Saturday, March 22, 2014

Career Day at Grandview

At the "Art Career" table 
(Photo courtesy of the folks at the table to my right from 

It was a treat to be asked to return to Grandview High School and be part of a 
solid and high-quality Career Day, well-organized by the Grandview Counseling team.

The students were as I remembered them from my teaching days: Articulate and polite. And still asking intelligent questions that had me scratching my head, searching for well-matched answers.

One of the most frequent: 
"What do I need to have in order to pursue a career in art and illustration?"

Now I've always been a bit skeptical at most advice--even the well-meaning kind--and so 
I hesitated to throw in my two cents. After all, there's no one-size-fits-all in anything--especially in the arts. 
But with some reservation, here are the three bits I offered:

1. Great drawing skills.

2. Three valuable assets: 
Patience; things don't often--and really shouldn't--happen fast in the arts. 
Persistence; things won't happen if you quit trying. 
Flexibility; be open to the day jobs, the curve-balls, the boredom, 
and the real life of a creative person that may not fit your 
initial perception of a "career in the arts".

3. Know yourself. And well enough to filter out 
all the pretentious crap Madison Avenue and this culture throws at you 
about careers, happiness, achievement, and what you should be doing 
or what constitutes "success".  
Then make the art you want to make because you have it in your blood 
and there's really no choice in the matter if you want to stay healthy 
and have some contentment along the way.

 Right now, as I tried to convey with my career-day poster (above), 
I am into variety; commissions, gallery work, shows in many venues,
taking workshops, teaching workshops, (presenting at a career day), illustration work, 
backing great causes with the talent I have, and mostly--every possible minute--making art.

And I reserve the right to change my ideas 
because I'm pretty sure--with every passing day--I know myself a little better.

Thanks for reading! 


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