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Thread: Non-Artists see art achievements as unimportent

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    Non-Artists see art achievements as unimportent

    This is just something I've noticed and have found kinda odd and at times annoying. I just graduated from a 2 year art school with my Associates degree in Illustration and I'm going to go to MICA in the fall to get my BFA. I graduated with a final 3.79 GPA and i got a perfect 4.0 GPA in the final semester, but it seems most friends and family I tell don't seem impressed or care. The most common response I get is "Well, it is art school." Which kinda pisses me off every time I hear it.

    Well I didn't post this just to vent, I wanted to see if anyone has any kind of similar experiences where their own art achievements get unnoticed or written off by people who don't know or understand just how hard art really is, Please feel free to post.
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    Well my old mum is still disappointed with me that I didn't become a doctor, instead of an illustrator. I started out doing sciences, and tried to stick on that path, but my heart and way of thinking just weren't in it. That said, I had myself convinced it was what I wanted too until I was about 19 (thick as well). The fact that I spent more time drawing all over my notebooks than studying as I was supposed to be should have been a big clue to both of us.

    At the time I went and for a decade or so before that (1980's), art colleges, apart from the big names like the Royal College etc (I'm in the UK, by the way) tended to get a bad press. The only things you ever read in the papers about them was how little work was being done, how badly behaved certain elements of the student body were and what utter crap they were producing it seemed. I think that mythology has been carried forward with us.

    Factor in that marking art on these courses can be and often is very subjective. That a lot of the best known 'fine art' is best known for its notoriety rather than its greatness. That a lot of the best known fine artists are known for their bad behaviour and eccentricities. That the majority of superb artwork that goes on behind the scenes creating iconic books, magazines and films, is not promoted outside the industry like that fine art is. None of this helps the cause for taking art seriously as an area of study unless you're planning to be an art historian. That seems respectable.

    I remember being pleaseantly surprised at the humungous amount of work you were expected to get through on the illustration course I attended. Naturally, not everybody applied themselves as they should, but the worst offenders were weeded out and departed afer a year if they lasted that long. Surely, that's like most other degree courses.

    As said in the first post - this is not supposed to be any sort of a rant. Just trying to fathom why studing art is treated as a second rate choice to more obviously academic pursuits.

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    I think stereotypes cause people to perceive certain disciplines as being easier and of less value than others. There are a ton of variations on the joke:

    Engineer asks "How will it work?"
    Accountant asks "How much will it cost?"
    Businessman "How do we sell it?"
    Liberal arts grad asks, "Do you want fries with that?"

    You also KNOW someone with an engineering degree is going to be good at mathematics. You don't really know what someone with an art degree is good at until you see their work.

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    I think it also comes down to money=being successful and most people still assume that majoring in art or going to an art school means you'll always be broke. Every time I explained to someone that I wanted to be a concept artist and work for someone else and not be a gallary arist, their reply was usually something like "oh so its a REAL job".

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    I would think most people on here have come up against that kinda attitude in some form or another, i had it from my dad, although that was more of the protective parent wanting a good CERTAIN future for their kid, but i've had it from my aunt, who for some reason thinks i'm stupid, who was suprised that i knew what Ornithology was...

    my uncle has a artistic cousin, who paints landscapes in oils, and sells each painting for about 16k, which fair enough, more power to him, but the annoying part is that they seem to worship him, when, while he is a good artist, he does nothing amazing, nothing that non of us on this forum couldn't match and better, and i voiced this to my aunt, she laughed and asked me if i could draw my nans sofa... as if i couldn't actually draw this thing... it was such a mindnumbingly stupid question i couldn't find anything to say... hmmm

    so yeah, everyone has met someone which this attitude towards art, but it doesn't matter, as long as YOU believe in yourself, you can make it anywhere.
    and then rub your huge wads of cash in their face which you earned with your 'shitty art job' haha!

    Crit for a crit!

