I’m an artist hoping to get a career in art, specifically as an illustrator.Three years ago I graduated with an art degree and have since been working to make that happen: doing a lot of research, building a portfolio and exploring all my options.I work part time to keep myself fed, but otherwise I’m always drawing, painting and networking.
From what I’ve learned, it takes years before most artists can quit their day jobs. I’m prepared for this; I’m in no way lazy, but I know it will take me a long time. I keep my head down and keep trying.
My family and friends are very supportive, which is wonderful, but there’s one big problem. They don’t understand why it’s taking me so long to get an art job, thus they’re always offering me art advice, though they aren’t artists themselves. Advice on what to paint, how much to sell for, who to work for and so on. Sometimes the advice is a little ridiculous, if not insulting: “Just go work for Disney” or “Nobody wants to buy those kinds of paintings. Paint portraits, those will sell.” Or, “Do it for the exposure if you have to.”
They don’t trust that I know what I’m doing, and they don’t recognize how hard I’m working. It gets to the point I don’t want to talk about my art at all. I want to enjoy my family get-togethers again. How can I let on (politely) that I’m not interested in their bombardment of ill-informed advice? — Struggling Artist
I enjoy the Dear Amy column. I often find her wit and answers in alignment with my own. After reading this column, I thought about how the most unsolicited professional advice for me came when I informed people about the requirements to become a licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker (LICSW). The requirements read:
Graduation from a master’s or doctorate social work educational program accredited by the council on social work education.
- Minimum of four thousand hours (4000) of experience.
- 1,000 hours must be direct client contact over a three-year period.
- Supervised by a LICSW
- 130 hours of supervision by a licensed mental health practitioner. Of the total supervision, 70 hours must be with an independent clinical social worker. The 70 hours may be in one-to-one supervision or group supervision. The other 60 hours may be with an equally qualified licensed mental health practitioner. The 60 hours must…
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