Have you ever had someone tell you that you are not good enough? Did you believe them?
This picture is of me working in my art studio, creating art for a solo exhibition, because I am a full-time artist, who makes a living from his art. This is not what my teacher predicted… Guess he’s not a psychic.
If I had believed my art teacher in school, when he was telling me that I wasn’t good enough, and that “You will never make it as an artist” I probably wouldn’t be writing any of this right now.
But, I didn’t believe him… Well, eventually.
It’s interesting how such an insignificant event, had such an impact on my career as an artist. I’m sure he doesn’t even remember saying it, but his words stayed with me longer than I’d like to admit.
Watch this video to hear the full story:
Now, I wouldn’t change a thing, because eventually my journey lead me to finding my own confidence, and there is no point in wishing that things had gone differently.
It would be a lie, if I didn’t admit, that every once in a while, I wonder where I would be, had I started my art career sooner… But, it is what it is, and I’m enjoying the ride thus far.
Why am I sharing this story?
I wanted to reach out to anyone out there that may be experiencing the same thing. Whether it be a creative field, a life goal, or a dream, Don’t ever believe anybody that tells you that you can’t do something.
It took me a few years to learn this for myself, but now that I have, I am unstoppable. I’ve learned that the only way you can ever truly fail at anything, is to give up. With my art career, I had given up, before I even started.
Because I lacked confidence in my ability to persevere, I took to heart the comments of naysayers in my family, and eventually my teacher.
Luckily, I put all that crap behind me and I know that the only thing that matters, is whether or not I believe I can do it.
So, if you believe you can do it, (no matter what it is) then you can… plain and simple.
Thank you for reading my rambles! Remember to stay endlessly inspired by the stuff of life.
4 thoughts on “My Art Teacher Was Wrong”
I attended the Academy of Art in San Fransisco and majored in illustration. The then, nationally renound head of the illustration department, Barbra Bradley, told me during a mid-term portfolio review for a clothed figure class; “Jack, I think that you need to consult with your pastor or priest about looking into another line of work because… and I’m really sorry here,… but you just don’t have what it takes to be an illustrator in any capacity.” I hid the searing pain from my voice as I replied; “Thanks for your input but forgive me if I don’t agree.” To which she replied, “I see by your flushed face that I’ve upset you but it was not my intention, I assure you. I just want to spare you and your family the agony of paying tuition for another 2 years for nothing. Please, quit while you’re ahead, you’ll thank me some day.”
Needless to say, I didn’t quit. Nor have I ever thanked her. That was 40 years ago, dude and for nearly 20 of those years I fantasized about taking a gargantuan squat and or pissing on her tombstone when the ugly fuck finally did kick the bucket. Then one day I ran across another more recent fellow alumni who had also majored in illustration there. I had seen and admired her work for several years and was thrilled to shoot the breeze and reminisce. When the conversation finally came round to “Babs of the Orc,” Her face got red, her eyes nearly popped out of her head and her pretty face contorted into an expression of abject revulsion. “Do you know what that f*$@*^g b!#ch told me?” All at once,… I knew. I couldn’t help myself. I burst out laughing. I laughed so hard I nearly shit myself. The look on her confused face was the most precious thing I ever saw and kept sending me back over again, tears flowing freely. When I finally got my breath back and somewhat in control of myself again, I looked up at her wide and staring eyes. “No!!!— She didn’t!
When I repeated verbatim what she had told me she howled too, and for quite some time I might add. Then we both got really quiet and reflective. In short, we both had a good laugh and eventually got over it and I’ve since met a couple of her other victims over the years. I suppose it was Barbara’s way of toughening you up for the wild and nasty world of illustration. I wouldn’t wish this life on anyone but I couldn’t do anything else… and I certainly don’t hold anything against the old sac ‘O shit.
Dude! Holy crap! What an awesome story! I will definitely be quoting you in the future! True, I’ve had people ask me what it takes… I tell them, it’s not a job, it’s a way of life… and nothing can prepare you for that.
Love it..Thanks RAFI…I will find my artists roots..and carry on. Appreciate all you and Klee are doing.! <3
Thank you Mary! You are awesome!