Arts graduates need support to get going
THIS is a note to myself and those whose loved ones have just completed art school. I should include myself here because I am guarding my own thoughts and actions as my daughter ventures into life outside music school.
I find myself wanting to write down every not-so-supportive thing I was told by loved ones as I embarked on life outside drama school. The mean things, I know, came from a lack of understanding rather than mean intentions, but they stuck with me for many years.
This might be one of the main reasons why I find myself wanting to give young creative arts practitioners a chance whenever I am in a position to empower.
To the arts graduates... congratulations! Hopefully you were taught about the rough side of this industry at some point during your training. It’s an exciting world. It needs a lot of hard work and at times pure luck. When luck strikes in your favour, don’t waste it. Prove that you’re the next best thing.
Take every little opportunity that comes your way and keep busy. Should you find yourself in an internship, use it to learn all you can. If you are a writer, carry on writing, even when you have no commissioned work. If you are painter, paint. If you are a composer, please keep on making new music.
Find partnerships with other young people and create your own projects if you can. Through all this, keep your expectations real. Please do not be deceived by the instant success presented by television talent-search shows. Work on your craft and don’t give up on your dream. All this, though, would be much easier if you received the right support.
So, parents, family, loved ones... here’s your lot. Be supportive in every way you can. If you can afford to, please invest in whatever tools your art graduate might need to get going. Sometimes support comes in a different form. Be patient. People who aren’t in the arts tend to be quick to point to the challenges of the sector without looking to how they can help their loved ones through the rough phases.
If you can, please assist them with business plans and applications for funding. Help them set up a small company or co-operative. Above all hold their hand and help them keep hope alive. It’s a jungle out here. And oh, if they need support with moving to the big city, do your best. There really aren’t opportunities elsewhere.
Most importantly, whatever their art, don’t ever ask them for freebies.