Sunday, February 7, 2010

So...why not Arts?

So are you sitting comfortable? Having something to drink? Today the story shall be told, why I didn't choose an Art study when I was younger. Man! I tweaked a lot in this post, it was waaay too long! I do hope you guys get more insight, otherwise let me know if you still have questions.

'Why not Arts?'. I said it a lot out loud so many times, but all I heard was an echo through my room and the question was bounced back at me again -_-'. Usually I wondered about this when things at school got a bit too frustrated. In my mind, I wanted to have a safety net, a 'society approved' study as back up. Also I still didn’t believe that my drawing skills could get me somewhere.
So what shall I do...

After high school graduation, I choose Human Resources (HR). It did faintly cross my mind to do an Art study, but I heard a lot from my surroundings that it was an study with a high level of job uncertainty, a lot of competition bla bla bla. HR it was. This study didn’t turn out as I really hoped. They inconveniently decided to implement a new study system, with coaching methods, individual development. I really, really disliked reflecting on myself and others in my group. What made it worse is that I had a coach who was really sticking to the system and who gave everyone a hard time with questions like: ‘Why would you do that?”, “What would you do differently?” etc. Now when I look back, it did give me a better insight in a lot of things. But I can assure you it was a pain in the ass to go through.

At school, this feeling that I just didn’t quite fit, kept lingering around me, but I didn’t had the courage to stop with HR. I’ve always been the youngest in my class and here the gap between me and fellow students seemed a lot bigger. Next to the age difference, a lot already did internships or worked in companies. They had actual work experience. All I had were text book examples and knowledge. The thing was when I choose HR, I was interested in what the study had to offer. But you develop and grow as a person while you study too and I find so many things interesting (really. I can be so tiring towards myself.), so after a while I was getting a bit restless and my interests shifted again. But dropping out of school, was too easy for me and I was already half way, so I decided to finish HR. I kept doodling of course, but I never considered myself to be an artist, even though a lot of people did. Therefore, I was still unsure about an Arts study.

There were signs throughout the years, that pointed me towards Arts. But you always see these signs, when you look back. When they actually happen, you are not aware of them. So, I felt trapped in my own creativity. I wanted to draw, but I was afraid that my love for drawing would disappear, if I took a more serious take with it.

Things happen for a reason and who knows, maybe I wouldn't be drawing in the way like I do now? All I know is, that life is all about making choices and I do think that if you're meant to do something in life, it will cross your path until you realize you have to do something with it.

But you need to have the faith, patience, passion and courage to do what you really want in life. Fear to disappoint myself and disbelief kept me from doing what I want. Nothing is impossible, you can however, make it impossible by thinking it is.

Mission (Im)possible...

Ha! With this I shall conclude my post! Hope you liked it and many thanks if you read it…even though it was kinda long. Just remember it was…longer hehe!

Take care everyone!


  1. For me, art has always been available, y'know? Even if I didn't take it in school. I dedicated much of my life to its pursuit & I'm no less an "artist" because I don't have a degree. Besides, there are plenty of art classes going on locally if I ever wanted to try something new or get more tips on what I'm already comfortable with.
    An art degree's an expensive piece of paper--especially these days, when art isn't appreciated like it once was and the market's flooded with work since the advent of the digital age (not to mention the recession!)
    I'm 42 now & have never regretted my decision. I'm as much an artist as anyone who's still struggling to pay for their degree.

  2. If I were you, I would have done the same thing (maybe different field but not arts). You don't need a degree to do art and you obviously have managed to have a successful drawing career without the degree.

    Plus, in art schools, they'd want you to draw a certain way and hasten the creativity process...that wouldn't have been fun.

    btw, you mission impossible drawing might be my favorite :)

  3. Long! I am kinda disappointed, I didn't even need a cup of tea :(

    So I had to make one whilst I pondered my comment, it may be another epic one...

