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Do you have a hard time taking yourself seriously as an artist?

I recently transferred from a liberal arts school to a visual-intensive arts institute and I quickly noticed that the academic pomp and circumstance was all but gone.

I keep hearing that art college, (the one in my community--Baltimore--gets flack from other colleges like Johns Hopkins, Towson, and Goucher), and art as a profession in general, is viewed as a joke.  As if to prove those derisive comments, my campus is filled with people and systems that bespeak an uncomfortable nonchalance.  Ever since I got here, I've been having a hard time taking myself and my experience seriously.

Has anybody else struggled with something like this?  Do you ever feel like the pursuit of art as a career (or a paying hobby or anything else really) is farcical? 


  • Yorick

    The search for identity, meaning, belonging is pervasive and all consuming.
    There are many self imposed hurdles along the way.

    The link does a grand job of assessing and rating colleges.

    At focus is your resolve and determination to succeed in art. It is self evident that a broad exposure to the Arts community, experiential learning and conceptual thinking skills available through a tertiary education will place you in a much better position of creativity and earning potential.

    You just need to find the right place or be convinced you are there already.


  • edited November 2017
    No, it is not farcical. Been an artist primarily self taught since age 2 years, went to college, did realism and portraiture in chalk on the streets for 9 years, and find myself here studying realism some more but in oil this time, after all the other disciplines I came to learn beforehand. But I am surrounded by much adversity and I am different and simply had to continue to take my stand everyday, I am what I am. And I have my own dreams, my own path, my own vision of what I would like to see happen for myself, this is what matters to me the most, that I am fulfilled and content with myself in what I do to the best of my ability, 'cause that's what I want. Do my paintings make a difference, not sure yet but I believe, do I make a difference, without a doubt, yes. Not always so easy or simple to stand by or live by, but do-able. I also receive a lot of coaching from others along the way who were supportive for extra encouragement, but most of all learn to continue to encourage myself along the way in my own ways in my own privacy. It's good to learn to enjoy yourself being your own artist.
  • Nothing can overcome a sloppy academic environment better than a different school.  If that is what you are facing, I would find it difficult to give the standard advice, which is, apply yourself to something you love and work at it until you own it.  Even the best of us need the support of engaged and capable instructors to get there.  If they are there, and you engage them, you can succeed.
    I knew a man who went to a graphic arts school in the back of beyond.  It was not known as any kind of a good school, for anything.  But people don't end up teaching college because they don't know anything.  He was determined to learn and got the help he needed, graduated, and became very successful.  He did art every day of his professional career.  Good luck.
  • And without your wonderful paintings @Boudicca this forum would be more grey. 
  • I immagine many of us struggle with everything an artist can struggle with (and there is a lot as we all know...)... The more an artist finds his own path, the more he doesn't care about all these negative waves in the artworld because he follows the only line there is: his own... to me it is the same principle as in painting: Concentration on your 'thing'... or to say it in much better words with @Forgiveness "It's good to learn to enjoy yourself being your own artist" ...
  • Kingston said:
     The lack of participation from the poster, alas poor @Yorick, makes this post seem like some sort of prank. 

    ......and we thought we knew him well
  • This is tantamount to skullduggery. Where is that skull. Well I'm not Willie S. @Yorick

    but if you are sincere in your question and this isn't a fishing expedition I'll say that you've gotten some good information and advice so far but what really matters is whether you are getting what you need at your present school. If you are none of the rest of should matter to you. If you are not, change schools.

  • edited November 2017
    I've been thinking about your post, @Yorick. If you feel compelled to paint you' ll do so - school or no school. Sometimes I think art school is the worst place to learn to become an artist. The  real question is whether you take yourself seriously. Forget about what others think.
    However, if you are looking for validation through academic success (nothing wrong with that if you have academic prowess) then you had better return to liberal arts. If, however,  you understand and accept that life as an artist may entail years of poverty and struggle  but you nonetheless feel compelled to pursue painting anyway then stay at art school. Or, save yourself a lot of money by learning technique online (here for example) and  just keep looking at great paintings and continue to paint. That is what I wish I had done instead of the most boring and tediously prolix of all disciplines:  law.  Gaugin had the right idea.  Had he remained a stock broker (or was it a lawyer?) he'd now be forgotten. :)
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