Should You Follow Your Dream?
What kind of question is that? Of course you should follow your dream… I mean, of course you shouldn’t follow your dream. I guess it depends on who you ask. Or what your dreams are. I’m often asked questions like this by my students, and others. They often want to know if it’s possible to follow their dreams of becoming a professional artist/illustrator and can they make enough money to support themselves.
Yes, it is possible to succeed.
How bad do you want it?
Statistics can be misleading
Lets go off on a tangent…
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?
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.
So, Yes it IS possible
Off the record
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.