View Full Version : Need advice...

01-15-2010, 10:46 PM
My situation is quite serious for my further life, so I want to ask people here for help, because we all here kinda native - because of art
AND because of art I've got to make a hard decision

Well, I'm currently learning in a good university for being a programmer-mathematician, but through my studies I realized that this is simply not for me
I just can't hold in brain all this formulas, theorems and other - my mind is overfilled with imaginative things, that I want to draw!
But, because of my studies I rarely have a possibility to draw...
This is annoying
So I started thinking of leaving the university and devoting myself completely for art
BUT - I don't know if it's worth
This is very hard to decide, because in case of failure I will have nowhere to go and earn money to live...
What do I mean with 'failure'?
Well, that I won't be able to live on art
I know that some people are making good money on drawing and selling pictures, or making art for games/films/books
But they are talented ones and skillful
I have a talent (I just think so) but have not enough experience

A dilemma, huh?
1) I stay in university without risks for future job, but have no joy of life...
2) I leave it and start practicing hardly on drawing, but with a high risk to 'EPIC FAIL'...

It's hard for me to stay in university anyway...
I have a good intellect, but the problem is my imagination and wishing to share those pictures, feelings of my soul with people through painting (and maybe a music, but later)...
If I were a robot, I wouldn't mind of all that
But I'm not

A lot to share, a less time to spare...

What would you say?
Should I give it a try?
And if so - what is the best way to earn money on my early steps into artist's life? (taking in attention that damn economical crisis)

Thank you for your attention...
Hope that somebody will advice me what to do...
(I think anyone would ask of how old I am, and that is the answer - one and a half month more and I will be 19 years old)

01-15-2010, 11:08 PM
This is where you must, "know thyself", or, as Clint Eastwood would say, "A man's gotta know his limitations..."

I've dealt with the same dilemma, and my problem was a lack of focus and discipline. Even though you are doing what you love (painting, for example), you must still have the discipline to spend hours each day perfecting your craft. I would spend hours writing music, practicing one day, then a week later become moody about it all and waste my time pursuing other distractions (drawing and writing). Whatever you do, you've got to stay focused on what you want out of art, and always move towards it - with no distractions!

The easiest solution to your problem is to transfer to a graphic design school perhaps and study what you already love to do. As long as you are involved in creative work, you will feel better. As a general rule, business studies are totally opposite of creative studies.

I used to work at a print shop, and that - at least - was a creative-type job. My friend has always wanted to sell his artwork. He went to graphic design school, knowing that he didn't want to design ads, or do art for web sites. Today, he works in a t-shirt screen printing shop and paints on the side. He's about to rent out space in a new gallery in town and try to sell his art there.

Know what you want out of art, then be single-minded, focused, determined, and be willing to accept a line of work that may not be perfect for you. Just try to get into a career field that involves being creative, and you will be happy doing what you do.

01-15-2010, 11:21 PM
I understand your dilemma. I have a daughter - 26 years old - she's a computer programmer and darned good at it - however - even with all of the brains, education and willingness - she just cannot seem to get a job. So I guess what I am trying to say is - even if you complete university, there is no sure thing that you will land a job.

My other daughter - she is 23 and lives at home - she is legally blind and dyslexic so she dropped out of college. She does such beautiful artwork and is now a "starving writer/illustrator" We are perfectly happy with this arrangement because she works hard at what she does. She is currently illustrating a bookcover for a novel written by a friend who will be sending off to a publisher soon. We are hoping the exposure to publishers will pay off for her art in the end.

One thing you can do is to find if there is an art guild in your city - it helps the creative mind and there are options as a guild to put together art shows. Another option is to get that group together and rent a booth at street fairs in your area. If you can't find an art guild - how about getting one together - you can meet with other artists and art students at a coffee house and collaborate online - it doesn't have to be fancy or formal - just a group of like-minded creative people getting together to talk and network.

If you don't yet have a zazzle account - I would recommend that - it is a lot of hard work but plenty of people have actually been able to quit their jobs and live solely on their zazzle earnings.

What about changing your major to art - or just going to school part time - taking an art class or an online marketing course in the evenings?

