I believe artists need to be discouraged. As someone who is a writer and has written several books, and has a huge passion for my craft, I think that’s the only way of creating worthwhile (not dime-a-dozen) artists.
That sounds absurd and wrong and it probably doesn’t work because trust me when I say I almost stopped writing altogether. But, I was one of those artists that did something more “practical”. I got a degree in marketing and did things like computer science and learned languages.
And you know what? It made me better. Doing this made me a better person, a better writer, someone capable of understanding what’s marketable and what isn’t. Doing something “more practical” isn’t the death of art. Often times, going to school for art becomes the death of your creativity. I almost didn’t recover from my short time as an English major.
Because, if you think the people who say to do something “more practical” are the cruel ones, that’s nothing compared to hardened professors and hundreds of students that would see you fail so that they can succeed.
Now, I’m not saying telling someone they’re never going to be an artist because they’re terrible and they’ll never amount to anything is okay. I’m saying that, telling them to consider something more practical as a career could give them a different perspective.
So if I tell people to consider something “more practical”, I’m literally telling them that it’s okay to have a passion for art and not major in your chosen craft.. It’s okay to choose something else instead of settling on what you think would make you the best. Be true to yourself. Choose art, or don’t. Just, never stop creating.
After all, art will always find a way to survive. Even in the face of ignorance and adversity. It’s unstoppable.