I have been traveling down the path of the artist for about 2 years (I don't count the 2 before although I made my original product then and had the business open). I looked at it more as a business than myself becoming an artist, but now I see that is exactly what I sell. Now of the many things I've noticed, the most prominent is the people that are involved with art as well as how it is viewed today.
I participated in my first art fair at the Duvall Sandblast Festival last weekend and from the young adults my age all the comments were similarly themed:
"I wish I could do art, but I have no way of doing it or making money at it"
"I never took any art classes in high school because my schedule was so full of academics"
"How did you learn to do all this?"
The constant theme and undertones in their voices is that society views artists as poor and starving and theres no career opportunity in it.
Now, I'm not suggesting everyone go and try to be an artist or that it is an easy road at all, but simply that it deserves a spot in schools for children to explore a place they can purely create from their imaginations because that is really what art is all about.
Now this is also evident with the general age of the artists I've met thus far as well (All tending to be over 30 and its hobby or part time).
Why is this?
Simply that we shove the idea of college on the minds of every young person and shun the idea of going without. This has been the biggest ridicule in my life as you can imagine. I'm currently 21 years old and decided from the beginning of my sophomore year that college wasn't for me. So while everyone was cramming as many AP or Honors classes into their schedule, meanwhile, skipping out on art classes sometimes all together or besides the basic intro art class; I was adding art classes to my schedule, molding the idea of self-employment and working with glass.
I watched everyone freak out over whether they would be accepted to the school they wanted or not which seemed very stressful and at times heartbreaking. Very sad in my opinion, that this cookie cutter way is all we tell our kids to do and leave no room for exploration.
Even my own parents thought I was crazy (they still do now, I'm sure)
One of the hardest things I heard them say was:
"We went and visited all your old friends in Colorado and all the family members and we just didn't know what to tell them you were doing with your life"
And from my sister:
"You need to do something besides arts and crafts someday."
Talk about a shot to the heart.
Well here I am after spending 2 years developing product and a business model and the last 10 months of refining a process unique to MoltenWorks, all my own investment, averaging 12 hours per day working at creating processes and products(doesn't feel like work though!), many trial and errors ending with broken glass and lessons learned, and the stench of "your never gonna make it" in the air and what do I have?
I have all the great beginning of my career ahead in fused glass with many fused glass products and a studio projected to open in the next 6 months in Woodinville Wine Country so I can begin sharing art with everyone!
It hasn't been an easy road, but smooth seas don't make good sailors.
I encourage everyone to go after their dreams as it is worth it no matter what anyone says.
Laser Focus + Passion= Success
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