Parents had the "so what do you want to do" talk with me... - Page 3
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  1. #61
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    I think this is pertinent: http://theartorder.com/2012/03/16/th...-of-knowledge/

    It's interviews with artists who are very very knowledgeable about things that are not regular art. I think being an artist with an engineering degree could give you an edge. Or maybe you'll decide to be an industrial designer or an architect. Also, don't grab the first impressive technical sounding class you find, look at different programs and many jobs. Maybe you'll decide chemistry is more your cup of tea than building engineering, or maybe medical imaging, or accounting or being a medical technician or a radiologist. You never know until you look a little bit closer.

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  3. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by Qitsune View Post
    I think being an artist with an engineering degree could give you an edge.
    I was thinking the exact same thing!

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  4. #63
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    @Azuerous, I'm so glad you have made up your mind. I would choose probably the same path if I were you. I mean, engineering knowledge will be really useful for art.

    And don't forget to draw while in college! Even if you spend an hour everyday you'll make huge progress in time.


    Quote Originally Posted by Azuerous View Post

    Another thing that stands in the way of my decision is a Job that has the potential to impact the world (not down playing art but you get the idea) or a job that a lot of people either dont recognize the importance (refer to Jeffs post) of or say that it doesn't not contribute to society.
    So the question is can I survive that scrutiny everyday of what I am doing wont impact the world like say a Neurosurgeon who saves lives (bad analogy)

    Don't worry about if Art's useful to society BTW, I mean, how much good do a salesperson, TV host, CEO or football player contribute to society anyway? My answer is, they all contribute to society in their own way, and we're just as part of the society as anybody else.

    If you think about this, human society has been doing rather fine without any neurosurgeons for thousands of years, and neurosurgeons simply contribute to people's good health and make their lives better. Likewise, we artists make cool art and make the world a funner place to be for people. People need both good health and entertainment, and nothing makes one more legitimate than the other. And TBH, the world would be a lot more boring without artists, and we make a HUGE IMPACT on the world. What do you think of first when you think of ancient Greece or Paris anyway?

    Last edited by Aaron_; March 16th, 2012 at 03:04 PM.
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  5. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by continue View Post
    Very inspirational post Ohaeri, thanks very much.
    It's odd to be on the receiving end of someone thinking I said something inspirational. (Definitely not complaining and I thank you very kindly; but it's an interesting feeling mentally! ) Usually I'm the one telling people they've said inspirational stuff.

    Quote Originally Posted by Azuerous View Post
    Ohaeri your post hit home with me and have really given me a different outlook.
    That's good to hear. I didn't want to just outright tell you what you should choose, because it's a decision between two hard choices for certain. But I did choose to give myself over to my passion, and it didn't work out. The it not working out part wasn't sad, but what came after was. :lol:

    If you decide to go after your passion and choose wrong, you make things harder for yourself and face an uphill struggle to get back to where you would be if you'd made another choice and had it be the right one.

    If you decide to to sidetrack a little, you run the risk of sidetracking way too much and looking back years later thinking, "I wonder if I had chosen differently, what would have happened?"

    If you make the right decision, both of these could have potentially very good outcomes. I just wanted to make sure you were weighing the risks on both sides to their correct proportions.

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  7. #65
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    Don't underestimate the importance of academics.

    You want to draw professionally, so is that enough to rule out academics from your life?

    Personally, I can't bear a life where I just draw and be ignorant of greater arrays of phenomena that occur throughout our universe. Learning about the world can bring context to your drawings, with whatever major you choose. Are you up to drawing every hour for the rest of your life?

    Mechanical engineering, I bet, can bring context to sci-fi drawings, a change from mediocre mainstream generic designs with almost no knowledge of mechanical functions. You can bring accuracies or knowledge that were ignored. Just because you have a mechanical engineering degree doesn't mean you have to become an engineer. Many people get jobs that are different from the subject of their degrees.

