"You're going to be an illustrator?! Like cartoons and stuff?!"

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  1. #1
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    "You're going to be an illustrator?! Like cartoons and stuff?!"

    So, if there is a thread already, shoot me. I'm sure there is, and it's probably going to be right below this one as soon as I post it.

    I find it extremely funny that anytime anyone asks what I'm going to school for, they end up not respecting me anymore. That's a bit of a blanket statement, for there are the occasional people that think it is an admirable thing to pursue ones goals, but the others are very frustrating.

    No matter how I put it, artist, illustrator, visual media, anything! As soon as they know that I am an artist, I may as well not exist. Their eyes glaze over and they pretend to be interested, but it's a very horrible kind of pretending. Almost as if they are joking on me silently.

    Now, it's not that I let it get to me to much. It's just that I have to work or be around some of these people pretty often. I kind of like that they think it is abnormal to be an artist, because looking in on this community from the outside I thought it was strange as well. Once you are in the middle of something, it feels completely normal until you step back and look, or someone explains it to you the way that they see it.

    How do you explain to people that you are going to be an artist in a way that sounds less crazy?

    I think that you can't, exactly. It may be possible, but I don't see how. There are just going to be some people who think it is great, or some people who think you are insane.
    The only way, maybe, to prove them wrong is to become a professional, and then some will still disapprove.

    Now, I'll let some others ramble.

    What are your opinions? What are some funny stories that you have regarding people finding out that you are going to be an artist/are already a professional?
    People that you have known for a while, and never knew you were and artist, or even people that you newly meet and they ask you what you are pursuing/doing?

    Take it away, for I am starting this to hear your ideas and stories and scrutinize them from afar.

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  3. #2
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    bah down with those narrow minded people!

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  5. #3
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    Hello moopuff,

    First up, the reactions I get when I say 'artist' is, 'so, your unemployed?' haha- which I take light-heartedly as, I am an illustrator, and NOT unemployed. Some people nowadays have no idea what an illustrator is, so tend to be 'innocently ignorant'. I do graphical illustrations, simple cartoons, caricatures, boring maps and charts. But I also do life drawing, painting - all sorts of shit. Some people have no idea how much effort and study you put in to what you love most!

    -There was this one time, when this 'consultant' at an old company I used to work for, called me a 'Drawer' (a fuckin' drawer!)- to which I corrected her with 'Illustrator'- that so rightly pissed me off! (she was 'trying' to give me career advice...urgh) so I figured she had nooooo idea what she was talking about, if this was the kind of respect I was gonna get from some people, then fuck 'em! I love what I do, and what I can do- it aint worth getting upset about. You know your good at what you do, and they are being arseholes 'cos they lack any creativity.

    All I can say to you, is dont listen to people if they react funny to you wanting to be an artist- just follow your dreams. Dont let other peoples negativities control your future, cos if you do, YOU will be kicking your own bum!

    Mx

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  6. #4
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    A drawer! Hah!
    I agree that we have to be there for ourselves in times like that.

    Don't you think, that as a consultant trying to give you career advice that it would be that persons job to do a bit of research before advising you? That's kind of like giving you faulty information, I would say.

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  7. #5
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    Ask them what they went to school for and if it's truely, honestly, what they've wanted all of their life.

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    One guy did just ask me why and I replied 'because I've done other things, and got bored with them. I work on computers now, but I don't know if it's what I want to do all of my life. I guess I have a lot of back up plans though, huh?'

    I don't see it as a bad thing to have backup plans, but I try not to let me 'jobs' destroy my dreams. If I get to caught up in this office life, I won't get anywhere in an art career. It's already hard to get enough practice. I have to kick myself in the ass to get jump started, but at least I fit it in there. I honestly feel like I'm improving, so I guess something is working.

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  9. #7
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    just nod and smile, and when they inevitably ask you to do a portrait of their pet / kid / bf / whatever, tell them your rates. then they shut up.

    In the future, everyone will have 15 minutes of privacy.

