I have been hanging around art forums for a long time. In fact on ConceptArt.org, next to my username it says: “Join Date: May 9th 2005.” In all that time I have seen all possible questions show up on the forum, many many times. I ve seen rants and pleas for reassurance, I have seen people searching for the magic bullet that will make their art good. One of the things I have seen a lot is people asking about things they could have found out about by taking 10 minutes to experiment. Or posts saying something like:”I want to be an artist but doing art is so long and boring, am I doing something wrong?” or like: “I want to be an artist but sometimes I’m not sure, can I be an artist and make money? My mom wants me to be a neurosurgeon. What should I do?”
I suspect it’s a new phenomenon, brought about by the ease of questioning complete strangers. Way back when, if you wanted to know what happens if you tried to dilute acrylics with turpentine, your diluted a bit of acrylic with turpentine and found out it was a crappy idea. Of course there are things you don’t need to try out because it’s written all over the internet, not to mention on tubes of acrylic, but experimenting is still important. What happened to the idea of checking out books from the library and trying the techniques in them even if it’s a book about landscape and you want to paint rockets? What happened to thinking of doing something and then giving it a try rather than asking strangers on the internet if you should try it and what should you expect from the experience? What happened to drawing because you like it? If you want everything you do to be validated by someone else, there are much better fields than art where you will make better money.
You want to know whether you should be an artist? Is art your favorite thing to do? Would you rather do art than do anything else even if you only get to paint old ladies and puppies for a whole year? When you are bored, do you do art? When you are happy, do you do art? When you wake up at night do you think of doing art or do you think of how cool it would be to be an artist?