Failed Art Career

I didn’t grow up wanting to be an artist, but art was always something to do and I haven’t permanently left the pursuit. I’ve mentioned before that both of my parents had abusive upbringings.

My father’s response was to be distant, paranoid of emotionally scarring his children. My mother began collecting and reading every parenting book she could find. Every book promoted arts and crafts for brain development, so we had arts and crafts everyday.

My middle school art teacher complained about my drawings having hairy lines, but my high school art teacher persuaded me to pursue art in college. During my last month of high school I presented an art show.

The chorus teacher that rarely had a positive thing to say to anyone stopped me in a hallway. He said that he expected to see my art in New York one day. With that said by someone that was not known for flattery and because he actually had contacts in New York, I believed him.

It seems my art career peaked at the point of having a diploma hanging in my house. My day job has no resemblance with this degree, but I do have pleasant memories and no regrets. Although, there were plenty of awkward times. In terms of reading, I was into Lewis and Chesterton, but artistically I was impressed with Banksy. Reconciling that collection of people was easy for me, but difficult to explain.

Before I reminisce on images, I do want to elaborate as to why my professional endeavors never focused on art. Perhaps I never met the right person, perhaps I wasn’t good enough. Whatever the case may be, my thinking switched during an internship with my favorite professor. She was from places I wanted to live and worked in a way I wanted to mimic. However, the experience led me to realize that I don’t enjoy being creative on demand. My preference is to follow interests when and how they flow, which is not consistent with a 9 to 5 time frame.

She never discouraged me, although she did critique me. Basically, the assignments were, here’s a document and link to an event, make some advertisement. There was a process of discussion and editing, the final product was printed, and then another event was sent to me. Meanwhile, my class assignments were also tasks that didn’t excite me. It seems naive to say, but my desire was to make what I wanted, sell what I made, and then assume bills and housing would be paid for as a result.

This is not what happened, but there were opportunities.

My last band experience was behind a drum set. I did some videography and photography before joining.

Wedding photography was stressful. It’s a series of once in a lifetime moments, and someone with a phone is often competing for a shot.

Moving objects can be fun to capture, but my preference was usually for stationary things.

Newborn pictures require a lot of work and patience for only a few useable images.

Yet, I am now in my mid-thirties, in a drastically different career. For some reason I still cling to the label of artist, despite the current dormant status of such activity. Call me Peter Pan, I suppose.

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