The Problems with Wanting to be an Artist in Any Form

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As I’m forging an internal war in deciding between what I believe to be a logical career path and what I believe I really want to do with my life, I’ve come across a series of problems that come with believing you’re destined to be an artist.

  1. You have to have an exceptional amount of belief in yourself. With everyone telling you how difficult it is to earn a living as an artist in any form and how unlikely it is that you’ll amount to any sort of success, you have to be your own best friend and commit to working for the dream. This process becomes complicated given the natural insecurity that comes with the stereotypical artist profile. It’s quite easy to give up on the dream when presented with the sheer hopelessness that comes from all the competition for happiness in the arts.
  2. There’s no set guide. Sure you can try to go to school and get training, read all the how-to books you want and try to break in to an incredibly tough field, but with all that specificity it’s a terrifying process. Self-doubt and hesitation will bear down on you and make you question the whole pursuit. The path will be different for everyone; no cookie cutter degree path here.
  3. You’re going to be heckled by the engineering and science majors of the world. There will always be those that don’t believe in the arts as a steady way to make money (which has some valid arguments in and of itself), and they’ll like nothing more than to take you and your dreams down a peg. Your intelligence will be brought into question by people that just don’t get the struggle and the desire behind it. To them, the pursuit just won’t make sense.
  4. You’re really going to have to work for itNo one is going to go out of their way to make sure you’re a success. No one will do it for you. They’ve got their own shit to deal with. You’re going to need to find a way to actuallymake a living and survive while putting in the work to progress as an artist. Sacrifices will have to be made in order for any sort of benefits to be reaped in the future; it won’t come easy.

After writing a bit about this I’ve realized that these are incredibly common problems that aren’t restricted to trying to be an artist, but also to just being a real grown up person in general. I’ll probably be able to add to this multiple times but whatever. Growing up sucks and that’s just the way it is. Cheers to all those trying to find their way.

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RIP

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This is one of my favourite parts of one of my favourite movies. Philip Seymour Hoffman who was in my mind one of the greatest actors I’ve had the chance of being entertained by passed away today of a heroin overdose. While this isn’t coming as a major shock given the nature of the addiction, there’s always a bit of a forced reflection that comes with death in any form. Over the duration of an illustrious career, Hoffman was able to show his depth and sensibility as an actor while battling personal demons constantly, and through his process he gave us a list of consistently exceptional performances. May a complicated and troubled soul rest in peace.