To begin, I'm currently a student at a community collage or for many of you 'junior college' somewhere in the US. But I am quickly reaching the end of my time there in the 'shallows' of my higher education and so must declare a major then transfer to a 4 year college. My problem stands not in my devotion to learning ceramics but my parents attitude towards the whole Bfa. They think, both having extremely practical careers Civil Engineer and Tech. Writer, this path leads without a doubt to my destitution and a painful life of a failed artist.
Now, to be clear---- I am not planning on a cake walk to my first million dollars as potter/ceramist but I can not resign myself to a life of waking to a dismal florescent-lit existence pigeon-holed behind a desk with my greatest professional hope being if the office repeals it's no live plants rules when it comes to our cubical rights.
So, my question for you all is- What do you suggest to a young person desirous of becoming a potter/ceramist when he is drawing up his life plans?
-routes in education
-ideas for professional development
I know I am not alone in my need, this topic may help the new wave of mudlovers pass more successfully into the coming decades.
I originally started out in math/science, a liberal arts background in a Community college. Poor grades and flunking out brought me to a year of general studies and then a transfer to the school that my girl friend transferred to. Their best fit for me was in the Art Ed dept. I had always been interested in drawing and painting, even though I was not very good-just interested. A semester of probation, and 2 years later I had a BS in Art Ed. Back then the school put a major emphasis on studio not pedagogy. While getting my Masters credits I often dreamed of going the full time route, quitting and getting the MfA, but stuck with the teaching doing art on the side. Family responsibilities took president at the time. I worked in both flatwork and ceramics for many years, and still do some flatwork. In the end, now that I am retired, I make pots I am interested in doing, I have a good retirement income, and can enjoy life without financial hastles. Over the years I have done the shows, done one man exhibits, entered local juried shows and done well, but for me teaching was the profession, but because it was teaching Art. I have come to not regret a bit of any of it, and never really had to work a day of my life as I loved what I did.