Words of advice to those considering a career in the arts
Christopher Zheng’s article on arts education struck a chord with me, as it is not a new phenomenon. I have been a professional artist for more than 75 years and while in high school was repeatedly told to move on from my aim to make a living in the arts world.
At the California state college I attended, there was not even an art major offered, nor a degree available in the arts. I said I was an art major but actually was given a degree in education— seemingly the only use to be made of the arts.
The term “starving artist” was just as prevalent in speaking of art in the 1940s and ’50s, and I simply told those who said that would be my fate that I will never be a starving artist— and I have never been.
My career coveredmuch of the art community, in that I began as a dancer, performing for over 40 years, added overlapping careers as fashion designer, scenic designer, wardrobe director, stage director, architectural designer, interior designer, and for almost 60 years in Colorado, owner ofmy own gallery and studios painting in oils and sculpting in bronze. Throughout it all I never had to look for a job; they all came to me, and still do, thanks to word-of-mouth references.
So my word to those who have a desire to create in any form of the arts is never give up, never give in. If you have a talent, use it and pursue it diligently and make the arts your life and your life the arts, and let the naysayers stand on the sidelines.