As far as money - there is the option to paint windows for businesses in your city - make up some flyers with your information and prices, bring a portfolio of some of your artwork and go visit stores. You could also offer to paint murals on the blank walls on the outsides of buildings or on the walls in the local kindergartens and nursery schools. Soon you will have a list of clients and may even become so successful that you will need to hire an assistant or 2!

Good luck - I wish you the best!

01-15-2010, 11:59 PM
Thanks for your replies, I appreciate it

I have no problem with focusing myself on drawing - when I start, nothing can stop me, excepting the completion of work)
And I would do this for weeks and months, that's for sure

About going in art school - this is not an option for me, because they all are need to be paid for, and our family have problems with money, 'thanks' to crisis... <_<
But, I have a lot of books that teach art, I'm very good at copying paintings and learning techniques, so there's no problem for me for independent learning to draw
(but I only going to draw in digital, using a tablet and, most likely, ArtRage)

It's just that - I'm not sure about the future job - what to choose, best for my current skills and for earning money...
I don't want to be burden for my parents
I want to be able to live independently, so I can be proud of myself and of my life

Doubts are my most enemy for now...
Gotta think about all of this more and make a final decision...

Thanks again...

01-16-2010, 12:18 AM
Life is not about finding a way to be an artist. Life has nothing to do with art. Art has everything to do with life. You need to understand those differences and how they are not differences.
But you won't understand those differences because you don't want to hear what I'm going to say next.
You are nearly 19 years old and it seems to you that you are the repository of all universal knowledge. I'm sorry. That's not true. Your parents and your teachers will not become any smarter over the next few years but you will slowly become aware of the wisdom they have been trying to share with you. You are not smarter than them and you can not see around the corners that they are trying to warn you about.
If you want to be an artist, experience life.
If you want to experience life, don't plan on being an artist.
Plan on being a good observer, an empathetic friend, a critical thinker. And then move on to being a critical observer, an empathetic thinker, and a good friend.
Plan on being happy.
Art will never make you happy. Art will allow you to express emotions but it will never allow you to create emotions.
Plan on being confdent,
Art will never bring you confidence but confidence will strengthen your art.
Strive to understand what you see and experience.
Art will never make you a better person but it will give you a way to express both the good and the bad that you find in the world.
And whether or not you choose to make art a part of your life, please be happy. The image of the troubled artist, while romantic, is ultimately sad.
Right now, I sense that you are not happy. All of the artistic or educational success in the world will not bring happiness. Define where your happiness lies and go there first. From there all of your other dreams can be explored.

01-16-2010, 12:28 AM
My opinion is that if art is your joy, then keep it as an hobby. If you make art your work, it may kill you enjoyment with deadlines and so on.

Luckily enough I enjoy so much to program computers that I made it my work. Before University I had a crysis about my future. I really had enough of mathematics, computers, technicisms and so on. I looked for an artistic escape, since I like drawing. After a few months I discovered that i like programming too much for trashing it, do I decided to perseverate on that way.

Now, I am a programmer, sometimes i hate it, mostly i love it and, in spare time, i enjoy painting, shooting photos and so on. Obviously i have my deadlines.

My brother choosed for an artistic career and now it's an affirmed illustrator in its field. But he had very difficult starting for the first years. Obviously he has his deadlines.

So, at last... if you started with a technical school, maybe you like it. Consider that an artistic career is more difficult than a technical career.

Your choice, good luck :)

01-16-2010, 08:36 PM
I did not graduate with any degee however, I heard a supervisor talking one day and he said he would rather have a person with a degree in ANYTHING because it showed that he was willing to stick with something until it was finished.
i also had a chance to spend some time on a mountain in Washington State picking up a crashed airplane with some Park Rangers. They mentioned that the only real qualification was a Masters degree in ANYTHING. They spent a lot of time up there in the mountains where one could find some of the most beautiful scenery in the world all year round.
Something to think about before you quit and make a big mistake.:):):):):)

01-16-2010, 10:17 PM
Don't drop out of school without giving it a good pondering first. :)

That said, it now seems to you that all the math and formulas and whatnot are not your piece of bread. But first, think whether there is some part of programming that you do love even if you hate mathematics.

