Sometimes, you don’t know where you stand with your future as an artist. Especially when textbooks are still photobombing the bigger picture.
Making the decision to turn a hobby into a career is a daunting one. The prospect of abandoning the conventional route of going to university can be doubly difficult when your parents don’t support the decision. To us, it appears they don’t believe in our talent, but in truth they are just being parents.
For most of us, our parents work a steady 9 to 5 in the hopes of keeping a roof over our heads. They grew up in a time where you had to leave the house, get out there and find a job. There was no such thing as Twitter or YouTube. They can’t fathom the idea of working hard everyday of their lives, only for their child to be a singer living off of Heinz Beans and barely able to pay rent.
Indecision is a dangerous place to find yourself in. You spend hours questioning yourself and feed into the unsettling possibility of failure. As I write this article I currently juggle 4 A-Levels and a career as a Music Producer. It gets hard and tiresome having people question your choice to pursue your art, instead of going to university. The fact of the matter is, university isn’t for everybody.
The worst thing you could do is end up crunching numbers at the age of 47, in a high-rise office and be thinking “damn, I really wish I followed through with that talent I had.” AJ Tracey probably found himself in the same situation before making the decision to leave university, now he finds himself rubbing shoulders with the likes of Drake and touring worldwide.
We live in a time where taking your talent to a global audience is as simple as a few thousand retweets, but the grind that ensues and the struggles you face to get there sometimes makes you doubt whether the whole thing is even worth it. Above all else, is the fear of failure.
You can’t imagine everyone shaking their head dismissively, as your creative talent fails to bore any fruit. You think your life has gone to waste since your artwork isn’t hanging in The National Gallery yet, or you haven’t made a hit with 21 Savage.
If the reason why you want to follow your passion is for clout or to impress people then you’ve got it all wrong. Those who end up succeeding are the ones who do it because it is genuinely all they have. Ultimately, the decision to pursue your passion is solely down to you. You have to come to terms with yourself and commit to your art wholeheartedly.
What everyone else has to say is unimportant, it is your life.
When you finally overcome the pangs of self-doubt and external opinions, you’ll know what to do with your art.
Just ask yourself, would you rather take the risk and succeed, or get a degree and end up doing a job that probably has nothing to do with it anyway?