    Getting a medical or law degree also have their benefits. You should only choose these paths only if you are interested in them, but it doesn't seem like it.

    The point is, you're 19. Hey, I'm 19 too, but I realize I have a long way before I retire. The early years of your life carry over dramatically to the rest, the more you learn early on, the longer it stays before you die. So I know I can benefit from academics, and gain skills otherwise not taught at art schools. So far I am glad I have changed my major from art to physics. I also draw and paint on the side, such as during breaks between classes. Guess what? I learned the science of light, which is a major factor in representational art. I also have developed writing skills and critical thinking skills, which are not taught nearly as much in an art school.

    Throughout your life, you might begin to ask questions, questions you might or might not have the answers to. This all depends on how much you prepare yourself for the road ahead.

    I recommend you to take a major in academics rather than in art. You can learn art yourself and become a professional without a degree. But academics is a different story. That is only if you have split passion between mechanical engineering and art. If you do, I recommend a degree in mechanical engineering.

    P.S. Mathematics is abstract by itself, but you will begin to realize in higher mathematics, that it is a matter of interpretation. E.g Derivatives(rate of change) in mathematics can apply to all sorts of situations, because it is all up to the interpretation of the mathematician. On the way through representational art, you will be hampered by geometric perspective. Math and critical thinking skills definitely help in solving perspective problems.

    Last edited by Vay; March 16th, 2012 at 10:44 PM.
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    If you figure out what you truly love to do, and you can afford to go to school for it, then do it.

    That being said, here are some things you should consider carefully.

    Architecture = used to be a great field but not new graduates have about a 15-17% unemployment rate. If you do find a job then you will make 50-75k, but this unemployment rate is just a bit lower than those who don't have a degree at all.

    Mechanical Engineering = also used to be an awesome field but the U.S. manufacturing industry seems to be dying. A friend of mine graduated from Penn State (not a bad school by any standard) and ended up taking a job completely outside of his field. I hear that in certain parts of the country they are desperate for Mechanical Engineers (like where the auto companies are) so you might do alright if you are up for moving. If you do find a job, I think entry level in this field is about 40-55k.

    Art = There are tons of people who are going to school for art/design/animation/ etc.. degrees right now. Art schools are ridiculously expensive and somewhat viewed as a luxury. If you are really talented, you will still have a difficult time finding a job in this field. When you do find a job, you will probably make about 25-35k tops.

    I'm not telling you this because I don't think that you should follow your dream, I'm just telling you because everyone who is about to enter college really needs to know.

    If you are drawn to mechanical engineering because you like the idea of solving technical problems for a living, then you should consider doing something with computers. Programmers are in extremely high demand right now along with cyber-security experts and Information Technology majors. The reason I'm suggesting that you consider a technical field is because I too had an interest in engineering, and I could have just as easily majored in mechanical engineering as computer science.

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  9. #67
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    I used to love doing art with all my heart, I wanted to go learn it, live it and breathe it. However, when the time came and I had saved up enough to get my ass to school I found that I would rather get a engineering degree so I could get a comfortable life by postpining art than live hard in the hopes I would someday make enough cash off art to make my way, possibly ending up serving sandwiches at the local subway. The funny thing is, I have found my place in life with engineering. Almost finished my bachelors degree and willing to put in as much, if not more, effort into my engineering pursuits than I do my art. Art will always have a place in my heart. But I think I would have led a more empty life by immersing myself in it.

    TLR - When you are young you wont know what you really want until you do it. I wanted art. Found engineering.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike338 View Post
    .Art = There are tons of people who are going to school for art/design/animation/ etc.. degrees right now. Art schools are ridiculously expensive and somewhat viewed as a luxury. If you are really talented, you will still have a difficult time finding a job in this field. When you do find a job, you will probably make about 25-35k tops.