Because in real-world environment, you'll hardly ever use mathematics directly as a programmer.

CS departments make a big deal out of it, and it is supposed to lay a good theoretical foundation for programming work. But in the end, it always remains a foundation. You'll not be required to submit proofs of correctness for your real-world programs; you'll be required to make them work right. Programming is engineering, not mathematics. A lot of it is trial and error, and a lot of it is elegant technical mastery, but never formal proofs.

So if you do love coding, making the machine do exactly what you planned it to, if an elegant solution to a tricky algorithmic problem gives you a warm glow, if you slap your forehead and laugh at how Warren's tricks with binary numbers horribly abuse the representation to somehow get correct results, then programming may still be for you. Just survive the quirks and formalities of an academic institution.

And don't think art career is all fun and games. There's as much toil and frustration in getting better and working with clients as there is in programming. Any career you're serious about will have a lot of routine, and false starts, and would seem a big chore at times.

So just decide which kind of chore gives you less sorrow or more outright enjoyment, slaving over code hunting a bug or slaving over a composition that does not seem to ever look right. And go with that.

You don't have to give up either coding or art, of course, whichever you pick ultimately. Either way you would get a good, possibly paying, hobby. Just draw and paint and get better, begin posting your work online, put it up in some cafe, join the local art guild, if you are good you'll be noticed and will begin getting small commissions. Then it's a matter of building your clientele gradually.

01-16-2010, 10:37 PM
A lot of great advice here.:):)
Mine would be to stick with university as a degree (in anything) will open doors in life that would otherwise be closed to you. Its only four years or so of your life.
Perhaps it is the course that is the problem, you may be able to transfer the units you have under your belt already to get into something else you enjoy more.
Code and Art do not have to be at odds with each other, many people make a living through scripting and art to make web products/ flash content/ 3d animation etc... so maybe you can find yourself a happy middle ground.

Whatever you decide I wish you the best of luck :):)

01-16-2010, 11:28 PM
Stay in school and work hard. It is a lot easier to pick up art later than it is to go back to school later. Go to school while you can and keep working at it.

01-18-2010, 03:57 AM
Thank you, everyone...
I've decided to stay in university
Who knows, maybe someday I'll be able to put together my love to art and abilities in programming
I'm not bad at mathematics, I just feel I won't need that at all, but if it is necessary, I'll have to learn through...
I'll treat it as an obstacle on my way forward
There are always difficulties in life...
Maybe I was too weak to pass through them, but it's OK - I'm trying to get stronger now

Thanks a lot!

(a day ago my roommate suggested to try on making a fan-game for manga "Blame!" - maybe that would be a good practice for me before serious deeds :) )

01-18-2010, 04:21 AM
If you're going down the self-study art route, I think it's worth showing your pictures to people (e.g. on these forums, or to artists working in the field) and getting their feedback on how to develop to a level where you start to do it for a living.

01-18-2010, 11:30 AM
Stay in school if you can! Maybe at first you may not be happy, but a degree is something you can always show to future employers--and they do take notice. You can always work your art around your studies if thatīs whatīs important to you.

That aside, the arts are probably the most satisfying part of oneīs life. The problem is that they seldom pay enough to keep you alive in a way that youīd like to live. I worked as a musician while I was at the university, and it was far more pleasant than my life as a student. However, I began to notice that most of the "old" guys I worked with (around 40) were making the same money at that age that I was at 18. No security, no benefits, no retirement plan--all those things that when youīre young donīt seem to matter. They will. I remember a bluegrass band who were incredible musicians. The name of their band: "Donīt Give Up Your Day Job." Guess that says it all. :cool:

At any rate, good luck!!!

01-18-2010, 01:12 PM
Thank you, everyone...
I'm not bad at mathematics, I just feel I won't need that at all, but if it is necessary, I'll have to learn through...

Maybe you will never need math directly. But trust me, even if you think you forgot everything, by studying math you give to your mind an opening. Think about it like it's studying philosophy, only a bit different :).

I'm happy to see that you decided to stay with your initial choice. Good luck!

