answer Yes, or No. What I can do is offer my insights and, I would also council students, beginners and wanna be professional artists/illustrators to get opinions from other sources (until someone tells them what they want to hear. lol Or rather), until they hear enough of the answer that resonates with them.
How bad do you want it?
First, I believe that most successful artists have an internal drive to create. A need. A burning from within to draw
, play, or whatever. I also see that this desire is stronger in some than others – think of it like “the force”. And then there’s that need to make money for survival. These two needs are often at odds with one another. Parents send their kids to school to prepare them for careers and everybody knows you can’t make a living as an artist
…or that the odds of making a living as an artist are pretty slim.
Statistics can be misleading
If you only look at the figures it’s totally impractical to choose art as a career – score one for parents, my aunt Georgia, those negative school teachers and all the other naysayers
, but statistics can be misleading.
Lets go off on a tangent…
When I grow up, I’m gonna bite a 16-24 year old moron.
In the United states there are approximately 8,000 poisonous snake bites each year. So if you live here you have a one in 43,000 chance of being bitten by a poisonous snake. However what if you’re a home body – couch potato – a slug who lives in the city and never goes out? Are your chances the same? “yeah but my friend got bit by a rattle snake once.” Also, would your chances go down if you never pick up snakes? Included in the 8,000 statistic are all of the 16-24 year old boys/men who “feel the need” to pick up snakes. In fact more than half of the 8,000 people bitten each year are morons who picked up poisonous snakes. So are your personal chances of being bitten really 1 out of 43,000? You have a much lower chance, taking these additional facts into consideration – Because you, or most of you, don’t pick up poisonous snakes. I may run a little greater risk as I do a lot of hiking in the foot hills around hear with Will Terry. We call it the Board Room. And there are a few rattlesnakes, out here. And we have seen a few. “Yeah and my dad got bit by one once up on Mount Nebo.”
Does this apply to your chances of “making it” as a professional artist?
I think you need to take a hard look at yourself because in the end only you can answer the questions that can get you past the statistics.Are you always creating? Drawing, painting, etc? Is it the most important thing in your life? Or at least, one of the most important things. Are you happy with the idea of yourself doing something other than an art career? Do you give up other activities to pursue art? Do you identify yourself as an artist? Do you treat socializing on weekends as a sacred ritual or can you give it up to perfect your art projects? Do you have artist role models? Are you motivated to pursue entrepreneurial projects? Do you believe you can “make money” if you have a good product and are willing to work hard? Do you feel free to do what you want in life without the blessing of your parents, friends, or Aunt Georgia? Do you like to improvise and experiment or feel the need to follow instructions on projects to a fault? Do you over-estimate your artistic abilities?
Is it something you LOVE? And will you continue to love it eight hours a day?
When I grow up, nah, I’m an artist, I don’t have to grow up.
These are just a few questions I think you need to be able to answer in order to know if your odds are better or worse for being able to “make it” as a professional artist. I believe that some have a much better chance simply because of their life style, habits, and choices, while others have a horrible shot at it because it’s just not that important to them.
In the end one thing’s for sure: There are a lot of people who regret not following their dreams and there are a lot of people who have regrets about following their dreams. Each probably feel they should have taken a different path.
Most people change paths several times in their life any way, so maybe you should give it a shot. You will have a better chance if you really dedicate yourself to it, rather than just give it a shot.
I say, If you want to be an Artist, DO IT. It isn’t skill so much as it’s sticking with it, and doing it, and never giving up. Art is an acquired skill that can be learned and improved upon. So if your willing to learn and improve and keep on doing it, you can succeed.
So, Yes it IS possible
Should you follow your dreams? I don’t know. Can you become a professional artist, YES YOU CAN. Is it likely that YOU will succeed? Will it be stressful? Will it all be fun? Will it be hard? Will it be easy? It will be worth it.
Off the record
When I grow up, I won’t feel the need to pick up snakes. PS this is Not a poisonous snake. I hope.
I was a 16-24 year old boy/men/moron who “felt the need” to pick up snakes and I had a pet rattlesnake for awhile. I did handle him a few times til I took her back to Mount Benlomand where I caught him and let her go. Statistically, that month, I had a lot higher chance of being bitten by a poisonous snake. And oh yeah, I don’t really know if he was a girl or if she was a boy.