Others observing myself as an artist

I’m a day-job artist, as regular readers know. In fact, I never — when graduating from college with a studio art degree — ever thought I’d attempt to make a living as an artist. My father’s practical admonitions rubbed off on me, it seemed. I was planning on a lifetime of graphic design (behind a computer, at a desk . . . ), with my plastic arts interest relegated to the weekends, hobby status.

Over the last few years, however, I inadvertently opened up to the idea of working full-time as an artist. I can’t point to any specific influence or turning point as the cause of this shift in mindset, but it’s there nonetheless.

Beside the change in my own attitude, I’m hearing interesting things from people around me. Both my boss and coworker — who, let me assure you, aren’t eager to see me leave my day-job post — independently said something to the effect of “Yeah, you just need to have art in your life more than on the weekends,” last year, broadly paraphrased. Further, my artist friend Joel Armstrong has repeatedly stated his belief that I’m on the edge of success artistically.

What’s a bloke to make of this, this seemingly Divine wooing towards art as a profession and so many people who know me so well saying that I need to be more involved?


About pcNielsen
Paul Nielsen founded The Aesthetic Elevator late in 2005. He owns a piece of paper, located somewhere in his house (not on the wall), stating that he earned a B.F.A. from the University of Nebraska around about 2001. While there, he studied studied architecture, graphic design and ceramics, graduating with a degree in studio art. Paul presently serves as communications manager for a small non-profit doing their print design and marketing. He spends as much time sculpting in his studio as possible — which is not nearly enough. Visit his website at pcNielsen.com.

4 Responses to Others observing myself as an artist

  1. Tim J. says:

    I wish I had some wisdom to offer, but I haven’t yet made a real career – where I can support myself and my family – of the fine art gig.

    I’m confident, now, that I’m heading in that direction and will make it in a few years… I look forward to really just hitting my stride as a mature artist when most people are thinking about retiring.

    I would say that, based on my experience, there is more truth than poetry in the well-worn phrase “Don’t quit your day job”. Don’t quit it, at any rate, until you’re making more income from your fine art than from your day job – for a period of at least a couple of years.

  2. pNielsen says:

    Tis wisdom ye dispense, that staying with the paying job till established in the artistic trade of yer choice.

  3. Tim J. says:

    You want know the irony of this? I got my pink slip today. Two weeks more at my current job (which was not a total surprise, but still manages to be a bit scary and disappointing).

    I’m excited and filled with dread at the same time.

    Prayers would be great.

  4. pNielsen says:

    Ouch. Prayers forthcoming (have you heard of a service called oDesk — for freelance design work . . . ). I completely understand the excitement/dread combination. The wife and I were just having a conversation to that effect, and I imagine we’ll be have a few more in the next month or so . . .

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