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    Making a living

    My college life drawing teacher said something to the class that I cant make sense out of. He said "If you think you are going to make a living out of art, start thinking again. You are not."

    It was so demoralizing that I dont know what to make out of it.



    Thoughts?

    Last edited by Saraiva; November 11th, 2011 at 04:46 AM.
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    Mmmm, well, maybe things didnt go as planned for him and ended up teaching and now hates life or something.. or just want to test you guys out...see who are the ones that really are willing to do as possible to make a living out of art.

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    If he is making a living out of art, why can't you?

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    My head tutor said a similar thing, that it's really really hard and not everyone makes it, I think she gave like 1 out of every 10 students in our class or something. I don't think she meant to be demolarising but she just wanted to prepare us mentally for how tough it would be. Sort of a test, see if we were truly passionate about doing it I guess.

    You should ask him to elaborate, maybe?

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    It sounds like she was maybe trying to ween out the ones who aren't serious. It's a tough way to make a living and needs years persistence and dedication. Those who choose to carry on working regardless of hearing those types of comments are likely the ones who'll end up making it. If you lose interest in art because of it, then chances are you wouldn't have the dedication to make a living doing art, anyway.

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    i think it depends on what living means to people,

    Making 250$ a month while living with your parents
    or
    making enough $ to support your own family and parents, kids, house, car, traveling the world + saving up for your retirement.

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    in my design-faculty, 38 of the 40 students who started with me all had illustration portfolios at the beginning. that was 3 years ago.
    I think 2 or 3 of them are still doing illustration, the rest (me too) moved to graphic/interactive design or photography.

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    Just try to prove him wrong.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Slothboy3000 View Post
    Just try to prove him wrong.

    This.

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    To at least 95% of the people in there he was probably 100% accurate.

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    Well, obviously it's possible to make a living off of art. It's just extremely hard and in most cases requires a lot of business and financial sense and sacrifice. It takes one many years to build their career into something that is very lucrative.

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    "Thoughts?"

    You're going to have to think of a better plan than "sit around, feel apprehensive"?

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    I agree to what's been said. An alternate theory is that, harsh as it sounds, maybe he feels that no one in that particular class is putting in the amount of work required to make art their career. In this case, the same response applies: "prove him wrong." And don't worry about how much work anyone else puts in, just worry about putting in as much as you can.

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    Not sure where you're going to school, but be careful taking any college professors too seriously. You certainly can make a living out of art. It's funny how some people treat hard work as if it's something that hasn't been around forever.

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    the problem with an instructor saying things like this, no matter what their reason for it, they dont know the background of the people they are saying it to.

    my girlfriend is an amazing illustrator. better than me in fact. but she was told something similar in school and ended up quitting drawing altogether. i've seen her work, and she's amazing. way better than i am.
    but i'm the working professional, not her. the only reason i succeeded where she didn't was because i've always had a fuck you attitude to anyone who said i couldn't do something. including family.
    my girlfriend on the other hand, even though she's an amazing artist, has always struggled with low self esteem.
    hearing that shit from an instructor destroyed her.
    when i heard it i said this dude is full of shit.

    you need to tattoo "fuck you" to your chest and bust it out like super man.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alternative View Post
    My college life drawing teacher said something to the class that I cant make sense out of. He said "If you think you are going to make a living out of art, start thinking again. You are not."

    It was so demoralizing that I dont know what to make out of it.



    Thoughts?
    You GOTTA THINK, if an instructor in a LAW or MEDICINE classroom EVER said such a thing, WHY WOULDN'T YOU WANT TO BEAT THE CRAP OUT OF HIM?


    Seriously, bring this to the attention of the Alumi that support dear ol' Alma Mater. . .

    Last edited by Kamber Parrk; November 24th, 2011 at 04:22 AM. Reason: Tone. . .
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    An apathetic instructor who scorns him or herself for their own short comings in whatever romantic endeavor they outlined for their art careers will always take out their frustrations and misfortune on the students. Ultimately someone like this typically doesn't really enjoy teaching and will mask this truth behind a false since of compassion and forewarning for the big bad commercial world. One persons missed success has nothing to do with your own. Know your market, know your demographic, and focus on pushing your creative and technical skills to suit that outlet. Success can be measured in many different ways so don't let that affect your growth and passions. Just make great art and see where it takes you.

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    I'm of the idea that it was a test in the students' fortitude. The art world is full of criticism, so what better way to prepare them for that criticism than with the single worst one, straight from the beginning: "You're never going to make it; the ends will never be worth the effort."

    Very Tyler Durden, if you ask me, haha.

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    I think teachers are correct in telling people most people won't make it. Because most won't. Its a kindness to give them permission to fail.

    I was told the same thing in workshops and classes, I just never thought they were talking about me.

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    "i think it depends on what living means to people,"

    thats exactly right; if you want a steady £4000 a month and a company Audi, forget it. If you like designing stuff all day, building a business and being able to smoke at your desk, go for it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheDirtSyndicate View Post
    the problem with an instructor saying things like this, no matter what their reason for it, they dont know the background of the people they are saying it to.

    (...)
    my girlfriend on the other hand, even though she's an amazing artist, has always struggled with low self esteem.
    hearing that shit from an instructor destroyed her.
    when i heard it i said this dude is full of shit.

    you need to tattoo "fuck you" to your chest and bust it out like super man.
    My theory about making art for a living is this: being good at art is only the beginning. You also need balls of steel, a very high tolerance to spending all days by yourself, the ability to take rejection in stride, humility in front of others and an ego bigger than a house by yourself, good organization, creativity, grit, endurance, frugality and some business sense.

