How I Got My Dream Job As An Artist

paintThe first time I told my parents I wanted to be a painter when I grew up was not the best conversation I’ve ever had with them.  I was still in high school and had been looking at arts programs in university for a while.  You know how people generally react when you tell them you want to be an artist or a musician?  Well, that was their basic reaction.  They told me that painting could not last for me as a career and that it would be almost impossible for me to make a living as an artist.  And obviously, as their rebellious teen, I decided I was going to prove them wrong.  I did well in school, but during almost all my spare time, I would paint for people.  I’d paint our high school walls and rooms, I’d paint our neighbours garages, I’d paint in my room and anywhere I could put down an easel.  Eventually, it was time for university, and I got into an arts and business program.  This furthered my education in art history while at the same time, I could still enjoy painting every day.  During my summers, I would intern at the local art studio, again painting in my spare time and being commissioned for specific pieces.  I would display my art at festivals and in the art studio I interned at whenever the gallery owner had room.  I would also ask professional painters in Toronto if they ever had work for me to do.  Basically, I spent all my spare time looking for work and whenever I wasn’t doing that, I would be creating art.

This continued on for some time until after graduation.  Right after graduation was a tough phase for me.  I realized that, yes, my parents were correct in saying that finding a job in art is close to impossible.  However, it wasn’t purely impossible.  From my professors, I gained networks of talented artists, curators, and gallery owners, as well as other people who had careers in painting.  Finally, I found Painters in the Toronto region who were willing to let me work for them.  I would paint houses for work, and I would paint for myself afterwards.  I proved my parents wrong and now make a great living making art.

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