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    I agree with Crane, in that almost everyone here will have probably encountered things like this. For me it was with several teacher at my high school (I'm in the UK). My geography teacher in particular, was one of those people who believe art is worthless, and a waste of time. I found this out when I asked politely if I could miss one of her lessons so I could finish my art coursework, as the deadline was coming up and I had already studied what we were doing in the lessons; I also told her I would copy up the work, depsite already knowing it. I really wasn't expecting her rection... she quite literally screamed at me, telling me that I cannot miss her lesson. I won't go into detail with what she said, but basically it was just saying that art is a complete waste of time, and that her subject was more important and that I would amount to nothing, and work in bad jobs for the rest of my life. I was rather offended that she had said I would amount to nothing, but I just accepted that I couldn't miss the class, and sat down and did the work I had already done beforehand. She did decide to take her "hate" for art a bit further, in a rather childish way (in my opinion) and made me answer every question she asked to the class, carefully scrutinised eveyr answer i gave, and would find the pettiest excuse to shout at me, ot even no reason. Also to see if I was actually as smart as figures made out... I am glad I don't have to be taught by her anymore

    I told my art teachers what she had said, and they were extremely angry. They were also fed up with the people who think that art is the least important thing in the world, so they must get it as well At one point they wanted to go and "talk" to the geography teacher about how important art is, but they decided not to, realising it would be pointless.

    We will just have to accept the fact that some people will never realise how much hard work is needed to becoma an artist, and that it isn't a waste of time.

    Last edited by Spirit; May 22nd, 2009 at 12:29 PM.
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    Non-knitters see knitting achievements as unimportant..
    Non-wrestlers see wrestling achievements as unimportant..
    Non-bowlers see bowling achievements as unimportant..

    I dare you to get excited next time you see someone knitting. It's normal not to have enthousiasm for stuff you don't know or care about. If your friend who's studying math comes up to you and goes "I solved theorem so and so" are you really going to understand what it means to them and celebrate accordingly? I doubt it, because you don't even what theorem so and so is. Maybe her parents are going to be happy because it sounds like math is "scientific and important" and like a commanding employment but they won't understand either...

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    The attitude I really hate is when they are impressed they'll say something like, "Oh...my...GAWDuh... you're, like, so talented."

    There are two things really that piss me off about it. After that statement is dropped it's usually only a matter of time before the implication is made that you were born with an unfair advantage. Hence, "Well, I could do the same, but I wasn't born with talent."

    The other thing, and it goes hand-in-hand, is they take all of your hard work and reduce it to chance. Was it all those hours in the studio for 6 months and all that paint/graphite/whatever you put on the surface, cursing under your own breath, but just couldn't make that mark the way it should be? Nope, just talent.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ninjerk View Post
    The attitude I really hate is when they are impressed they'll say something like, "Oh...my...GAWDuh... you're, like, so talented."

    There are two things really that piss me off about it. After that statement is dropped it's usually only a matter of time before the implication is made that you were born with an unfair advantage. Hence, "Well, I could do the same, but I wasn't born with talent."

    The other thing, and it goes hand-in-hand, is they take all of your hard work and reduce it to chance. Was it all those hours in the studio for 6 months and all that paint/graphite/whatever you put on the surface, cursing under your own breath, but just couldn't make that mark the way it should be? Nope, just talent.
    Yes I totally agree with that. It annoys me too when people just write off all the hard work and time you have put into work as "talent". They mean it as a compliment I am sure, but it just shows how many people are clueless about art. I wish they could undertsand that it's hard work, skills and dedication that lead to the creation of that piece, not "talent". This is very generalised of course. I also hate it when people say something like "I bet you can't draw something like that again", and expect you to be able to draw the same picture precisely, so it looks like a mirror image of the other. If you can't do that, you are labelled a "bad" artist. Argh...

    To add to what Qitsune said: I also agree with what you said, but from how I have been raised and what I have taught myself, I have learnt to appreciate that the person who does things such as knitting, find it as interesting and enjoyable as I find art to be, and that a lot of hard work and dedication goes in with that. It's the people who don't even appreciate anything to do with it, and just write everything off, and seem to have an unreasonable dislike or hate for something they refuse to even learn anything about. Also that they would prefer to stay ignorant to everything, yet still feel they can judge and put down anyone who has anything to do with art. I've learnt to accept that this is just a part of life, and that there will always be people like this, but you just have to ignore them and carry on with what you want to do, it just annoys me.

    Last edited by Spirit; May 22nd, 2009 at 01:24 PM.
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    Non-artists are stupid

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    My mother was always supportive of me, so when I switched from nursing to art, she was just as happy. I came from a poor family, so it's a miracle that I even went to college in the first place.

    I know that not everyone is going to understand, appreciate, or be excited about art. I'm not excited about certain things but I know they are an important part to some people's lives. I don't like people that insult me by saying I only got this far because I went to school for art, when nursing was a much easier and logical major for me. I defend myself whenever someone is being an ass about it.

