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Chantay

Told To Get A "real" Job

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Warning this is a bit***y vent.  I went to see a professional yesterday seeking personal finance info.  Not to give TMI but, in my current situation I don't need to work, but that will probably change in the future.  So in a review of my situation I explained that I was working on being able to sell pottery part-time.  This persons response was that I should think of investing my time more wisely toward a real job.  It took a great deal of effort not to loose it.  To be so easily dismissed that a potter isn't a real job.  I live in an area that is doing fairly well economical.  Locally I will have no competition. I have successfully ran a small business and have worked in large companies in the finance dept.  The person went on to say that they had done ceramics in the past and it is an expensive hobby.  This happened two days ago and I am still seething.  I have worked very hard over the past two years on improving my skills. 

 

On top of the above,  this morn when I went out to check the kiln I see it has missed fired (probably human error) and fired, cool down to 1640 F and soaked for about 10 hours.  I peaked inside and it doesn't look like anything completely melted on my new kiln shelves.  Uuugh!! I will post more about this in Glaze forum.

 

 

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This stuff does happen... ... After I had been teaching HS for about 10 years, my Mom got real serious one day and asked me if I had made the right decision by going into teaching.  I told her I was certain of it, loved working with the kids, loved teaching art, and could not see myself doing anything else. Last thing ever said about my profession.  Mom is gone, and Dad acts as if it was the best decision ever, being a teacher. He sees how my retirement is, how happy I've been and that I am able to help him out now that tables are reversed.

Marcia Selsor likes this

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From your financial advisor's standpoint, which is a purely financial standpoint, he is correct. There are definitely better ways to secure your financial future. :D  But it was a really crappy thing to say, and points to a real problem with the quality of his service. Instead of telling you to get a real job, he should have provided ways for you to become financially secure within the framework of your pottery career. Find a new advisor.

Chilly likes this

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The person went on to say that they had done ceramics in the past and it is an expensive hobby. 

 

Well, obviously this person is drawing from their own experiences, which have nothing to do with yours. Don't let his/her perspective change yours. 

 

My accountant has never once made me feel like it was not a real job.

 

Edit: I second the idea that you should find a new advisor.

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Thanks for the comments everyone.  I don't plan to see this person again.  There is no way they can have my best interest at heart with an attitude like that.  I think I was just so taken aback by the attitude.  My close friends are impressed with my progress and very encouraging.  I am doing my first craft show this spring.  I think I will send him an invite. 

flowerdry likes this

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You hardly need anyone to tell you that there is a lot of work involved in making it full time as a clay artist...it is, and it likely will be.  I feel it in the dedication and emotions that I see/read on this forum almost every day.  I also take it as a good indicator that you are chasing your passion when, even in the face of a possible kiln meltdown this morning, you did not melt down. Go for it!

Evenstar likes this

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Thanks for the kind words Paul.  I did melt down this morn.  Esp since this load was being fired for a second time.  It is a new digital kiln with a huge learning curve.  Not to mention I am now mixing my own glazes.  Plus kids home again today due to snow.  I turned the music on and pumped out 4o bowls.  I feel better now.

ChenowethArts likes this

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  But it was a really crappy thing to say, and points to a real problem with the quality of his service. Instead of telling you to get a real job, he should have provided ways for you to become financially secure within the framework of your pottery career. Find a new advisor.

 

Neil nailed it.  I would now write a nice polite letter to this person explaionming that they really should be looking to go back to school to learn more about financial advising so that they can actually help people to work with the situation that they find themselves in instead of writing them off completely.

 

What a piece of work.

 

So if a public school teacher walked in there would this person say to them, "You should become a college professor"?  Or if a plumber walked in there would they say "You should become a doctor"?  If a doctor walked in there would they say, "You should be come a medical injury lawyre'?  Or if a lawyer walked in there, would they say" You should be come a rocket scientist"?   No... in THOSE cases they'd likely work with the re ality of the situation at hand.

 

FInd a new advisor >>>>>> +1.

 

best,

 

.......................john

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Chantay, don't get discouraged. If you are able, do what you love, if you are unable to do it full time do it as much as you are able. Remember the advisor gave you his opinion, "Opinions are like armpits, some smell better than others." I often use a different body part. :o

 

Growing up my parents discouraged art in all forms, said it was not a profession, only a hobby. So I eventually caved and gave it up. Several years later, picked it up as a hobby, learning as I went and began selling my wares.

 

After a couple years of art festivals, was approached by another potter in a festival, talked a little about what each we did, I worked in glazeless pit and saggar vessels, he in Cone 10 porcelain. He ended the conversation by saying "Not everyone is cut out to be a real potter, someday you might make the transition." I still remember that comment and it bothered me for a while, but I remembered the opinion quote I always used with my children and moved on.