    Firstly I feel a bit sad that you chose the sensible option, even though it seems to have worked out now and sounds pretty interesting, especially after reading the thesis post.

    Question time: What influence did your parents have on your career choices? Did they know how you felt about art back then?

    I see the title that you chose for this blog as a very telling clue about where your passions lies.

    I think you are spot one when you say that it will keep crossing your path until you do something with it.

    So where do you see your doodles going next?

    For me when it came to drawing in high school, I realised that I wasn't good enough for a proper career in the arts and also was rather naughty, so was never taken seriously by my art teachers. I loved nature and also loved being thought of as the 'clever one' in the family, so that is why I headed towards science. When in fact I got top marks in English, especially creative writing without ever trying. I erm clashed yet again with my teacher there, she was a total bitch, so because of that totally dismissed English/writing as a career path.

    I sort of fell into the counselling and now that is where I feel I was meant to end up. So hopefully I can now use the power of creativity in such a way as to help people keep themselves mentally healthy.

    The end


  4. I chose teaching as my profession even though I loved playing music. In fact I didn't even consider music to be an option. But after teaching for two years, then going back to school, then teaching for another 8 years, I just felt I had to give music a chance. And it's worked out OK. And ironically enough, I'm teaching music as well.
    So who knows what may happen. Life's path is a circuitous one!
    And I love your drawings!

  5. This is called "Destiny". You do think that you are free and can make your own choices in life. But whatever your choice is, the events in your destiny come true.

  6. At 32 years old, while my job in municipal water treatment pays well and is a good job, it's not what I wanted to be doing.

    If I was 20 knowing what I know now,I would have followed a different path.

    What I'm saying is yes, follow your dream.

    Also, you are mentioned in my post today! Come check it out if you like.

  7. Er - I screwed up my URL in the last one, in case you were trying to find it. Sorry. Got it right this time.

  8. Dangit, my office blocked my blog so now I can't check it during work. LOL! Worst I no longer get online on weekends.

    How have you been? Hope all is well.
    I must admit that I was surprise to learn that you took HR, I've always thought that you were in Arts or something.

    I think it was good for you to learn HR. It's something you can always fall back on :P

    But I definitely think Art suits you best seeing your passion and love in it. Then again, I'm 100% supporting whatever you decide to do.

    ps.: I'm late in replying your email. Sorryyyy!!!!

  9. Hello!
    I think your young and you can do both things. Why not? but whatever you do you have to believe in yourself. Keep drawing please!!

  10. @ Lana:
    Hello Lana! You’re so right when you say that you are as much of an artist as anyone else who try to get their degree! I can’t agree more. In the end all that matters is that you are doing what you loved the most, in your own way and time. I guess you get more satisfaction from that too. I've seen your work! You are really talented ^_^! Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thought on this! Take care!

    @ Sensi:
    Heey Sensi! Thanks so much! I never would have thought to be doing what I’m doing now and I can only hope it will continue in the way it does now ^_^!

    About how art school works, I wrote a bit about this, but decided later to delete it as I was tweaking and tweaking hehe. At high school, I couldn’t follow the assignments completely, I always did something in my own way and sometimes it was appreciated, quite often not so appreciated. As soon as you get guidelines or get a formal approach on the things you can be less fun. People always try to create policies and guidelines and strategies and this eliminates that element of freedom you have when you write and draw. I'm not saying it is a wrong way to approach things, but it goes wrong as soon people say it is the 'only' way to do things. It's all subjective I guess ^_^!

    Haha I also love the mission impossible drawing! But the ‘zen’ one is pretty cool too, I like the color (says the one who colored it hehe)

    Thank you for stopping by!!! Do take care and remember to take breaks okay ;D

  11. @ Claire:
    Hello hello! Man it was indeed an epic comment! And for that You will get your own…comment space thingy.

    Haha! It really was waaay longer, but didn't want to cause system overloads so I tweaked it hehe. Maybe you will need a wee bit of tea for my reply?