    I think it's just stupid that society sees little in a person unless they are a doctor, engineer, or something else to that effect. Whatever happened to that thing we learned in kindergarten; that all people have different jobs that are important so that society can function as a whole?

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    I had it the other way arround... I'm in an art school which just started an animation program, one of our teachers tried to get one of the exibit room to show our works in and the women who takes care of that looked at him wierd and asked what in the world we'd have to expose lol

    (for those curious, we didn't get the exibit room 'cause apparently it was already booked for the summer... which is frustrating because even if it was, we're a whole program and I know there's a lot of single student artist with not even enough stock to fill 1/15 of the room who rent it... x_x)

    *pokes Jjack* don't I know you?

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    id like to think that most people, at least the serious of us, which i believe is a fair bit, as the ones who others see as 'talented' but not hard working can appreciate the hard work that people put into their passion even though the ignorant don't believe its important and think that whatever it may be, requires no hard work at all.

    through the experience of being an artist, i've learned to respect other peoples loves, even if you can't see the hard work they put into it, just because its not on the surface doesn't mean its not there.

    Crit for a crit!

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    The most important reason for this is that things look easy and people think it's easy.
    They don't see how experience contributes to the final result, they only see the result and the apparent ease that created it.

    But that's not everything.
    People have generic images of jobs. So manager, docter, lawyer sounds good, artist doesn't sound good.
    Don't tell people that you work at a helpdesk, even if it's more specialised and better paying than being a partner at an investment manager. Just the word helpdesk will pop an image in their mind about a drone or monkey reading long lists with stupid questions.

    My message: try to value people for who they are, not for their education or job or even their skill. Some people had better opportunities or have more experience than others but that doesn't make them better people.

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    Don't expect the uninitiated to know anything.

    Try to explain the truth to them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Spirit View Post
    I agree with Crane, in that almost everyone here will have probably encountered things like this. For me it was with several teacher at my high school (I'm in the UK). My geography teacher in particular, was one of those people who believe art is worthless, and a waste of time. I found this out when I asked politely if I could miss one of her lessons so I could finish my art coursework, as the deadline was coming up and I had already studied what we were doing in the lessons; I also told her I would copy up the work, depsite already knowing it. I really wasn't expecting her rection... she quite literally screamed at me, telling me that I cannot miss her lesson. I won't go into detail with what she said, but basically it was just saying that art is a complete waste of time, and that her subject was more important and that I would amount to nothing, and work in bad jobs for the rest of my life. I was rather offended that she had said I would amount to nothing, but I just accepted that I couldn't miss the class, and sat down and did the work I had already done beforehand. She did decide to take her "hate" for art a bit further, in a rather childish way (in my opinion) and made me answer every question she asked to the class, carefully scrutinised eveyr answer i gave, and would find the pettiest excuse to shout at me, ot even no reason. Also to see if I was actually as smart as figures made out... I am glad I don't have to be taught by her anymore

    I told my art teachers what she had said, and they were extremely angry. They were also fed up with the people who think that art is the least important thing in the world, so they must get it as well At one point they wanted to go and "talk" to the geography teacher about how important art is, but they decided not to, realising it would be pointless.

    We will just have to accept the fact that some people will never realise how much hard work is needed to becoma an artist, and that it isn't a waste of time.
    I wonder who your Geography teacher thinks drew the ancient maps from which the entire Geography curriculum is based upon.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DerektheUsurper View Post
    I wonder who your Geography teacher thinks drew the ancient maps from which the entire Geography curriculum is based upon.
    I told her something to that effect, and she sent me out of the classroom for being rude and answering back We both knew I was correct, but she refused to aknowledge what i had said... I don't think it was rude, just stating the truth

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    When you don't earn much from it people generally spit on you, and it is the time that it is hardest to keep waking up each day and getting on with it.

    All of a sudden you start making money yet you are doing exactly as before. People go all dewy eyed thinking you are related to Picasso or something. Yet this is the easiest time of all and you don't need it.

    Like anything else, the money is all they see.

    Why else do people hang on every word of some celebrity entrepreneur, yet switch off somebody talking about their job as a structural engineer.

    I'm talking generally of course.

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    non-art is the new art. why would anybody care about your efforts in a field where nothing is true, and everything permitted?

    "I am an artist" is a statement absolutely devoid of meaning.

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

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    You may make fun of me but never make fun of my art.

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    Fuck 'em.

    Wisest words to live by when it comes to (99%) of people's opinions that are eventually shown coming from people that have neither tried, or pursued, anything of a dream and just slowly coast through life simple because they were born & survived to this point, or someone forgot to use a condom.

