A common parental dilemma arose in my son’s recent periodic phone call to report on how the grandchildren are doing. After telling me how much his oldest son (our oldest grandson) was enjoying the extra art classes that will turn his Bachelor of Arts into a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, he finished with a rueful, “I don’t know how he plans to make a living.”
I’m thinking the grandson could look to his older cousin for a model. She fed her passion for photography through the last part of high school and college as he has done with his art. It has yet to feed her.
Like most graduates in the arts, making a living becomes a bit iffy. In the writing world, the advice is “Don’t quit your day job.” If you are really lucky as I was, the day job feeds a different passion. In her case, it’s “Don’t quit your night job.” Since she was in high school, she’s known how to approach a table with, “My name is Lauren, and I’ll be your server.” She graduated almost two years ago with a degree in photo journalism and is still waiting tables while she earns enough for her next trip to an exotic location to take more pictures.
I’m guessing it will be a while before she sells enough of her photographic art to put a roof over her head and food on the table, but she’s working at it with an exhibit of her work with other young artists at a recent RAWartist exhibition in Phoenix. According to my unbiased son and daughter-in-law, hers was by far the best. Although I did not see it for myself, I feel sure I would have agreed.
Both of these grandchildren have produced work fine enough to grace my living room wall, but that doesn’t keep me from sharing their parents’ concern for the roof and food. What is my answer to the dilemma in case either of the grandchildren ever asks? Find a day job you can at least tolerate while you pursue the dream that gives you life. Perhaps, it will also eventually also give you a living.