    Yeah, the sensible option indeed. Both my parents wanted a good study for me (and all my other siblings) and because it was difficult for them to go through a good study career, they wanted that their kids had all the options to have proper schooling. Yes, they knew about my love for arts. I’ve been pausing Disney tapes when I was younger to draw Bambi and I drew for all my friends too ^_^. Strange thing is, I can’t find these drawings anymore -_-‘.

    I wanted to choose arts as an extra course at high school, but my parents really want me to take German. Arts, really is considered as hobby and not as a career choice. I have an uncle and aunt who are extremely good at drawing. My uncle can draw like all those illustrators who I admire. But both never pursued a career in this field, so there wasn’t someone else in our surrounding who could tell their experiences in working in the Arts field. So yes, in a way they influenced me to choose certainty over uncertainty. But, I don’t blame them or anything for not making me do what I wanted when I was younger. They didn’t know better. Also the fact that I was younger than most of my classmates made them even more protective and they tried to make sure that I got a good educational background.

    Throughout my school days I could ignore drawing for a couple of weeks and then I would have several weeks were I was drawing like a mad person. Now I’m at a point that I simply can’t ignore it.

    It’s starting to work out pretty good I think! I’m just very grateful for all the things that I could do so far and also for all the lovely comments I get from you and everyone else :D!

    I would love to see my doodles in my own books, whether it be the children stores I have in mind or my own novels. Also illustrating for other authors would be really cool as well. For now I will focus on my portfolio and expanding my techniques. I will keep you posted of course!

    Uh oh you were naughty? Sometimes our brains let us do things, while our actions speak otherwise. I’m pretty sure you can use the power of creativity, which you have big time to help others in your career!
    Also I definitely think that your doodles and writing can mean more than you think! And if you really want to do something with writing, I’m pretty sure it will cross your path again, well in away it already does, because your blog is brilliantly written! hehehe

    Ciao Xxxx

  12. @One of the Guys:
    Heey S! You are an amazing musician indeed! I thought you did this as a profession since you were younger. But you combined music with your profession; I think that is awesome. I’m glad you gave it music playing a chance. I love your CD :D. Many thanks for stopping by! Ciao!

    @ Kuday:
    Exactly! I think it’s finally starting to fall into place, bit by bit. And it feels right, so I’m continuing this path of creativity; D. Thanks for strolling by as always!

    @ Spaz:
    Hey Spaz! Thanks for stopping by! I would say that it is never too late to follow your dreams. Do you feel that it is too late to do what you want? After I’m done commenting, I will check out your post ^_^! Thanks so much! Take care!

    @ Hevn:
    Ciao Bella! I think we both commented on each other post around the same time yesterday ^_^! Don’t worry about the email, take your time and take care of your finger! That looks really painful :|. I’m doing okay! Hope all is well with you too!

    Haha, yes, it is always something I can fall back on too indeed. I’m not sure if I would be drawing the way I do if I took an Arts study. It’s like Sensi(comment above) said, they push you in a certain way. Who knows what I’ll be doing now. Thanks so much for your support!! It means the world too me :D! You know it’s also the other way around right! Take care *big hugs & kisses*

    @ Encaracolada:
    Hi there ^_^!! Thanks so much! I will keep believing in myself and I won’t stop drawing! I promise! Many many thanks for your kind words! You also stay creative girl! Take care Xx!!

  13. Thank so much for the kind words on my blog! I happen to have gone through the same thing you did. I wanted to be an artist but I was afraid I wouldn't be able to make it. So I got my degree in Economics and now I work as a computer programmer all day. I hate it. It is because I hate it though that has made me a better artist. Hating what I do for a living has given me a new passion for my artwork and to create. All things happen for a reason.

    By the way your artwork is beautiful! You have nothing to be afraid of.


