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Hey all i really need some advice on whether or not I should quit my job to study art. While I understand that becoming a skillful artist is ultimately about constant practice and perseverance above anything else, I feel like I'm missing another (and in my opinion) equally important part also and that is community. I practice a lot, and can really see the improvement and it feels awesome but at the same time I feel a bit lost, lonely and directionless. I don't know anyone who is even remotely into art and while I feel confident in my approach to gaining skills, I feel the complete opposite in the larger sense of how to be an artist in the world, which sectors/areas to pursue, gaining connections etc..
I guess i want to know, for those who have studied art through courses, is how important were the friendships/mentoring/life structure they provided in becoming an artist and is it worth doing it for those aspects alone?
While it's nice to bounce off other artists, it's also nice to eat. Where are you based? If there aren't any artists nearby, we're here to help/chat/wind you up/make you tear your hair out etc
In my (limited) personal experience, connections normally come about through getting work. If you do good work and are nice to work with, clients will come back for more work, hand your name around to other Art directors/ other creative officers etc.
Connections don't get you jobs unless you have both the connections and professional proficiency.
To be honest, the "community" aspect of the whole deal sometimes becomes a little much even. I find myself answering questions on FB or critiquing in the forums when I should be doing work. I do it because I believe that I can genuinely help. But I have yet to get a client via that channel.
hey thanks for the replies. I think im just looking for reasons to quit my job. This year i realized just how little i care about the field im currently in and just how bad i want to become an artist. im based in the UK in Huntingdon (not alot of arty stuff around here). Currently weekends are the only time i have to practice and while i feel progress in art i also feel pretty disconnected from it - i guess because im experiencing it through a computer and books for the most part. i do try to visit museums and life drawing classes when i can but i still feel its not enough. i would also love to have more time to do it. Both these factors have me thinking about quitting (getting some random weekend/evening job to eat/live) and taking the full plunge into it. I guess i want to know if it'd be worth it as the full package experience, at least for the extra time i would have to do it. but anyway i think im just rambling and thinking out aloud really..
I would keep the day job until the art at least pays an equal yearly salary. Join some life drawing classes (you should be in them as part of your study anyway) in the evenings you are bound to meet other artists I worked fulltime in non related art jobs until I was in my 30's
the thing is money doesnt mean much to me right now, i dont have alot of financial commitments and i really dont mind living on the cheap if im doing something i love everyday. but perhaps quitting is a bit too extreme, i dunno, i will ponder this for while and maybe subconsciously sabotage my job by stealing all the microscopes tomorrow morning..
There's a lot of truth in the saying "if you want a job done give it to a busy man". Work has an inertia to it - I often find I get more done on my own projects after a hard days work or on weekends than those periods when I'm unemployed. Somehow when you're unemployed whatever little things you have to do seem to expand to fill the time allowed (that's another very true saying). Somehow it actually becomes harder to get more done when you're not working, as paradoxical as that sounds. And as Black Spot said, if you want connection and friends etc, that's what ConceptArt IS.
well if i quit i would become a full time student and if anything i think the structure a course might provide would be more beneficial and productive than doing it in bits and pieces of free time like i am now. But i do appreciate what you guys are saying, im still relatively new to this journey and i will try to stick it out as i am. I guess when you suddenly realize what you want out of life you wanna just jump right into it full on.