    I'm not telling you this because I don't think that you should follow your dream, I'm just telling you because everyone who is about to enter college really needs to know.
    I'm just going to leave this here.... http://animationguild.org/contracts-wages/

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike338 View Post
    Art = There are tons of people who are going to school for art/design/animation/ etc.. degrees right now. Art schools are ridiculously expensive and somewhat viewed as a luxury. If you are really talented, you will still have a difficult time finding a job in this field. When you do find a job, you will probably make about 25-35k tops.I'm not telling you this because I don't think that you should follow your dream, I'm just telling you because everyone who is about to enter college really needs to know.
    That is just crazy my friend. You'd have to add a zero to your figures for one year when I was at EA. Where did you get those figures? What experience do you have? Watch Avatar again, not the movie, the credits. Or the new John Carter...or the new Star Wars..or a Pixar movie. What is the number one category in the credits? Hint: it isn't musicians. Or dancers. Or even actors. You get the point.

    I agree they need to know what they're getting into, what they can expect as a reasonable rate of employment and what typical salary ranges are in the field of their choice. Unfortunately this can be somehwat challenging data to find and then even be sure it is fairly accurate, but it is out there.

    But unless you can back up your estimates with some data it is just pure misinformation.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alice Herring View Post
    I'm just going to leave this here.... http://animationguild.org/contracts-wages/
    Is that "the average" job in the industry?
    No sarcasm intended, I'm curious.
    Surely it is possible to earn TONS of money, but how many out of how many people actually do?

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    Quote Originally Posted by LordLouis View Post
    Is that "the average" job in the industry?
    No sarcasm intended, I'm curious.
    Surely it is possible to earn TONS of money, but how many out of how many people actually do?
    Actually that site seems low to me. The average is 35 an hour for artists which is 70k a year for feature animation, which is really low. Most of the people I know in feature animation are making closer to 100k or above.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LordLouis View Post
    Is that "the average" job in the industry?
    No sarcasm intended, I'm curious.
    Surely it is possible to earn TONS of money, but how many out of how many people actually do?
    Well considering Disney, Dreamworks, Warner Brothers, Cartoon Network, and Nickelodeon are all under the union contract...it's a pretty good chunk of the tv/feature animation industry. Not all, mind you, (Pixar, PDI, and many boutique studios aren't under contract) but a pretty good segment.

    Dpaint: I'm not entirely sure which document you are looking at, but the union rates aren't "this is the rate you'll get for this job", but "this is the minimum amount you will get for this job." Of course there are people out there getting paid more. (and people getting paid less, who may be currently working at a non-union studio.)

    Also: the amounts listed on the wage survey (if not specified otherwise) are for weekly compensation.

    Last edited by Alice Herring; March 18th, 2012 at 06:25 PM. Reason: clarity
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    25-31,000?

    Ouch, that is no good.

    Is the consensus that the poster that wrote that is wrong and the wages are actually higher?

    I never understood the idea of low wages for artists. I graduated in marketing, and I didn't learn any hard specific skills that the rest of you are somehow blocked from having. If you have a grasp of the language and a basic understanding of psychology, you could out-market a business grad easily.

    What a person that hasn't painted can't EVER do is out-paint a person who has dedicated years to it. It takes an incredible amount of practice to get even functional at it. I feel like accounting skills could be brought to a functional level in a matter of 1 year of dedicated study.

    So why is it exactly that artists are stuck with un-spectacular salaries that are identical to janitors like 28,000k? The skills brought to the table are hard skills based on a TON of practice. They bring real value, and sometimes almost the entire value, like in Avatar movies or some visual heavy video games.

    I also hate people that request commissions for insane prices, trying to pay you 50$. On what planet exactly do paintings take 1-2 hours to produce? Is the idea that artists are genetically endowed with a skill that they never had to practice so they should give it out for free?

    I am tired of that kind of disrespect. Graphic designers being told to design for next to free, concept artists asked to make characters for 20$ each.

