The emotional influence of others

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Thread: The emotional influence of others

  1. #1
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    The emotional influence of others

    I was wondering what kind of impact others (family, friends, teachers...etc) have had on your pursuits in art...good and bad.

    For a better chunk of my life I swore I was going to work in art somehow. But I had the parents that told me to pick a real career and move on. I still held onto the notion, but not as outwardly. I used to live for art classes all through school until a teacher told me I was a waste of art supples and denied me the tools to continue to do my assignments. I actually started bringing my own canvas and the same teacher would give my supplies away, and then punished me when I'd try to get them back.

    Looking back I've realized I let moments like that, and my parents refusal to encourage me, shape me. Now I feel the need to play catch up for time lost.

    Anyway, what kind of influence have others had on your ability to create? Has it manifested within your work habits, or work itself?

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  3. #2
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    It's tough when the words or attitudes come from parents, significant others, etc.

    The closer you are to someone, the greater effect their opinions tend to have, especially when you're young.

    I went through that with my parents, and am just now persuing what I wanted years ago.

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    After I won my first art award when I was 6, my father told my mother not to encourage me to draw b/c I might think I could make a living at it. Any time I wanted to show him a new picture, he'd ask what my math grade was. I won lots of awards and was asked to do murals, the art for the newspaper, art for the hospital, design school mascots... I went to a uni for two yrs to get my core classes done before I transferred to an art college and he spent those two yrs telling me to do CompSci instead. I did two book covers, got guest spots at conventions and taught workshops. He told me he preferred I find another fiancee because if both of us were artists no one would make any money (and he was SERIOUS).

    It was only after I won a very large scholarship to the art school and we were at the swanky reception dinner for it, that he finally apologized and told me he was wrong. He's been highly supportive ever since.

    Some days I think I miss him being unsupportive, because that gave me the drive to say, "HAH, I'll show him! He's going to eat his words!" I also realize that he did have my best interests in mind and he couldn't understand doing something so far removed from what he did. You just have to do what you enjoy and the rest will follow.

    That said, WTF is with your art teacher? I could see a teacher taking stuff away from kids that really weren't there to do art (a lot of kids in my schools took art class to goof-off and socialize), but to take the stuff YOU brought in? Did you not complain??

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    My parents actually encouraged me. My mother is artistic and my father wished he was. My teacher at school gave me everything I asked for; he pushed anyone with a bit of talent. Did foundation at Goldsmiths and love painted 24/7, but I was in the wrong period for figurative painting and I was terribly naÔve at 19 for thinking that I could continue in doing everything equally without specialising. Found that out when I applied for a degree course. One bright spark even told me that even though I had more talent than 90% of the people they were accepting, they couldnít take me because I didnít have direction. o_O !?

    That hurt and I suppose I crumpled into a small ball because, although I did still paint, it wasnít serious anymore. Got a sensible job, married, had kids, and now I find I need to draw and paint again.

    Itís funny that my family are totally supportive and I was my own worst enemy for so many years. It took an idea, a project, I wanted to do and it shook me that I couldnít draw as easily as I once did to actually carry it out. Thatís what made me look at what I really wanted.

    Even with support you first have to believe in yourself. I lost over 20 years; itís had to get those back.

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    My family has always been supportive of me wanting to be in the game and movie industry, and when I picked this school they gladly let me go.

    And When I said I wanted to go to another school after finishing this one the only complaint I got was from my sister, not wanting me to move too far from home.

    And all my friends are wannabe artists too, so there's support there too, though we all joke at each other that we're gonna fail.

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    In the history of my family, not one did we have an artist or designer. The closest one was a relative who has worked closely with architects for building inspections. Naturally, very few people in my family encouraged me. It didn't help when I was acing every math and science course in high school while I'm only considered mediocre in art. My parents praise my passion but will never say anything positive about my works (possibly for good reason?). It was also tough to deal with some of my friends because I'm a nerdy guy who makes nerdy friends who believes sciences and maths are the holy grails of life. When everybody around me is going into the business, medical, engineering, and math departments, things get awkward.

    This type of negativity influenced me both positively and... negatively. It's good because, like Mirana, I get motivated when I feel like I have to prove people wrong. It's a double-edged sword since I always overwork because of that. As of now, the same people who discouraged me in the past just gave up trying to convert me.

