'My family doesn't take me seriously as an artist.'
Can you truly blame them? After all, for most of your life up until now, you've been a wage slave or brain surgeon or housewife or rock star - insert the most suitable category for you...
Your family and your friends are used to seeing you that way and I have to tell you this: no words you can say will convince them of your new commitment. Only actions will do it. When your loved ones:
- See your careful preparations for making your Art.
- Watch your daily dedication to your new ambition.
- While you still put in the same hours at your 'day job.'
They will come around to thinking of you as a serious artist.
- I know this to be true. I have lived it. I was so lucky to have a partner who loved me enough to want me to be happy and fulfilled in life and who was prepared to let me do that in my own way.
However – and this is a big condition – if I had not gone about it in a serious manner, I doubt even he would've been patient throughout the process. The way I did it may not suit you but it could start you off.
I did these 3 things:
1. Made myself a solemn vow that I would become a professional artist.
2. Took my partner into my confidence and asked for his help and advice.
3. Followed a Plan for what was needed to achieve my ambition, eg:
- set up a studio space inside the home
- went there for a set time each day, visualizing the finished studio or reading up on the skills needed, eg Anatomy and Perspective Drawing
- made a stepchart of the goals I'd need to reach, eg build up a body of artwork (for showing to a gallery,) hone my skills, increase my knowledge of the history of Art, improve my knowledge of materials, (a list that seemed endless.)
- listed the essential equipment and materials
- started a savings account to buy those things
- set up a daily studio schedule and a weekly plan for household jobs
- enlisted the help of my partner to make items I sketched out, eg a sloped desk for drawing with places for pens, pencils, paints, sheets of paper.
- Most importantly, I kept sketching, every day.
Because I was living in a tiny rural town, no art training was available. You may be in a similar situation or maybe you've just never got around to taking any classes as yet. It is never too late to start. And here's a huge tip:
- Many great artists have been self-taught.
I reckon if you're self-taught, you have the most dedicated Teacher of all. More on that next time...