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  1. #1
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    My parents kicked me out, I have money that would last me 3 months. Please advise

    Long story short, I am a nursing student and have my CNA certification. I've been working for a bit to have money that would last me three months.


    Recently I've decided that nursing was not for me and would be pursuing my dream of becoming an illustrator. The decision was not easy but I could not keep up the fake smiles and give it my all and work for a profession that I did not believe in. My parents have financially supported me throughout my nursing career, but due to some unexplained phenomena, my dreams of becoming a children's book author/illustrator has resurfaced. I could not live another day with the thought of "what if I had pursue my dream when I was 20..."

    I've been kicked out of the house for being disobedient and wasting their time and money. Keep in mind that I am a 20 year old asian male, and the equivalent of an art career is a prostitute. Also as a male, I'm expected to forfeit all of my goals and dreams in hope of a stable and successful job.
    I do have a plan of how I will make my dream come, but for now I must ask you: How do I support myself? I currently have a part time job that rakes in $600 a month. Are there any public assistance programs or things I should know?
    I'm willing to work any job in order to survive at the moment. I am located in Washington if that helps.

    If this does not belong in this section, please let me know where i can move it to.


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  3. #2
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    Get a full time job. Work harder and focus I worked a full time job unrelated to art and painted in the off hours. I worked swing shift and graveyard shift because it would pay more money and more money meant I could do more art.The difference is, I got a job that paid me the most money I could make, before art. I didn't quit to become an artist immediately. I paid my own way by working for years in non art jobs saving my money selling and showing my work and at conventions now you can sell art online but keep working.
    Last edited by dpaint; March 9th, 2014 at 06:15 PM.

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  5. #3
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    Where are you in washington state or washington DC (if that where you live) There a shelter allow 16-20 years and they can help you find a job. http://www.resourcehouse.info/WIN211...F-820C0F15CFF8

  6. #4
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    I think that Dpaint has provided the most helpful advice so I wont say too much.
    I advise you to focus on supporting yourself financially to begin with, then find yourself some accomodation with a reasonable price range.
    Once you have acquired stability then you will be free to focus on your career goals, don't feel like you have to achieve everything all at the same time. Good luck.

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  8. #5
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    I just joined to post a reply.

    I think that you should go back home and tell your parents that you're sorry. I think that you should just finish your nursing degree (you're 20, so you should be almost finished by now) and then pursue your illustration career after.

    When you were at home, your parents were supporting you and you didn't have to worry about affording a place to live. Just think, with every bedpan you change, you're that much closer to being an illustrator. When you graduate you'll be able to have a nice place to live instead of a shelter and nurses make more than you would during a graveyard shift and in less hours. You could always be an illustrator later. Even if it's a year or two from now, 21/22 is still young. You have a lot of time to pursue your dreams. What I think you'll regret is leaving school now.

  9. #6
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    Did you know you can have both jobs? Helping others and tje community is very important. And having that security will do you greatly when you find little work as an illustrator. As you get faster in your art, you will find it takes less time to complete. And not i know nurses that work 12 on 12 off so in the off time you can spend 3 hours a night day completing a piece. And I know the financial stability is worth more than the starving unwanted self I had become. Just talkin from experiance.

  10. #7
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    Pubic assistance? Join the military.

  11. #8
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    Hey buddy... When I read your post it made my heart twinge... I too am Asian... Chinese to be precise. And I know exactly what you are feeling because I encountered the same. No son of ours is going to be an artist. Lawyer, doctor, accountant... All perfectly respectable professions for a young chinaman!

    I am now almost double your age. I took risks and went down the art path. In my time, I've seen immense prosperity and also hardship in equal measure doing what I love. So in some ways i can see things both from your point of view and your parents point of view. Firstly, without seeing your work, its difficult to gauge how soon you might be able to think about supporting yourself through your art. For all we know, you could be the next craig mullins or jaime jones... In which case yeah, take the plunge...

    But if like most of us you are an art journeyman, and realising your dream of being a successful illustrator is going to entail at least a few years of hard work, then I would certainly heed the excellent advice that others have given here. I strongly agree that if you are near the end of your nursing studies, to finish that. There is the chinese saying 'iron rice bowl', and nursing is certainly that kind of profession, not to mention an important community service. There is always work for a qualified nurse. There isn't always work as an illustrator!

    In the UK we have a system called locuming which is where you can fill in temporary shifts in hospitals. If this kind of system also exists in the us, it would be an excellent thing to consider after a couple of years of work experience. If you already know that you don't want to pursue a nursing career, this could be an excellent way to balance your pursuit of art with your need to pay bills without committing to either path right away.

    Don't be afraid of time slipping away. Even if you were 25, you'd still be young. I'm 37 so imagine how I must feel trying to start an illustration career now!!! There is plenty of time to improve slowly. Spend every day looking with an artist's eyes even if you arent painting or drawing. Whenever I drive to the supermarket I look at the way light hits the trees or the mountains or whatever, and I make mental note of it. I think about my art all the time. Maybe you would be looking at an old mans face as you change his sheets... Where are the wrinkles? Why do they form that way... When he grimaces, what are the muscles at work? A big part of art is observing. We have to use our eyes everyday so make it an exercise to really look and not just see.

    The last thing that I want to say is that you probably had some really big fights with your parents about this. But remember that they love you and although you may not think it, they DO want the best for you. Being an artist can be a hard life. They want to see their son make it on his own two feet and they are just afraid that art is risky. Its not necessarily because they can't see your talent or your drive to be an artist and its not that they just want to control your life. Chinese parents aren't the most emotionally connected, and I'm sure its the same for other Asian parents. They may secretly be thinking one thing but say something completely different! They aren't great at exploring how they feel. The default response is very often 'do what I say or get lost!' But its not their fault. They may simply not know how to respond and so fall back to conditioned programming especially if they are first generation immigrants. This kind of thinking is deeply rooted in our culture. Right now they are probably in a huge amount of turmoil and pain. I can bet your mum and dad are having many sleepless nights worrying about you.

    So whatever you do, make your decision a thoughtful decision and not an emotional reaction to feeling pressured or trapped.

    Take some advice from some old artists on here... Take the long view of things. Passion means playing it smart!
    Last edited by Kelvin Liew; March 9th, 2014 at 07:32 PM.
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    Oh and if you want to watch me paint live I recently got introduced to this thing called picarto TV... It's nice to do art and share it - if you have any questions it's great to talk too! I'm painting pretty much 12 hours a day so you'll most likely find me - unless I'm eating

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  13. #9
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    I totally agree with lovingit.

    The first priority in your life is security, as in food, shelter, warmth and of course money. without that you cant be an artist unless you live off the grid with loads of sketchbooks and living off the land, or someone paying you to learn art as you explore your field, and we all know that will never happen. so find a steady job that pays well, even if it's 2 jobs.

    There is no defined rule that says you have to do this or this, or you can only do this for the rest of your life. you can bounce from job to job or how people really get successful, make friends with an industry professional. they can help you out.

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