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    I was always supported by all friends, family and teachers until recently when I actually made it out of the Uni and everybody realized how difficult it actually is to try to make a living at it. Now I hear things like "It's time to look for a real job!" which really isn't justifiable because I know that my skills are good enough to make it as an artists. It's just a matter of be being able to get organized. It's a weird situation where I didn't make it into this studio internship but I was good enough to be considered for it. I was held in limbo for like two months until I got the results and then there was this graphic design job that would have been cool but it didn't pay enough for any normal person to survive on.

    Up until the graphic design job fell through they were actually going to give me time to set up a personal project and time to revamp my portfolio and so on. I think it may be more a weird panic reaction but I'm just kind of waiting to see how things play out.

    So after two major set backs its as though I should call it quits in their eyes, make the "art thing more of a hobby." I know that I've been out of school for a few months and that free lancing isn't all that steady but for everybody to just get this attitude all of a sudden is really disheartening.

    It is motivating to want to prove them wrong but I still don't know how the hell everything went from all smiles to rethink your career!

    Hadesdream - thanks for posting this thread, I had to get this out somewhere

    Actually talked it all over with everybody and all is well with the world! . . . I'm back in business with everybodies blessing!

    Last edited by Musselfarmstudios; July 24th, 2008 at 02:19 AM.
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    I get mocked by friends for the usual bullshit, but I'm usually harder on myself than anyone else is so it's not too bothering. My parents barely made it through school themselves, so they're just happy that I'm trying to work at something I don't completely suck balls at, so it's not been a problem on that part.

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    My Family supports my carrier choice. Girlfriend's family doesn't. Luckily, in-laws don't count as human.

    My work: [link]
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    My mother supported me when I was very little, but I was told that I was only allowed to take one extra-curricular class for art and nothing more. So, I needed to fulfill that gap and I went into music since it was deemed as acceptable. It really hurt me in the end, since now I'm really into art but my career focus doesn't relate to fine art at all. My parents don't know I still pursue art, and if they did they would say that I'm not working hard enough for "real world" things. So that hurts a bit, being praised by everyone except your own family because drawing and painting is "children's play." In turn though, they support me a lot in what I want to do career wise. Even if it's not everything, a little bit of support is nothing to complain about.

    The really good influence I get is from my boyfriend, he just supports me 100%. Doesn't judge and say art is silly, he loves that I'm drawing more now. It's nice to be supported in that way, it makes me want to do more and achieve. His family is a little more liberal than my own, so he has that instilled appreciation. If it wasn't for him I would have never gotten the new found joy of learning from art. I would have ditched it like my parents made me years ago.

    Teachers always instilled faith in me, and they continue to support me in anything as well. I've always had great teachers and professors, I find myself extremely fortunate in that regard.

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    That teacher sounds like a real douche and deserves a pimp-slap or something. Sucka needs to know their place.

    Anyway.
    My family, as far as I know, as never had anyone going to college for art, so when I texted my mom during my junior year of high school to tell her that I was going to stop pursuing Veterinarian medicine and become an illustrator instead, 5 seconds later, she called and the first words out of her mouth were, "Let's talk about this."
    Luckily, I kind of had a speech ready, so she reluctantly just let it be. She still nags a bit, but she's been pretty supportive.
    My dad tells me a lot how he's proud of me for making such a bold career choice.

    As far as teachers though, I remember my elementary teacher used to take my pencil away and tell me that I was drawing wrong because my lines were to sketchy...D:


    Hopefully though, you get any more negativity like that. While I know most parents just want what's best for their children, in the end, it's your life.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mirana View Post

    That said, WTF is with your art teacher? I could see a teacher taking stuff away from kids that really weren't there to do art (a lot of kids in my schools took art class to goof-off and socialize), but to take the stuff YOU brought in? Did you not complain??
    I actually brought it to the attention of that teacher, this is when I realized she was the one that gave my stuff away, and asked what to do about it. She told me to do "whatever I wanted with it as it was my canvas." Conveniently for me the girl that accepted the canvas with my name on it was a brat. So, being an angsty 16 yr old, I took the painting outside, threw it in the mud, jumped on it, put nails, staples, and caution tape around it, wrote a poem about theft, and entered it in the school art show. For that I was forced to the principals office and told that I was to apologize for stealing....ah injustice.