    It is bullshit. Pay artists what the deserve, 100,000 k minimum thank you very much.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pavel Sokov View Post

    So why is it exactly that artists are stuck with un-spectacular salaries that are identical to janitors like 28,000k? The skills brought to the table are hard skills based on a TON of practice. They bring real value, and sometimes almost the entire value, like in Avatar movies or some visual heavy video games.
    Supply and demand.

    IMO, In general its because artists are only respected by other artists and the competition for art jobs are huge. If one guy out of dozens is willing to do art for a low wage there is little point offering any more money. And art is a job people want to do while a janitor is a job people need to do so artists are willing to settle for less to do a job they like.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pavel Sokov View Post
    25-31,000?

    Ouch, that is no good.

    Is the consensus that the poster that wrote that is wrong and the wages are actually higher?

    I never understood the idea of low wages for artists. I graduated in marketing, and I didn't learn any hard specific skills that the rest of you are somehow blocked from having. If you have a grasp of the language and a basic understanding of psychology, you could out-market a business grad easily.

    What a person that hasn't painted can't EVER do is out-paint a person who has dedicated years to it. It takes an incredible amount of practice to get even functional at it. I feel like accounting skills could be brought to a functional level in a matter of 1 year of dedicated study.

    So why is it exactly that artists are stuck with un-spectacular salaries that are identical to janitors like 28,000k? The skills brought to the table are hard skills based on a TON of practice. They bring real value, and sometimes almost the entire value, like in Avatar movies or some visual heavy video games.

    I also hate people that request commissions for insane prices, trying to pay you 50$. On what planet exactly do paintings take 1-2 hours to produce? Is the idea that artists are genetically endowed with a skill that they never had to practice so they should give it out for free?

    I am tired of that kind of disrespect. Graphic designers being told to design for next to free, concept artists asked to make characters for 20$ each.

    It is bullshit. Pay artists what the deserve, 100,000 k minimum thank you very much.
    Guys - that 25-35K is absolute bullshit. Did you check Alice's animation union survey? Did you read my post? Have you seen the guy who made the comment back it up? Syd Mead = 10K per day. Granted, we're not all Syd...but I imagine Scott Robertson is doing pretty well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JeffX99 View Post
    Guys - that 25-35K is absolute bullshit. Did you check Alice's animation union survey? Did you read my post? Have you seen the guy who made the comment back it up? Syd Mead = 10K per day. Granted, we're not all Syd...but I imagine Scott Robertson is doing pretty well.
    Well. It's not complete bullshit, unfortunately. There was a bit of a stir over on Cartoon Brew regarding an animation studio paying artists in a specific position 400 per week. Even if that's net, it's still below 35K a year. However, my understanding is those tend to be short term "entry" positions - and artists can move up if they are skilled. Skilled being the operative word. It's likely that if artists are getting paid that much for a long period of time, they are either being taken advantage of OR simply don't have the required skill to be successful.

    http://www.cartoonbrew.com/disney/a-...stigation.html (the comments are pretty interesting as well.)

    Last edited by Alice Herring; March 20th, 2012 at 02:20 AM. Reason: posted the source.
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    Unfortunately, 35k sounds about right for someone more or less junior where I work. I started out at 25k 12 years ago.

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    Right - that's all good, but the guy (who has yet to back it up) said "really talented" and "25-35K tops". Bullshit.

    It's a different discussion if you're good enough, lucky enough (right place, right time), or have the right connections to earn an appropriate income as an artist or designer. Which is no different than any other field - if you're good you do fine - if you suck you won't do well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Qitsune View Post
    Unfortunately, 35k sounds about right for someone more or less junior where I work. I started out at 25k 12 years ago.
    What do people with your skill level and experience make now? Were they promoted aggressively as their skills developed?

    Jeff, I am liking the sound of all that. Good work should pay good money in all cases and art should not be an exception.

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    I'd have to say, if you wanted to go in that direction you will need to plan, and devote.
    There are jobs out there that are fairly easy to get. becoming a professional artist however is a very hard scene to break into seeing as you'll have so much competition. if you have a love for it and you know you wouldn't get bored of doing it every single day for the rest of your life i'd say go for it, no matter what you do if you have the drive you will get a job somewhere, whether its professional designing or sign writing. there are plenty of options.

