There’s some thing wrong with the state of the world when the ability to succeed and make money in life seems mutually exclusive with the ability to pay for an education worth tens of thousands of dollars. If you end up getting a high paying job that goes up to a six figure salary (or if you’re very lucky, exceeds that) then paying off your student debts won’t be a challenge or seemingly endless journey. How many of these bachelor’s/master’s degree carrying “smarties” are that fortunate, though? You can’t tell me that all the thousands of college educated individuals land that kind of vocation out the gate. Or even several jobs after their first one.
I don’t know. Maybe I’m being cynical. I certainly don’t advocate not wanting an education or pursuing whatever steps one deems necessary in order to attain your goals and dreams. I just hate that there seems to be this premeditated path of success everyone must follow with very little divergence, lest they find themselves resigning to work they just happen to be good at, in order to pay the bills.
You know what I wanted to be when I grew up (besides being a super hero, of course)? A comic book penciler. That was literally, all I ever aspired to be. I have this sort of eye for seeing the world in terms of shapes, lines, textures and colors that I believe is lost on most people. I knew even then, that I wouldn’t be making an exceptional living doing that and I was certain there would be a fierce and competitive job market out there for it, but I loved drawing. Let me rephrase that; I LOVE drawing! Present tense. There, I feel better.
I’ve always believed I was destined to do something along the lines of illustration. I never got a chance to do it though. Despite my natural talent and self-taught skills, my stepfather hated this side of me. HATED! So I pursued other things and turned my back on my art; but turning your back on something, isn’t the same as having it just go away. It’s always there, standing behind you, waiting for you to turn around.
Years and years later, I find myself pulled back into drawing and teaching myself how to draw in this ever-advancing age of electronic media and digital art. I hate to be that old guy, but back when I was kid, I just had to learn how to cleanly put pencil onto paper. It’s a struggle but I’m slowly getting it. Information is hard to find without paying lots of money for art classes, but thank GAWD for YouTube and the digital media artists that upload their own tutorials.
At the risk of sound fatalistic, I don’t think I could ever make something of my need to draw. Simply put, I’m way behind in the race and I doubt I could catch up now at this point, much less get my skill to a level to surpass established, working comic book pencilers. But at this point in my life, I’m not doing it for them, or to sell comics, or to please anyone really. I’m doing it for myself and the kid I broke a promise to.