  14. Such a great post Tj. A wonderful read. I had that fear for quite awhile of wanting to do art but having to but it on the back burner. So eventually I took the plunge and I have no regrets whatsoever. It's been a journey and I hope the best is yet to come. That's one thing I tell people always follow your dreams or you'll always regret what could have been I know I did and I couldn't be anymore happier. Very nice topic that I'm sure all of us could go on forever talking about.

  15. Woooo my own comment thingy :)

    Well considering how you have turned out I think your parents get a gold star. I bet it was tough on you being the eldest too! I bet your younger siblings got away with a lot more?

    I love that you have art in the family, even though the aunt and uncle didn't pursue a career in it, it is cool that it runs in the family.

    Must not talk about doodles and books, the bubbles will kill me!

    But I am very happy that you are blogging, that I am blogging and that our paths have crossed.

  16. i think i like what Brad said...maybe it is good that you did not pick up arts....right now you can hate your current state...and this makes you love your art more!!

    And mostly because it does not put any pressure on you to succeed.

    It is better to see the bright side of what is now.

  17. Hey TJ! I loved reading this post because I got to know you a littel bit better, which is always fun.

    It does seem as though the Arts are a natural calling for you--but you know what? I think we can all have many different careers and that we often *should* have many different careers. After all, we all change so much throughout our lives--our interests, beliefs, and values change so why should our careers not change as well?

    In my lifetime, I have had several different careers: actress, musician, entrepreneur, and now psychologist and teacher.

    The way I see it with Arts, though--is that this is not so much a career choice as a calling. People who are drawn to the arts will do the arts because they cannot imagine their lives without them. For example, even though I am no longer a professional musician, I still play the guitar--and I imagine I always will. You will continue to grow as an artist because I believe that art is a true calling for you--and because you will continue to do it, you never know where it might lead you.

    I told you my friend, Eddie H. loves your work--I have showed him a few times. You have true gifts as an artist, my friend--so let that take you wherever it might lead! It will be very fun to see where you go with it, TJ!

    (Whew--this comment is almost as long as your post--LOL!).


  18. Hi TJ,
    Nice drawings or doodles as you call it. I stopped at the 1st drawing trying to look where your legs were, then I realised that this must be your style of drawing.

    It is always good to have a back-up skills. Although your heart n soul goes more for the arts, it is good to have more options, just in case of whatever future has in store waiting.

    Most of your drawings almost correspond well with the mood of your postings. Great work, TJ. Be Happy always.

  19. I love the painting!

    Really like the way you used the transparency!

  20. A look inside your creative mind, indeed!

  21. HR is a wonderful field, yet it is advisable to take some IT and business background with so that you may branch off if necessary. Best wishes.

  22. Happy Belated Valentine's Day TJ!

    Hope you're having fun.

  23. @ Brad:
    Hey Brad! Yeah, it’s exactly how you described it. I think the fact that I don’t love what I’m doing now, is motivating me to pursue what I do love! It all happens for a reason indeed! And really thank you so much for nice words! Stay creative!

    @ Pablo:
    Woohoo! Glad you took the plunge and I have faith that the best is yet to come :D! You just have to stay positive and keep believing in yourself! Really happy you like the read. It was something I had to talk about sooner or later, especially since I got all these questions, when people found out I never had any art classes and people just assume I’m an art student haha. Till next time! Cya!

    @ Claire:
    Aww thanks so much Claire ^_^! YES! I’m really happy our paths have crossed and I hope once the red bubbles floated away, we can do some project (projects hehe) together! Woohoo!

    And you’re right again; being the eldest had its difficult moments I was the first to go to high school, made career choices etc. The safest route was chosen, to ensure a good career background.
    You see a big difference between me and my second sister if you look at my third sis and little bro. My parents weren’t that strict with them and next to that, as an older sis, I already know a bunch of stuff and I can pass it on to them. So I had to learn it the hard way hehe.

    Ciao *waves* Xx!

