Hello: Why I'm Starting a Photography Blog

So you've graduated from art school. Now what?

That's the question that has been overwhelming me since I graduated in August. Sometimes it feels like you've been left out to dry. You spend four years building an audience at your school between peers, instructors, and the campus gallery; but, after you graduate you have to start all over again. Especially if you're like me and decided to move after graduating. You have all of these technical skills for your craft but no one to show them to. Art school doesn't really prepare you for the period when you're an unknown artist trying to grow an audience. Art school doesn't tell you that you might have to get a non-creative job until you build your career as an artist.

For many art students your professional career starts with an internship. An internship is a great way to learn skills and experience the day-to-day activities of a professional artist, but an internship is only temporary. Once it is over, you are back on your own trying to figure out how to build your own career. Many students intern as an artist assistant which of course can lead to a paying job as an artist assistant and provide connections in the art world but the overall goal for many artists is to have their own studio with their own assistants. It is up to you to capitalize on your intern experience and the connections you have gained.

Art, especially photography is not cheap. Being fresh out of college with little money, it can be easy to put art on the backburner and solely focus on getting a steady paying job. I'm going through it myself. Right now, I am making little money from art and trying to find a steady paying job. Finding a job can be a full time job within itself, leaving little time to work on creative projects. You find yourself wondering if you have what it takes to make it as a creative and there's always the thought in the back of your head that you might have chosen the wrong career path. You're a creative and you want a creative job but your portfolio might not be up to par with the competition or you're trying to build your client base, so you're applying to non-creative jobs until you can make it as an artist. That's me.

I felt very alone the first couple months after my internship. I applied to many creative jobs just to be denied, so I began applying to non-creative jobs - just to be denied. It came to a point where I had little self-confidence left and that's when I had an "aha moment." I realized that I had been so obsessed with getting a steady paying job that I had put art on the backburner. Why was I so upset about being denied non-creative jobs? Afterall, my career goal is to be a professional artist.  That's when I decided that I was going to go all out with my creative career. I decided to stop letting other people determine my fate and to determine it myself. Sure, I will continue to try and find a non-creative job for the time being but I will not let it takeover my life.

Making a career out of art has now become a fun challenge instead of an overwhelming obstacle. We have to realize that every creative begins at the same point: no clients, a small portfolio and very little connections. You aren't alone. That is why I decided to start a blog. To tell my experience as an emerging artist in hopes that others will see that they aren't the only ones going through this. As artists, we are often introverts that don't like sharing their personal feelings except through our art and often times we find ourselves feeling alone and wondering if we are the only ones who are going through the pain. It seems like everyone we see is making it work but we just can't seem to do it ourselves. I'm here to tell you that you aren't alone and in fact there are probably more artists out there in the same position as you than there are "making it" with art.


Popular Posts