Further to my last post: yes, it’s a lot of work and there are a lot of different roles in being a professional artist, but it’s still my ideal job. I firmly believe that everyone should aim for their ideal job. After all, wouldn’t we all like to interact daily with people who are passionate about what they do because they love doing it?
I still find it frustrating that my school pushed me towards a career to which I was less suited at the expense of the ideal one – an art career not being deemed to be academic enough. I then spent the next twenty-something years getting back to the ideal one.
I appreciate that an art career may be a less well defined path than perhaps a corporate one might be, though one could argue that is a positive rather than a negative trait. Equally some students do choose art because it is seen as an easy option, and I wouldn’t for one moment suggest that such students should choose it as a career.
Surely though, those that have talent, dedication and passion should be encouraged to follow their dreams? If something is your passion you’ll find a way to do it, and being pushed in to doing something else is just setting up unnecessary obstacles.
The Creative Industries are a significant contribtor to the UK economy – accounting for 7.9% of GDP, and growing significantly faster than the economy as a whole*. Think about that. Then think about it some more.
So an art career is a viable career, though of course I accept it’s not for everyone. But I do want to encourage anyone who’s sure that it’s the career for them not to be put off by the doubters. And for those who are tempted to scoff or discourage I’ll simply ask one question: would you rather be remembered as the person who helped to realise another’s dream or the one who destroyed it?
*Quotation from the Department of Culture, Media and Sport