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  11. #8
    Ellingsworth Guest
    Haha, I hate that, man. What I really, REALLY hate is when they ask you about something your working on, OR you try to explain it to them and they look at you and you know they aren't paying attention or could give two shits less about what your explaining.

    EX: I let my friend look over my Henry Yan figure drawing book and he's like, "Wow this guy is really weird, why does he have a such an obsession with naked people?", then I try to to explain to him why artist draw nudes and in the middle of it he just interrupts me and starts talking about something else.

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    huh, most "ordinary" people I've talked to who ask what I do at least pretend to respect it (though how can I really know?)

    you try to explain it to them and they look at you and you know they aren't paying attention or could give two shits less about what your explaining
    On the flip side though, have you ever tried to have a friendly conversation with, say, a real estate agent? I'm sure I was giving those same looks, there's only so long I can stay interested in talking about flipping houses.

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  13. #10
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    "Oh you're an animator? So your going to work for Disney right?"

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  15. #11
    Ellingsworth Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by DavePalumbo View Post
    huh, most "ordinary" people I've talked to who ask what I do at least pretend to respect it (though how can I really know?)



    On the flip side though, have you ever tried to have a friendly conversation with, say, a real estate agent? I'm sure I was giving those same looks, there's only so long I can stay interested in talking about flipping houses.
    True, but if I ask someone about something they're doing, I try to at least give them my respect until they finish telling me about it. Plus I'm just a teenager (17) The person I was explaining it to was my friend. So, no hard feelings, I guess he just wasn't interested.

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    Yeah, Ellingsworth I know what you mean.
    When I was doing some Nicolades things my friend told me that maybe I should just figure out my own style. He would try to explain to people that sometimes I just draw stupid lines and scribbles. I would try and explain that I was just trying to start from the beginning and that it was not about how things turned out, but learning how to see. They just didn't listen.

    I always listen to people intently when they tell me about things. Or at least I try to.

    I don't find figure drawing to hard to explain to most people. I think they usually start to understand after they mature a bit (not putting an age on that for a reason, I guess some people never mature). After you explain that almost every artist draws from life, and draws nudes, it suddenly seems a bit more normal. Explain to them that you don't really see it sexually, and that it's more about the shapes than the figure.
    If I go through a few minutes of trying to explain to people something and they still don't understand, I usually go through a few more tries before throwing them into the 'they'll get it in time' category. I don't explain things to well I guess.

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  17. #13
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    So I was talking biology with some grad students, cuz they were doing some kick ass experiments. When they asked me what I study, it gave them a look of shock to hear I was studying art. I guess 'artists' aren't supposed to know about other things heheh.

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  19. #14
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    If I had a dime for every time one of my friends jokingly asks if they can come to figure drawing with me to draw naked women, and then having to tell them no and explain what figure drawing is actually for.

    S S G 2 9
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    You're an artist, not a meat camera. -Elwell
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  20. #15
    Ellingsworth Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by moopuff View Post
    Yeah, Ellingsworth I know what you mean.
    When I was doing some Nicolades things my friend told me that maybe I should just figure out my own style. He would try to explain to people that sometimes I just draw stupid lines and scribbles. I would try and explain that I was just trying to start from the beginning and that it was not about how things turned out, but learning how to see. They just didn't listen.

    I always listen to people intently when they tell me about things. Or at least I try to.

    I don't find figure drawing to hard to explain to most people. I think they usually start to understand after they mature a bit (not putting an age on that for a reason, I guess some people never mature). After you explain that almost every artist draws from life, and draws nudes, it suddenly seems a bit more normal. Explain to them that you don't really see it sexually, and that it's more about the shapes than the figure.
    If I go through a few minutes of trying to explain to people something and they still don't understand, I usually go through a few more tries before throwing them into the 'they'll get it in time' category. I don't explain things to well I guess.
    Yeah, man. It all has to do with maturity. To me, the stuff I try to explain is cool and interesting, I guess that differs from person to person, though. It just sucks when you don't have any friends interested in art.