    The teacher is not entirely at fault for why your girlfriend is not the working artist, would she have lasted after a client had yelled some crap at her? Or after sending out 50 portfolio and hearing nothing? Or having an exhibition and being bullshited by someone trying to make themselves look good by crapping on her work?

    I'm sure her work is awesome but unless she can be isolated from the outside world, it might not be enough.

    If someone leaves college because the teacher said they would never make a living with art, they wouldn't have lasted much longer in the art world anyways.

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    An apathetic instructor who scorns him or herself for their own short comings in whatever romantic endeavor they outlined for their art careers will always take out their frustrations and misfortune on the students.
    I know really successful artist/teachers who say the same thing to their classes. If you let a few words from a teacher decide your future then you have no business being a success. Understand the reality and then change it if you have the stuff. I give students facts and figures, earning numbers etc. But I always include that someone has to do it.

    You can give teachers respect and learn what you can but never give them the power to decide your future.

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    I know people who make a living off art, but they work long, lonely hours and earn the same as me in my minimum wage call centre job. Due to the nature of freelancing there are times when they have no money coming in and really struggle. And obviously they have to draw what the client wants not what they find fun.

    I also know a lot of really talented artists who have been struggling to get to the point of working full time as an artist for years but have yet to succeed.

    These are some of the reasons I decided to go into design instead of illustration. And design's still bloody hard to get into!

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    It depends how narrowly you define art. The only people I know who made a go of fine arts were bankrolled by somebody for a minimum of ten years (rich parents, indulgent spouse).

    But if you broaden it to include any work where a visual education is required...squitillions of people make a living at art.

    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 Qitsune View Post
    My theory about making art for a living is this: being good at art is only the beginning. You also need balls of steel, a very high tolerance to spending all days by yourself, the ability to take rejection in stride, humility in front of others and an ego bigger than a house by yourself, good organization, creativity, grit, endurance, frugality and some business sense.

    The teacher is not entirely at fault for why your girlfriend is not the working artist, would she have lasted after a client had yelled some crap at her? Or after sending out 50 portfolio and hearing nothing? Or having an exhibition and being bullshited by someone trying to make themselves look good by crapping on her work?

    I'm sure her work is awesome but unless she can be isolated from the outside world, it might not be enough.

    If someone leaves college because the teacher said they would never make a living with art, they wouldn't have lasted much longer in the art world anyways.
    my problem with this is that this is a teacher, they're supposed to teach you what you need to know to survive in the real world. making a generalized statement that isn't based upon any particular person is just plain discouraging to some people. and this "teacher" doesn't seem to be taking into account the background of the people he's saying this to.
    my girlfriend is amazing illustrator, and when she was in school she was very impressionable. not so much NOW, if someone had said these things to her NOW she'd say "psh, whatever." and continue doing her thing.
    just plain bad timing in her case, and thats the risk of saying things like this to poeple you dont know.
    its like that fucking cunt of a sarah palin putting crosshairs on people, then surprise surprise, someone got shot. you can say all you want that she didn't say shoot this person, but she had a hand in it because you never know who you're talking to.
    in my girlfriends case, she was already a little self conscious about her work, didn't think she was very good. people have self esteem issues ya know. and to hear the things some people are just plain devastated by it.
    as they grow and mature they develop an armor, but as a teacher you should assume that these kids dont have that shit yet.
    tell the the truth about their work individually, give a critique. and if its an extreme case, yeah, tell them that they're going to have a tough time finding work in the industry with their work. but follow that up with "keep at it though, study study study, practice every day, draw from life every day and you'll get there" because thats the truth.
    you cant just say "bah, you suck. you'll never get a job in this industry" and leave it at that. especially if you're an instructor.

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    how does that phrase go....<<<it's not entirely fair, as some artists can balance a successful career creating art, whilst teaching art at the same time>>>

    if you fail at art, be an art teacher,

    if you fail at teaching art, be a critic....

    This teacher sounds like he's already failing at being an art teacher, and getting his criticisms in early

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    Just like in every profession, there are bad teachers and there are good teachers. I just happen to think that saying that very few people make a living with art isn't the criteria that makes them bad teachers. I wish someone had layed the cards on the table when I was in college and not at the end of 3rd year and I was not even in art school.

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    "Listen, this course is really difficult, if there is anyone here who has chosen it thinking it's the easy route, please leave now"
    *bunch of students leave the room*
    "Right, now we've gotten rid of the timewasters: Let me tell you, this course is piss easy"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Qitsune View Post
    I wish someone had layed the cards on the table when I was in college and not at the end of 3rd year and I was not even in art school.
    Them Marketing departments are the ones responsible for making the rosy, fresh smelling image of the creative industries sound like the best fun you'll ever have in the world. Only AFTER you've committed to giving the College your money will they tell you it's a long, painful road to only just being able to pay your bills.



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  42. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beeston View Post
    Them Marketing departments are the ones responsible for making the rosy, fresh smelling image of the creative industries sound like the best fun you'll ever have in the world. Only AFTER you've committed to giving the College your money will they tell you it's a long, painful road to only just being able to pay your bills.
    Yeah, but you can figure out the truth with a minimum amount of effort, if you're actually looking for it. Hell, if most art students were looking for a reasonably informed opinion rather than what they wanted to hear they could get it from their parents for free.

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