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Thread: Making a living
November 11th, 2011 #1
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.
Last edited by Saraiva; November 11th, 2011 at 04:46 AM.
Hide this ad by registering as a memberNovember 11th, 2011 #2
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.
November 11th, 2011 #3Registered User
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If he is making a living out of art, why can't you?
November 11th, 2011 #4
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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November 11th, 2011 #5
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.
November 11th, 2011 #6
i think it depends on what living means to people,
Making 250$ a month while living with your parents
making enough $ to support your own family and parents, kids, house, car, traveling the world + saving up for your retirement.
November 11th, 2011 #7
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.
November 11th, 2011 #8
Just try to prove him wrong.
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November 11th, 2011 #9
November 11th, 2011 #10
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November 11th, 2011 #11
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.
November 11th, 2011 #12
November 11th, 2011 #13
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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November 11th, 2011 #14
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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November 11th, 2011 #15
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.
November 11th, 2011 #16
Last edited by Kamber Parrk; November 24th, 2011 at 04:22 AM. Reason: Tone. . .
November 11th, 2011 #17
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.
November 16th, 2011 #18
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.
November 16th, 2011 #19
November 16th, 2011 #20
"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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November 16th, 2011 #21
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.
November 16th, 2011 #22An 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.
You can give teachers respect and learn what you can but never give them the power to decide your future.
November 16th, 2011 #23Registered User
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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!
November 16th, 2011 #24
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).
November 16th, 2011 #25
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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November 18th, 2011 #26
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
November 18th, 2011 #27
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.
November 18th, 2011 #28
"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"
November 18th, 2011 #29
November 18th, 2011 #30