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  21. #16
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    I sharpen my pencils with a very large, extremely sharp, death-black Bowie Knife with a ten inch blade...

    Nobody asks me shit...

    No position or belief, whether religious, political or social, is valid if one has to lie to support it.--Alj Mary

    Ironically, the concept of SIMPLICITY is most often misunderstood by simple-minded people. --Alj Mary
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  23. #17
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    death-black
    hahaha, nice

    "Every little step considered one at a time is not terribly daunting" - Ethan Coen

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  24. #18
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    I always use a knife as well, Ilaekae.

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  25. #19
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    "will you draw me , pluuuueeeezeeee ?" "Okey , that would make..." "sketch me for free" I so fraggin HATE that...NO YOU BASTICH ! OF COURSE NOT ! *quotes from Firefly* "I am a businessman. I do business. And i get payd !" Take your "for free" elsewhere and ask a hooker if she would do it "for free" *rage*

    sorry for the outburst. That is the only thing I really hate. Sometimes stuff like "Do you draw Manga ?" makes me a bit angry but not as much as people who think being an artist means living out of thin air. But everything else , i can ignore.

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  26. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChaoticKnight View Post
    "Oh you're an animator? So your going to work for Disney right?"
    BWAHAHAHAhahaha, OMFG I'm familiar with that one, although it's usually "Pixar" now.

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  27. #21
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    I only hang out with other artists.


    Tristan Elwell
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  29. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ilaekae View Post
    I sharpen my pencils with a very large, extremely sharp, death-black Bowie Knife with a ten inch blade...

    Nobody asks me shit...
    Hah! Styyyylllllle!


    yeah, tell em that successful illustrators and conceptartists can make up to 100K a year and theyll shut up right quick.

    oh, the other favorite response is:
    "ya know that little movie called the Matrix? or Lord of the Rings? how about Star Wars.... who do you think drew all that stuff?
    yeah.... tha's right!!!!!! "

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  30. #23
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    I only hang out with other artists.
    sooner or later though, we all go to the barber

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  32. #24
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Layil, that is actually how I use to explain "concept art" to my friends.. Referring to designs in movies et c. They actually tend to understand, even if some just wants to see me as another social retard when I say i want to be an artist.

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  • #25
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    I just try to build up whatever ideas they have.

    If I say Im an artist and they go into the whole selling paintings on the street idea, I say "hell yea, I paint for 30 minutes and someone comes and throws down 500 bucks for my painting. Its the shit!!"

    If I say Im a video game developer and they think its all fun and games, I just tell em that yea, all I do is play video games all day and I get paid shit loads of money. THen i make fun of them for being dumbfucks and choosing to be accountants.


    Just run with it. Stop taking things so seriously

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  • #26
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    Unhappy

    I'm a storyteller. I make something from nothing, create an illusion in living, breathing space, then when I go, there's nothing left to show for it.....

    ....and you think you have problems.......

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  • #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by aesir View Post
    I just try to build up whatever ideas they have.

    If I say Im an artist and they go into the whole selling paintings on the street idea, I say "hell yea, I paint for 30 minutes and someone comes and throws down 500 bucks for my painting. Its the shit!!"

    If I say Im a video game developer and they think its all fun and games, I just tell em that yea, all I do is play video games all day and I get paid shit loads of money. THen i make fun of them for being dumbfucks and choosing to be accountants.


    Just run with it. Stop taking things so seriously
    This man (or woman?) has the right idea!

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  • #28
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    "If you do a painting for me, I'll hang it on my wall."
    I just give them a look.
    "No really I will!"
    Ugh.

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  • #29
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    Honestly, who cares what other people think? If people lose respect for you because you are going to school to be an artist, they aren't worth giving your respect to, IMO. Ya gotta give it to get it, where I come from.

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  • #30
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    You know, I must have been very fortunate in the environment I grew up in, but I've never had to deal with this crap.


    Tristan Elwell
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