01-19-2010, 06:10 AM
Hi Null,
Glad to hear that you decided to stick to education.
I just thought I'd suggest you take a look at fractal geometry.
It's Mathematics and it's Art.
I recently came across some fabulous software that generate fractal imagery based on formulas, and also the latest achievement of a 3D Mandelbrot from on DA. Having not too much expertise in maths all i can do is play with it, but I can't really tap the full potential there.
Just have a look at them, you might find that you could combine your mathematics expertise to generate great art.

All the best to you.

10-21-2015, 09:44 PM
If you continuously follow one line it is natural that a day will come when you feel not to do it. As you are in regular job, it is not good for you to leave job. If any new interest arising in you, it is very good on your part. You should try to get perfect in that for this you can take few days rest from your regular work. This will really a mind booster to you.

Good Luck in your new efforts

10-21-2015, 11:14 PM
The easiest solution to your problem is to transfer to a graphic design school perhaps and study what you already love to do. As long as you are involved in creative work, you will feel better. As a general rule, business studies are totally opposite of creative studies.

10-23-2015, 02:10 PM
I can tell you from experience that the only failure in life worth being concerned about is the failure to find and become that which you are meant to be. With that said, you're expectations seems a little unrealistic and that could set you up for disappointment. You asked about what direction you should take to earn money early in your pursuit of art. If you are expecting to earn a living from art when, admittedly you have little experience with art you will probably be disappointed. You need to discover what it is you have to say. What moves you to paint and draw. You have to paint what you love and then find someone who wants to pay you for it. That is the trick. Yes you can take on commissions painting things just to make some money. But that will likely not be the driving force behind your work and will get as old and tiring as study things in university you are not interested in. I think RobertSWade had a lot of very good advice.

D Akey
10-24-2015, 02:16 AM
Since this is a 5 year old thread, but a perennial topic we're all facing in general, I'll just very briefly put in my 2 cents for anyone who is in this situation (and this is merely my opinion and a bit of a ramble as the thoughts occur to me):

Stats show people go through several careers in their lifetime these days. You'll probably have to learn to hustle yourself at anything you do. Learn many things and don't get stuck being too linear. If you're using becoming an artist as a way to hide from being practical, you'll be facing it later where you'll be older with few, if any, marketable skills. Learn something that draws income for you and learn to handle your money. Art will by necessity become a business. Sort of takes the romantic gauze off the lens, doesn't it.

Even as an artist, people hire based on you, your proving yourself, your skills, your attitude and personality, your ability to function in all capacities and your track record. If you show yourself being able to complete what you start, that's one plus to your being hired (or if you're independent, you'll have to complete things without someone pushing you). If you become an artist and thereafter need to find a job in the world, the people doing the hiring will likely see you as impractical and someone who can be exploited. That's not always the reality, but you have to work on your business sense and what kind of leverage you're creating for yourself to be able to command higher money.

People in all disciplines drop out of school all the time in favor of an opportunity that presents itself in the business world. Those people are essentially not running from anything, but rather running to something. It's not an escape, it's a drive. Becoming an artist when you're on your own is really tough.

Like so many things now in the world, there's a glut of artists and pre-existing works of art. Just take a tour of the internet. You'll be competing against every artist, every stockpiled piece of art that gets sold over and over at prices that are rock bottom. The preciousness of art isn't in the art, it's generally in where you can sell a service, as an employee or not. One is generally serving a bigger team. The people who are running the show will exploit you to work long hours because you are young and willing.

People skills is what this world's about for the most part.

If you become an artist and you discover you don't like it, it's very uncertain that you will have a skill that you can roll over into a different job because your marketable skill is considered secondary.

You can always do art on the side. Then see if you can make money at it. If you're thinking in terms of art being a business, you stand a chance of surviving through it. Look at where artists can make money. To make money at art, you have to become a machine and crank out a hell of a lot of it.

The best piece of advice that anyone can give to a young person starting out is something my son learned very early on. When you get hired, find out what the boss wants and give it to them.

Whatever you choose to do, learn cooperation and keep your eye out for opportunities until you become the boss. If you're thinking of becoming an entrepreneur, learn everything because your real education begins when you leave school. If you leave as a graduate, you have something that shows you can complete what you begin. Hopefully you will be getting something from school. If you're not, you need to regroup and pick something that is in line with where you want to go.

