The path, to your future
After college I would like to continue doing what I am passionate about as an illustrator, because painting was the only thing during school in the past that I knew I was great at. I was well aware of what I was going to do with my life since I was fourteen years old. I have been painting for many years which has given me such a large variety of different experiences with my art. In those years it was just me sitting at my table all day long painting my heart out, which help mold me into the person I am today. Most people tell me that I should go to an art school instead, so I could get some experiences in the art field. During my junior year of high school, I started to make a portfolio of all the paintings that I have done throughout the years, but after showing my portfolio to many art colleges, I found out that all they wanted from me was cold hard cash and jaw dropping grades, instead of skill and talent. Which was cash that I didn't have and grades I didn't posses. This made me feel like I could never paint at all and proceed with my dreams. All that time I wasted on fine arts, I could have been studying, and getting A's in school. Even after hearing that artist only earn about 45,000 a year made me want to cry.
After the summer, I came to visit my art teacher and I expressed the problem that I've been having. Mrs. Chun told me that I can't quit painting and that I have became one of the best painters that she knows of. Also she said that if I stop painting now then she would of felt that she completely failed with me to show me what I could become. So after talking to Mrs. Chun, I started to see more opinions that I could go for. Art is a very hard field to make a career for, but I just can't see my self doing anything else with my life. My sister always wanted to be a actress and she spend many nights rehearsing in her room for plays that she was in and for the plays she would like to be in. After finding out that the market is low and she started to go for more practical jobs. Now shes going to school to be a teacher, and she hates the idea and regrets giving up her dreams.
I don't want to become my sister and lose the one thing in my life that gives me meaning. I want to be something more then the average Joe; I want to be an illustrator. Due the the fact that I didn't give up hope, I started to see more ways to accomplish my dreams and one of them was to take a ASM job downtown. A ASM job is a program which is run by the city to help teens create job skills. The way the school earns money is by selling teens paints, or photos, to people around the city. It was one of the best ways to show how my painting skills everyone and prove myself. When I started the program I found out that it was taking many hours of the day from me and I would be coming home at 9:00 p.m.
So when I started school at 7:30 a.m. and ended at 9:00 p.m, it became too stressful and that is not even counting time for homework. I was not able to hang out with my friends and my sister. I became a isolated from my family and became just a memory in my friend's minds. Every day I wish that there was more time in the day just so that I can spend just a little amount of time with my family and/or friends. My schedule consisted of painting, then doing homework, then painting again and it just got to the point that I started to feel that I already had a full time job. The good news was that I was painting more clearer and way more detailed but it caused me to question if it was worth it. I knew that if I joined ASM I was going to sacrifice a lot of my time. And in the end I knew that I was doing this all for my future.
After two years of ASM I was call be a art program at the Cultural Center downtown. A program called “Project Onword” and they wanted me to work for them as a painter. The program looks at people that have a special disability. One of the people that work at “Project Onword” went to see the paintings at the Gallery 37 ASM program. The worker saw the paintings I was selling and also saw that I have ADHD. Also “Project Onword” artists are sometimes commission to paint for company's, restaurants, and many other businesses. So this would be a big step forward with my goals. So far I sold four paintings in under two mouths of working , and each one sold for about three to four hundred dollars. I was actually making some good money, but the job is not what I want to be doing in the future. I still want to be a illustrator don't forget. So after I thought about it I would need to make a couple of things to make it to my future. I all ready have a painting job, and I would have to say that its a great start, but its still just a start and I only have my foot in the door. “Project Onword” is like being a starving artist. On a website called Ideed.com, the site told me that an illustrator average salary is about 60,000 a year, which sounds great. Right now its best to stay with “Project Onword” as I am in school. I researched some information on illustration, on the computer and I found some interesting information about a student. After high school this student join this agency after showing his portfolio. At first he was only making $20 an hour for his service. For a while he was only making enough to get by, but then many people started to see his work which soon had many people want him to make paintings for them. Now he is on demand, and now he makes over $100,000 a year. He was also self-employed, so now he takes vacation time whenever he feels like it. The story is about a real illustrator that had nothing and then was something.
It may sound like a fairy tale, but it shows how I could become something. You shouldn't focus on only money if you want to be an artist, that's extra. You should look at how great your job is and the jobs you get out of it. That's whats great about “Project Onword”. I could paint whenever I want, and come into work when ever I want. That's because I am self employed. Its perfect to have it job right now, as I go to college and then try to apply for a illustration job. It may be hard work to actually find a job for illustration because the economy is very low and most people cant find many normal jobs to begin with. So what is best for me is to go to Wright College, and I could earn my two years so I could be able to have a city job as I sell paintings at “Project Onword”. I was thinking of being a train operator, or maybe work at a small office until I find that illustration job that I want. I just need something that could pay the bills in the meantime .i know that I could just work at a store or a restaurant instead of going to college, but its still good to have two years of college to show on a resume. Also the more time I spend in school the more time I could wait till the economy gets better.