Aftermath of the Radio interview
First off, I have to mention that one of the greatest things that came out of the interview was the overwhelming love and support from my friends and extended family. So many people sitting huddled around radios in their homes, sending me messages of support, and even play-by-play messages about a comment I made or a question I was asked. We forget how many people root for us in silence, and the sheer amount of people hoping for my success astounds me!
I also got quite a few messages from strangers on facebook, new fans wanting to connect, and I chatted with a couple of them. And the thing that kept coming up was one of the main things that concerned me right after we recorded the interview. She asked me how I got started, and about my not having formal training. And I said the first thing that came to mind, namely that my art teacher told me not to study art, that it wasn't a good idea, and that I believed her.
Which is all true.
Thing is, I can't remember the exact context or emotions. For all I know she didn't realise I was asking her whether I should seriously stop thinking of going to Stellenbosch, or doing research into fine arts degrees. We didn't have a long heart to heart about it, I remember that much. BUT I was very young for my age, and naive. And I REALLY didn't have a clue what to do with my life, I only knew that school never interested me, I only enjoyed art. So I need to make this clear: There's no blame for the art teacher. I made my own decisions. I didn't have to believe her, but I did. I could've done more research and gotten more opinions, but I didn't. Mainly because I was immature, and had no idea how to make large decisions like that.
Also. I do believe things happened the way they did for a reason. The two years I spent studying graphic design taught me so much about layout and colour - and the photoshop skills I need to set up paintings and to clean up and colour-correct photos of paintings.
I believe that, because I was so immature at that age, if I had gone to a fine arts institution, I wouldn't have been strong enough to shape my own style, I would've emulated others. And getting critiqued on paintings would've devastated me - crit sessions in design was bad enough, and I wasn't really even invested in that!
I had to find my own style in my own time, through trial and error, and without an art lecturers opinions and tastes shaping them. Of course that doesn't apply to all, this is just my opinion on a thing I don't know much about.
We've become to quick to blame others for our failings in life. I could have become a graphic designer, and for the rest of my life bored people at dinner parties with tales of how I could've become a famous artist had it not been for that witch of an art teacher who foiled my plans and wrecked my life. But that's just silly. for the most part we ourselves are to blame for missed opportunities, and it's so much easier to blame people than to take chances and fail. I mean if the art degree was the issue, I could enroll today! Nothings stopping me! Stop blaming people for your life. If you're unhappy, start making changes.
I mean most people didn't initially support me in my art choice. My parents wanted me to get something secure first, many friends tried to intervene, most people tried having 'serious talks' with me about it, or just talked about it when I wasn't around. And that sucked. It's horrible when you're working your butt off to achieve something and people try to talk you out of it.
But if I was the kind of person to listen to those people I wouldn't be where I am today. The only way to make it if you don't have money or the right contacts is through sheer stubbornness, and hard work.
My art teacher liked a bunch of my paintings in high school, and that was great. But it didn't matter so much cause I wasn't making art for her. And honestly, the 'work' I produced then sucked. Because it was only the beginning of the road.