  24. @ санжог:
    Yes! Brad explained it perfectly. And I will keep that in mind. It’s indeed important to see what I can do now, instead of thinking what could have happened if I took another direction when I was younger. Life is full with hidden paths and when the time is right, they will reveal themselves ^_^.

    Hello Melinda! Haha I love to see a comment from you and I can relate to all you said!

    “After all, we all change so much throughout our lives--our interests, beliefs, and values change so why should our careers not change as well?”

    Very true! It’s not that I was forced to study HRM or Sociology. My interests in this were high at that particular point in time, so it wasn’t so bad to learn these things. But in my case, my interests shift quite quick, so a year further in my studies and I’m having doubts to proceed and this clashes with my will to not give up and eventually I don’t want to give up and I finish my studies. It was easier to shift it aside when I was younger, basically I didn’t know better and I never really thought something in Arts was possible for, especially if I looked at my uncle and his skills. But now, as you said perfectly again, I can’t imagine my life without something created on paper.

    Oh I haven’t forgotten about your friend Eddie! What you already did for me means so much to me ^_^! And I will definitely let you know when I have a decent portfolio to show to you!

    And of course I shall keep you posted with my adventured on this artistic road! Thanks so much for always strolling by! Ciao!

  25. @ Mystique Earth: Hello! Haha yeah usually because these types of drawings are really quick, I draw the girls in longer skirts/jackets etc, so no need to show feet. But sometimes you see legs and feet. It depends really. And yes, it’s good to have more options. You never know what life will bring! Many thanks for stopping by ^_^! You too, stay happy! Take care.

    @ Dominic Philibert: Hey! Thanks so much! Yes, I just painted and saw the effect when I stopped hehe. Thanks for dropping by!

    @ Abz: Hello! Haha thank you ^_^! who knows what I will tell you guys in the near future! Ciao!

    @ Dr. James: HR is indeed interesting. Thanks for your advice, but I already branched out with Sociology and for now I'm good. I will see what steps I'll take after my thesis. Thanks for stopping by!

    @ The Guys: Aw thank you! Happy Belated Valentine's Day to you too! Hope you had a lovely time ^_^! Take care!

  26. Ya know, people say those who make a lot of money doing something they dislike are no where near as happy as those making just a little money doing what they love. I know its cliche but if this is your passion, you need to follow it! Sure, it's always good to have a safety net, but that doesn't have to stop you. Degrees in Art aren't necessary to succeed in art. Leonardo Da vinci didn't have a degree in art (or did he? 0_o). You've got two things to your advantage, skill, and the internet. I see you've already set up a page offering your services, but I have a couple of suggestions for ya. One, I think you should make a domain as your portfolio for future prospects. Get and put up your best works. Another suggestion is you could use paypal to help you out with your services. When you get a paypal account you can use their free service thing, to process money orders in such. Here is an example cause I'm finding it hard to explain
    But you should definitely go full throttle with your dream of becoming an artist. Just my humble advice.

  27. @ Kaja:
    Heey Kaja! How cool to see you here and thanks so much for your insightful comment! You're right. In the end money isn't all that matters, it's more important that you love to do what you're doing. In the end the reward and positivity you get from it, is a million times better!

    Oh, now you got me wondering about Da Vinci o_o...I honestly don't know hehe.

    Thanks for the suggestions! I was thinking the same; I'm going to get a domain and set up my portfolio there. I'm working on a lot of pieces at the moment and with school and all, it's sometimes difficult to divide my them between this all -_-'. But I'll survive! Oh, thanks for the link! I will check it out and see how they used paypal there.

    Thanks so much for your advice and compliments. I really appreciate it ^_^.


  28. someones been busyyyyy..........

  29. @ Abz: Hahaha! Yes. I'm keeping myself pretty busy lately ;D

  30. Hi, TJ! You have adorable drawings, and your ladies are so stylish! Your alter ego makes me giggle. :)

    Kudos to you for finishing HR. I have heard from so many people that at many times in their careers, they felt like frauds, as if they weren't really up to snuff and would soon be discovered for being inadequate. Surprising, too, considering these were very successful people I admired. Point being, don't give up on yourself. If you have the courage and drive, you can do anything.