    "Everything must serve the idea. The means used to convey the idea should be the simplest and clear. Just what is required. No extra images. To me this is a universal principle of art. Saying as much as possible with a minimum of means."
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    Thanks for all the post guys it's nice to know everyone has had problems like this before. I think when it come to me it's more about the fact that I've worked my ass off to get good grades and it goes unnoticed but if I got a 4.0 GPA at some major university to be a doctor or something then everyone would find it more impressive. I think it's because of this notion that art is all about talent and I do good because I was born special, not the fact that I worked my ass off for the last 2 years

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    I always feel I have to appologise for doing art, but then again I apologise for most things...

    Quote Originally Posted by JJacks View Post
    I think it's just stupid that society sees little in a person unless they are a doctor, engineer, or something else to that effect.
    Yeah until the aforementioned artist becomes a millionaire through their trade, then they're serious business. It's part of the human condition, the reason following an art lifestyle is recieved so negatively (in terms of career-making) is because it doesn't insure a successful career. The unknown frightens the shit out of us.

    Last edited by Kagemusha22; May 22nd, 2009 at 07:24 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Bennett View Post
    All of a sudden you start making money yet you are doing exactly as before. People go all dewy eyed thinking you are related to Picasso or something. Yet this is the easiest time of all and you don't need it.

    Like anything else, the money is all they see.
    You're absolutely right, kinda makes me think of "The Little Prince" accually:

    "When you tell them that you have made a new friend, they never ask you any questions about essential matters. They never say to you, "What does his voice sound like? What games does he love best? Does he collect butterflies?" Instead, they demand: "How old is he? How many brothers has he? How much does he weigh? How much money does his father make?" Only from these figures do they think they have learned anything about him.

    If you were to say to the grown-ups: "I saw a beautiful house made of rosy brick, with geraniums in the windows and doves on the roof," they would not be able to get any idea of that house at all. You would have to say to them: "I saw a house that cost $20,000." Then they would exclaim: "Oh, what a pretty house that is!""

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    It's a good job we're not cynical, isn't it? Cough.

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    I come from such a poor family in such a jobless town that merely having a fulltime job is impressive. Becoming a doctor or a lawyer sounded just as far-fetched to most of the people I knew growing up, with the difference being that they could see I could draw. The only person who doubted my dreams came from a relatively rich family, and I left him and proved him wrong.

    So yeah, fuck 'em. The only way to show them is to show them.

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    watch the movie Revolutionary Road its a good conflict between "normal people" and people in the outer circle.

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Original [E] View Post
    I graduated with a final 3.79 GPA and i got a perfect 4.0 GPA in the final semester, but it seems most friends and family I tell don't seem impressed or care.
    Congratulations, welcome to the world of your grades don't mean diddly. They did their job, which was to get you into another school, but that's the only thing they matter for. Your accomplishments as an artist are your work, not your grades. I graduated from art school with a 4.0 GPA. You know how many times it's come up in conversation over the past eighteen years? This is the first.
    Quote Originally Posted by The Original [E] View Post
    I think when it come to me it's more about the fact that I've worked my ass off to get good grades and it goes unnoticed but if I got a 4.0 GPA at some major university to be a doctor or something then everyone would find it more impressive.
    I would.

    Last edited by Elwell; May 22nd, 2009 at 10:47 PM.

    Tristan Elwell
    **Finished Work Thread **Process Thread **Edges Tutorial

    Crash Course for Artists, Illustrators, and Cartoonists, NYC, the 2013 Edition!

    "Work is more fun than fun."
    -John Cale

    "Art is supposed to punch you in the brain, and it's supposed to stay punched."
    -Marc Maron
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  42. #29
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    HunterKiller_ is offline Registered User Level 15 Gladiator: Spartacus' Hoplomachi
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Bennett View Post
    Like anything else, the money is all they see.
    Too true.

    People always asking me "Got a job yet? Earning any money?".
    I reply no.
    They utter a disappointed and condescending "Oh".

    Fuck you.

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    Fuck 'em? Really? Is it really that serious?

    I'd suggest that you accept the fact that people are always going to react this way. It's not JUST a money thing, which so many of you keep focusing on. It's also the fact that it's entertainment. We're entertaining ourselves (and others) for a living, and that can be difficult for people to respect.

    It's the way things are and it's not worth this "fuck non-artists" attitude, just understand what makes them think the way they do and go about your life. No biggie.

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