I feel a great deal of empathy with you Tracey. I did have the same
feeling of being left out in the cold after school with no idea of
how to progress. I often thought that if I just went to grad school,
mabye the answers would be there. I thought that someone would
eventually discover my latent talent and make it happen for me so I
could escape the polishing wheel. Well, I found out that I was the
one who had to make it happen.If I didn’t take a risk on myself,
nobody would take a risk on me either. That could mean financial, but
it could also be the risk you take when you try to create something
with an amount of tools and materials that are meagre compared to
what was available in school or what you imagine the best artists are
I discovered that It is very important to start thinking of yourself
as a business as soon as possible. It may not seem to mesh with the
notion of being an artist and self-expression, but if you want to
make work, have it be seen, and have it be purchased (which will
allow you to make the next work), it can’t be avoided.
It is really important to take the long view of your career as well.
Those of us in our twenties have possibly 40+ years left in our
careers. Whatever small things that you can do to keep your hands on
the metal will be a benefit. It is very hard to keep focused when
nothing is happening yet, but it is better do something to keep
yourself in the field, even if it is not neccessarily what you
envision. Read about what the artists at the top of the field were
doing in their twenties.
A few years ago, I didn’t imagine that I would be waking up every day
to go to my studio and make some production and also some one-of-a
kind pieces that would sell and keep my bills paid. I worked in my
living room for a few years, which was sort of like living in a
studio and a little bit crazy, but you do what you have to do.
So, I hope you will look to the future, stay involved in metal, and
have a razor-sharp resolve to succeed!