    Something else that surprised me was that many of the artists I've met through blogging, who are currently pursuing a career as artists, never had any real formal training. Pretty encouraging. You have a great style, untainted by any art teacher who would try to mold you into a mini-me. Keep at it!

  31. @ Bella: Hi Bella! Oh really thank you for your lovely words! Sometimes it's quite difficult, because in my direct surroundings, I'm one of the few who is walking a slightly different path. Sure I have my 'socially approved' degrees, but my passions lies somewhere else. And if I talk about my drawings, they can have this air around them like 'Aww in the end it's just a hobby'.

    But I promise I won't give up! Getting all those comments from other illustrators and friends, keeps me inspired and motivated to carry on!

    Many thanks again for stopping by and for your thoughtful words! I really appreciate it :D. Ciao!

  32. What an absolutely inspirational and beautiful post! I'm literally standing and applauding you! As someone who has been passionate about the Arts and Humanities most of my life, I think you said it perfectly! And you're right our experiences make us who we are. and oyou're a pretty amazing artist!

  33. @ Creampuff: Oooh look! Look! It's the Queen of Baked Goodies!

    I'm really humbled by your very sweet comment and applause and I'm happy to see you here again too! It was quite fun to write this post and the post about my thesis. It's nice to know that my readers have a better view on what I do and why I'm doing, especially since the most important thing on my blog are my drawings and not what I actually study. And experiences make us who we are and you can only learn from your mistakes right?! Grazie mille for for stopping by! It was a lovely surprise ^_^ Ciao!

  34. I can relate to your post. I keep asking myself why not MUSIC? since it is my first love. but like you i 'heard' there are high levels of uncertainty and bla bla i took Psychology...and now I work with computers and cable internet. how surreal is that?

  35. @ Celticmusicfan: Hello CFM! How are you! It has been some time ^_^.

    Yeah, it's in a way strange to see how our surroundings can influence our choices so much. But I know now that if it is really want you want to do, it keeps crossing your path and you will do something with it.
    Simply because you have to, because you need it to be a happier person! Hope all is well! Take care!

  36. Very wise words, great post. I am simlilar to you: I came back to art later, (but much later, very recently and I am 44!) and all my life thought I didn't really fit in wherever or whatever I worked at or studied.

    I am now quite poor in the pocket but so much richer in other ways, and I also think the years away from my true calling have invigorated me and I pour all that for so long stifled passion into my work now :-). I am really encouraged that there is someone out there making a success of their art and they didn't get an art degree, like me! PS I also worked in human resources for a while in one of my previous jobs! (And I have a Dutch uncle). He lives in England now with my aunty who is English.

    Keep making your lovely art and posting your musings and ramblings!


  37. @ SamJ: Ciaooo!! I adore your comment! Kid you not! I didn't realise we have so much in common :D.

    It's exactly like you said! The fact that we both kept our passion aside to be more rational in life, made us even more passionate about it. I know this, because I can't imagine my life with my brushes and little characters. And whenever I do try to imagine it, I feel depressed! Not good! I have to put them on paper and share with the world. Your work is wonderful and I'm glad that you also came back to your true calling and share you work with all of us! And we both don't have an Art degree :D *high fives*

    Your comment really made my day! Thanks so much and cya on Twitter ;)


  38. Ahhh thanks glad I made your day! :-) Sorry only just got round to reading your response :-) and thanks for your kind comments about my work :-D and yes seeya on Twitter!

  39. PS I'm SOOOO jealous of your gorgeous hair!!! :-D xxx

  40. Don't worry! I thought I already replied to you, but I didn't hehe. Haha you're welcome & thanks so much! I really need to cut it again though! It's getting out of control!!

    Ciaooo Xxx


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