The world is capricious. Art is sort of iffy as a career unless you find the place where money can be made at it.

In this world, if you get a job and you can keep it, great. Congratulations. You found it. But many people always keep an eye out for their next job, their next opportunity. If you become an artist, it's very likely you will get to the point of seeing it as a career with all the stuff that goes with having a career -- opportunities, income, money management, and building a life.

Your experience will be unique to a large extent, and don't use art as a way to avoid adult things in the world. Intelligent and practical artists have a higher chance of survival. If you're the best artist in the world and you have no mind for business, unless you're incredibly lucky, you'll be taken advantage of in ways you can't even imagine until it's knocking at your door.

As with everything where there's money flowing through it, there are those who do very well. But those people are strong in several areas. There is no "Art Only" part of life, for the most part. If someone says that's what they are a professional artist, or points to someone else who has "made it" as an artist, scratch the surface and you will see that's not all of the story by far. That's merely the sexy sound byte for gallery opening conversations.

Art has a lot to offer someone in developing aspects of who they are. Without a doubt. It's a club that's not above jealousy. It's a prestigious title for hopeless romantics. If you're an artist, expect to become a salesman and performer because you'll be in the public eye. Sure, it's also a way to make money, but Art doesn't sell itself. And there are lots of people in the world who would gladly take their piece of you, whether they deliver their side of the bargain or not. Be cautious. Be aware. I know it's hard to know which direction to go without having been around the block a few times. At 19 one has lived a sheltered life where people have told you what to do most of your life. Take it slow and open your mind to possibilities and alternatives. Being an artist means being creative. So be creative with the big picture of your life. And play it smart.

Explore Art and where people use it in the world. It's a very broad category.

Good luck whichever way you go. Life's a journey. Use your time well.

Oh, and as an afterthought: One of the main advantages of being employed as opposed to freelancing -- if you're on a team you get paid to learn. There are people there from whom you can draw knowledge of how to do things. Afterward, you can take that to the world with you as an independent. But starting out cold with nobody to show you how to do anything, you've essentially cut yourself off at the knees. You need a mentor. You need a business environment. It's just a better way to start.

YOUTH IS GOLDEN! Spend it wisely. Right now as a young person, you will never be more appealing to people hiring you off the street, with no experience (as opposed to changing careers later). Reason being, you will be less of a threat to them, you will give them bragging rights for having discovered you and made you, plus they will see you as someone eager to work cheap and do whatever is asked without coming back at them saying, "Wouldn't it be better if we (x, y and z)". If you get hired by the right persons, you will probably be exploited, but it's part of the deal coming in. The new guys are always given the lesser stuff. But as they expand your experience, they will also bring you along -- the term is hitching your wagon to a rising star (or something like that - meaning as they go up, you get brought up with them because you're a known commodity and hopefully trustworthy.)

I cannot overemphasize this. There is no substitute for starting young and doing things right in someone else's service. That window closes up. But if you laid the groundwork properly, there's no stopping you from having opportunities along the way. Screw it up, or deviate where your history is peculiar, the opportunities will begin get harder to come by. And at some point down the road with a good track record, the juicier positions start appearing. Sometimes it happens fast. Anyway, if your path is in the business of Art, that's great. But that's how to do it in most situations.

09-22-2020, 03:21 AM
I am going to state the obvious here. Why don't you just change your major. Having a computer degree won't mean there will be work for you. Conversely, neither will art. HOWEVER, if you really have all those pictures screaming to erupt from your imagination, then learn your tools. Take courses and learn the craft. Along the way you will find that there will be many opportunities for you to make money. I directed a play many many years ago (My degree is in theatre) and I needed a poster but I wanted it to look really good. I hired an artist who charged me 500 dollars. It drew an audience for my show and I made my money back--on a more humorous side, we had a problems with college kids stealing the posters for their dorm rooms it would seem. My point is, instead of dropping out, learn the tools and learn about all your industry possibilities. Don't start looking for a paycheck until you have the tools on your belt to make that happen. Good luck!