    That actually just reminded me of when that same teacher announced in utter astonishment that one of my pieces had been selected to hang in a gallery for a contest. Her tone and expression screamed "that can be right, because I say she sucks." Classic.

    Quote Originally Posted by Musselfarmstudios View Post

    Hadesdream - thanks for posting this thread, I had to get this out somewhere

    Actually talked it all over with everybody and all is well with the world! . . . I'm back in business with everybodies blessing!
    I'm glad to hear that. I think that's what drove me to post it. I needed to put the sentiment out there, and figured I couldn't have been alone in the feeling.

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    There is a myriad of opportunities for artists to make money at art. Go to the library and you will find many books on the subject. Costume and apparel design, set design, architecture, illustration, animation (which employs a variety of artists), game design, jewelry design, textiles, graphic art, ceramics, art therapy are all careers that artists can pursue. Most parents, unless they are artists, don't know about all the non-starving artists who are working happily in the arts. Every career in art requires the study of a certain craft and you have to work very hard at it.

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    deepbluehue makes a good point. Saying you want to be an "artist" is vague. That makes parents and others who don't understand nervous. Saying you want to be a "medical illustrator", well that sounds like a real job doesn't it? Do your research, and know how you want to apply your art if you want a chance of being taken seriously.

    As for my story, my mom and dad were both supportive. My mother would occassionally tell me how proud she was of my ability, that she'd sometimes go into my room when I wasn't home to take a look at whatever I was currently working on. My brother revealed he would sometimes take up my pencil when I wasn't there to add a few insignificant lines, just so he could say to himself that he "helped" haha. My dad was an artist (not professionally) before Vietnam and having a wife and son he had to support with more immediate work. He still paints for pleasure. So over all the support from my immediate family was great.

    My grandmother was vocal about thinking I was being childish though. Due to that and other things I eventually disowned her, but I did get a good dose of "I'll show her!" out of it

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    I wanted to be a doctor, but my family wanted me to paint. I'm about 67% joking.

    My dad is still angry that I took a 'real job' instead of going for fine arts, or freelance illustration at the very least. However, he didn't offer to bankroll me and working a restaurant job in the daytime and trying to come home and paint at night gets old real quick. A few years of that, and I started wishing I'd gone to dental hygeine school.

    I was once on the receiving end of a critique so savagely nasty, I marched straight out of class to the office and changed my major (sketchbook).
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    Quote Originally Posted by J Wilson View Post
    deepbluehue makes a good point. Saying you want to be an "artist" is vague. That makes parents and others who don't understand nervous. Saying you want to be a "medical illustrator", well that sounds like a real job doesn't it? Do your research, and know how you want to apply your art if you want a chance of being taken seriously.

    Well back then I had very specific plans on what I had wanted to do. I had even had alternate plans. It's only after trying to come back to it that it's all gotten a little fuzzy. Being no one in my family went to college they all seem to think trying to get a teaching or "computer" job will be the peak of my working career. Values can be such a funny thing.

    Funny the mention of set design as I went to school for tech theatre...because for some reason THAT was acceptable. Don't work in anything remotely close to theatre though.

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    My family has always been really supportive. No one in my family ever went to college, I was the first. I became so determined to become an artist because I didn't want to end up like the rest of my family. Most everyone in my family has given up on there dreams and just got a job straight after High School, and they all hated it. my father died, from a heart attack, after 35 years of working a stressful job that he hated. I vowed never to end up like that.
    And so far my family has always been supportive. And all my friends have always shown a great interest in my art. Through out all of high school they would always want my to draw them comics and cartoons, and a few people even got tattoos that I designed for them.
    It's my girlfriend's family that isn't. Her brother told her that he didn't want us getting married because he thinks I wont be able to provide a real life for ourselves. Oh well, I'll prove them wrong in time.

    As far as your art teacher, she should be fired.

    Check out my sketchbook: Draw or Die

    Website: www.ericyoungillustrations.com
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