Visual Journal Page 25: Do What You Love

Dear Skeptical Parents,

You need to allow your child to dream. You need to let your child pursue something that will make them happy and feel fulfilled. Success shouldn’t be measured in dollars, it should be measured in how you feel at the end of a work day. You should go home feeling like you have accomplished something, and did something worthwhile to you. Just because you may not be doing what you really want to do, does not mean your child has to do the same thing. Do some research, learn about options, allow your child the chance to pursue something that may actually make them happy in life.

As an art teacher I often hear my students say, “I love art, and I really want to do art as a career, but my parents don’t think I can make any money in it… So I’m going to do something else.” First of all, as a parent you should support your child’s interests. If they truly love something, and feel they can be happy in life doing that… shouldn’t you let them? Second, believe it or not you CAN make money in art!

There are countless jobs that are art related you can make a good living off of. I believe that we are beyond the days of starving artist. Between animation, graphic design, advertising, web design, special effects, production, video game design, interior design, jewelry design, architecture, landscape architecture, photography, restoration… of course art education… etc., etc., etc., anyone can find a job related to the type of art they are interested in. Yes, if you decide to become a painter in New York City, you will have a lot of competition, you will struggle… but that doesn’t mean you can’t hold down another art related job while you create your masterpiece paintings on the side.

Perhaps I have a difficult time relating because I have AMAZING, SUPPORTIVE parents. I was lucky enough to have an art teacher Mom and a Dad who supports the arts. When I said I wanted to go to art school they were excited for me, there was no hesitation. They did everything they could to make sure I was where I wanted to be, doing what I wanted to do. I went into art school not sure exactly what I wanted to do, but my parents had enough confidence in ME to allow me to make that choice for myself. Thank you Mom and Dad, I love you, and I couldn’t have done it without your love and support.

I created this visual journal page with a quote I found in a magazine. I had one of those moments where I flipped to the page and immediately started cutting, because it was exactly how I felt. I found the quote repeated again in the magazine and decided to incorporate it as well, I really wanted to emphasize this point… and repetition is a great way to do that! All I did was rip up book pages and glue them down to create interesting texture in the background and I glued the words on top. I ripped the edges of the words, rather than cut them, because I like the effect it creates. I also scribbled with sharpie around the smaller “do what you love” quote to help it stand out, since it was smaller.

Has anyone else ever faced something like this with their parents (good or bad)? I feel like I hear this all the time from my students.

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