“No, I want you to put in a real profession”

Oh who hasn’t enjoyed some variation on this old chestnut? You want to be creative? You better have something to ‘fall back on.’ You best have a ‘real job.’

Watercolour artist Joyce Faulknor, speaking to ArtistsNetwork.TV, explains her origins as an artist.

I’ve always thought of myself as an artist. In my house everyone painted so I thought, ‘well, of course I’m an artist.’ Little did I know I had little talent. But I remember back in third grade my teacher handed out these cards and she said, “write down what you’d like to be when you grow up.” And I wrote ‘artist’ of course. And she handed it back and said, “No, I want you to put in a real profession.”

You can find out more about Joyce Faulknor at her website.

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  • Natalie Goldberg tells the story of how for her parents’ sake (it is usually a parent or teacher who first tells artists to “get real” but friends do it too) she got a teaching degree “just in case” the writing thing didn’t work out. And she taught for a while, too, but happily one day she just stopped teaching school children and started holding writing workshops in her living room. And out of those living room workshops and her coffee shop writing practice a career was born.

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