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    Could someone compare the relative difficulty of breaking into the gallery scene where I see the big money being vs working on video games?

    I want to paint, but honestly.. I am just not really a big gamer. I bought the computer to be a gamer, but I play for like an hour a week max. It just isn't my lifestyle, and I don't relate to gamers that much. So that is another one of my confusions.

    I also don't relate to contemporary artists that are dressed strange, and say crazy things at art festivals. So working with those would be strange.

    I guess I am a strange dichotomy of opposites, business and arts. My personality then becomes some sort of weird mix of things that don't make sense together. I guess I only relate to business students or professionals who do art on the side haha.

    Advice?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pavel Sokov View Post
    Could someone compare the relative difficulty of breaking into the gallery scene where I see the big money being vs working on video games?
    Getting into a gallery is easy, assuming you have technical skills enough to make your art look nice. Getting the gallery to help you with a living is hard. I had my work in a few galleries for a long time (1-2 years) before I was up on the wall. Since I did prints, I got put in the print bin. Artists who did paintings and physical crafts were put in a designated space with a lot of pieces put against the wall. After I was on the wall I worked my way towards getting my own show. I ended up having an epiphany that this wasn't what I wanted to do when I overheard one of the gallery managers for one of the galleries I had work in ragging on abstract artists. It may be different for people who do non-abstract, but my experience was the the politics made it very difficult to get publicity. Plus the gallery takes a cut of your sales which is usually around 40-50%.

    One attitude you'll often run into as well is that competition between artists in the same gallery is discouraged. This is because the gallery is interested in catering to a certain audience in many cases and has a set amount of clientele that buy. This can work both for and against you; for because once you're in, the gallery takes care of you. Against because it's hard to get in, by which I mean get wall space. But once you have a few collectors who are really interested in your work, this is not a problem. They just have to notice your artwork in the bin enough for it to get lifted out. You also almost never see these collectors face-to-face until you've got your own show or you happen to ambush them while they are looking at your prints/paintings/whatever. (Not a good idea, btw, watched it happen many times and it's very alienating. Never did it myself thankfully.)



    I should mention--this is just for galleries that promote people new to the gallery scene. To get into the really nice galleries, you must run the gallery circuit for ~10 years. (Amount of time may differ by area, but this was the number that was quoted at me many times by the artists doing shows in my area--"Oh I did the circuit ten years before getting in here, just keep at it!" type comments.) These galleries have only wall space and nobody is in the bargain/newbie bin because there isn't one. Don't even think about applying to these galleries before you've got a presence in other galleries. You will get laughed at and tossed out, UNLESS you are a godlike paragon of pure luck.

    By the time I left the gallery scene I had two collectors who followed my work. I had been in galleries for five years and had not much to show for it. When I left, no one mourned my passing (except for the two collectors, who were kind enough to send me "I'll miss you" letters).



    As for big money--you only get that after you have been on the gallery circuit for A LONG TIME. It takes a LONG TIME to arrive in the gallery business. And there's no guarantee that it will happen, either. Don't look at the wild successes; look at the average Joe Artist who shows in a gallery. How many people are going to be recognized as a Frazetta, a Rembrandt, or a Michelangelo in their lives? Even Vincent van Gogh died before he was recognized, and yes, he submitted his work to galleries and art collectors the whole time.


    There's a reason why it's called commercial art. Your mileage may vary, but my experience was extremely stressful, finicky, full of bullshit, and not worth much money. (Of course I was selling abstract prints, so take with a grain of salt.) Unfortunately I can't comment on comparative difficulty, but I've always reflected that commercial art sounds so much less stressful and still retains the possibility for getting your work into a gallery. (Frazetta being a prime example.)

