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Thread: Need advice...

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Need advice...

    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)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    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.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Moses Lake, Washington
    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!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    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...

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Tiffin, OH USA
    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.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    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

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    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.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    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.
    Last edited by arenhaus; 01-16-2010 at 09:21 PM.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2009
    3438 ft above sea level
    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
    Last edited by Juz; 01-16-2010 at 09:44 PM.
    "I paint because I love to cut mats" (Arthur Alexander)

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    washington, usa
    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.

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