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  31. #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ohaeri View Post
    You also almost never see these collectors face-to-face until you've got your own show or you happen to ambush them while they are looking at your prints/paintings/whatever. (Not a good idea, btw, watched it happen many times and it's very alienating. Never did it myself thankfully.)
    When I was at the summer art festival called FIMA in Montreal and at a Burlesque exhibition at which I was the main artist I out of nervousness actually tried talking to the first few people looking at my art. It obviously was probably awkward for them and made me looks insecure. I did it again when I got drunk at my other art exhibition but that went less awkwardly and I only did it to one or two people... that I remember at least.

    Anyways, I grew up now and feel an incredible awkwardness and guilt when I think back to approaching those people. My chest scrunches up with my lack of social grace haha.

    That will NEVER happen again.

    However, could you expand on your thoughts on that? What have you seen happen?

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    Quote Originally Posted by talmir View Post
    I used to love doing art with all my heart, I wanted to go learn it, live it and breathe it. However, when the time came and I had saved up enough to get my ass to school I found that I would rather get a engineering degree so I could get a comfortable life by postpining art than live hard in the hopes I would someday make enough cash off art to make my way, possibly ending up serving sandwiches at the local subway. The funny thing is, I have found my place in life with engineering. Almost finished my bachelors degree and willing to put in as much, if not more, effort into my engineering pursuits than I do my art. Art will always have a place in my heart. But I think I would have led a more empty life by immersing myself in it.

    TLR - When you are young you wont know what you really want until you do it. I wanted art. Found engineering.
    Speak for yourself please. I knew what I REALLY wanted to do when I was 5. And I still do today. I want to draw and paint. So I draw and paint. That simple.
    You were afraid of failing in art and ending up "serving sandwiches at the local subway". So, you did not succeed. You chose another path. That path may be right for you, but certainly not for me.

    I really can't stand when people use their experience as this seemingly ultimate reference point to tell you how things are.

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    The art fair/festival circuit is a LOT different than galleries (I do both). In the art festival circuit, your personality and how you talk with people can totally help your sales. It's similar to having a gallery show, but the pace is much faster.

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    Quote Originally Posted by UmpaArt View Post
    Speak for yourself please. I knew what I REALLY wanted to do when I was 5. And I still do today. I want to draw and paint. So I draw and paint. That simple.
    You were afraid of failing in art and ending up "serving sandwiches at the local subway". So, you did not succeed. You chose another path. That path may be right for you, but certainly not for me.

    I really can't stand when people use their experience as this seemingly ultimate reference point to tell you how things are.
    What company do you work for?

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    Quote Originally Posted by UmpaArt View Post
    Speak for yourself please. I knew what I REALLY wanted to do when I was 5. And I still do today. I want to draw and paint. So I draw and paint. That simple.
    You were afraid of failing in art and ending up "serving sandwiches at the local subway". So, you did not succeed. You chose another path. That path may be right for you, but certainly not for me.

    I really can't stand when people use their experience as this seemingly ultimate reference point to tell you how things are.
    He was speaking for himself. Sharing an opinion and experience like everyone else. Worked for him, that's ok. Now share whats worked for you.

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    I agree with bcarman, you never mentioned your place of employment and didn't describe your earth shattering success that puts his engineering bachelor and subway sandwich making to shame.

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    I did not say anything about his experience. I did not say that choosing engineering was wrong. In fact, I did not comment at all on his experience specifically. I have nothing against that and I did not criticize it.

    What I criticized was his thesis that he supported with his experience:

    "When you are young you wont know what you really want until you do it. I wanted art. Found engineering."

    That was not merely providing an experience. In effect it says that he thinks that in childhood you do not know what you really want.

    I was expressing that it may have been his experience that this was true, but it is not mine. Apparently you guys missed that.

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    No, we didn't miss your first line which said "speak for yourself" which is what he was doing. That was his opinion and happens to be mine too. Everyone tries to give a little bit of their hard earned wisdom in these threads a that happened to be his.

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