 

Today, I have trouble keeping my galleries stocked. Received inquires from various galleries about them having my works in their establishment. Have had to limit the number of shows I can do, have had my work published, won awards, have been regularly interviewed for thesis research and requests for workshops. My wife and I have had many conversations how to start making the shift away from my current full time occupation. Fyi…I also have received the blessing of my parents.

 

Seek another opinion.

 

Best of luck

Chad

 

flowerdry likes this

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Wow, everyone, thanks for the great advice and comments.  I was a hobby painter for 30 years before I went into ceramics.  At one point I was doing a portrait a month.  I was selling these for 300 t0 700 hundred dollars each, yet I still felt it was only hobby. (way under priced I now know) Partly because of thing others said to me.  I felt if others didn't take me serious, then how could I be serious. The last year I was painting, I was giving private instructions to others who made their living at painting. It finally hit me like a ton of bricks. 

 

Chad,  I started art lessons at 7.  Took art classes on the side all the way through college for my first degree.  Yet, was always told, you can't make a living at this.  After my second degree and working in a field I hated, I went back to art lessons.  The first class the teacher told me I should go talk to some galleries.  By then art was second to everything else, job, marriage, kids.  My kids are older now, Now I am doing what I want. 

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Your "advisor" showed his true colors. He and many in the finacial profession look to clients as a food source. Remember they make a living from your money. He wants clients that have "Money".

Just as a visualization, make a form, a mug will worlk fine. At some point about soft leather, start carving chunck out of your mug, each repesenting your cost of living, biz cost,(what you would be paying him or her) etc. You will find the more you learn and take charge of instead of  what you pay others , the more you keep for yourself.

 

I've had student groups come by my studio/gallery from time to time, who are in various art/ceramic classes. They would be better served by these classes incorporating finacial issues in the class and less time spent on the "Myth" of being an artist.

 

When asked, I tell them the cold hard truth about making a living as an artist, most want to "get by" few want to learn. This goes for every area of making a living.

Learn from this and expect more from many different sources. Do what you love but keep your eyes wide open.

Just my thoughts on a snow covered studio day in NC

Wyndham

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Why are you all whining about snow? WE have snow.

I look at these types of meetings as sign posts-either positive or negative. I was in the studio-finally got around to making some mugs. One of of my sons came running in. "Dad, the dishwasher is flooding!"

So, off to the appliance store. Both salesmen were bald with shaved heads. My wife said; "Do you have to be bald to work here?' And she was serious, or making a bald" joke. " I never go there as people can't help being bald. Turns out, he was a really nice guy. Sold us a dishwasher. He asked me what I did for a living. I said;"I teach art to high school students."

He said how do you like it? I explained that I love my job. He told me that art was his favourite class and that he wished he had pursued art further. I hadn't told anyone that I loved my job in quite a while. It felt great. And obviously, he had a great teacher who gave him life long memories.

This same week, I was asked to give a throwing demonstration to my daughter's art class. There were some students who wanted to try the wheel right away. Of course they were not that successful. It was great for me to be asked, and great for my daughter to see her dad in a different light.And great to have a skill to offer the class.

There have been people that were discouraging along the way, and who knows why I ever became a potter in the first place. My dad asked me once how I was going to make a living,but only once.

I have had a great teaching career and a great art career. If I had listened to the nay sayers long ago and didn't persue a career in art, I would be a very unhappy person.

Time for another financial advisor.

TJR.

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I love the snow, but my studio,which is in an old service station,does not function too well at 25 deg f. So we just settle in and wait till the roads clear, feed the birds and put small warm coats on the squirrels and possums that come by for a visit.

The roads are clear today so back to the shop.

Wyndham

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Wyndham, I also thought a service station would make a great shop/ studio. There are a lot of lesser Highways, that used to be the main roads, decades ago, which left a lot of abandoned old gas stations. Do you have any pictures of your's you could post?

 

Around here, I feed the birds, but the squirrels, who get too close, get a taste of my air rifle. I like to to make them think twice, about coming around, as they get into my garden.

 

And TJR, we got a whole inch the other day, so I feel your pain......hehe

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Off topic....... now snow........

 

We got about 17-18" yesterday........ I'm still snowblowing out the home and studio....... and it is snowing again today and we expect about 6" more.  We had probably 18" still on the ground before the last storm's 18".  And that snow was down from the peak because we had an extended warm dry spell.

 

Back on topic....... BAD business advisors.

 

I've always loved the weirdness of the financial "advisors" concept.  ("Trust me with your money and life's interests.")  First thing I'd ask one is to see their OWN analysis of their personal Net Worth.  If they were not filthy rich themselves......... I'd ask them, "Why not?"  If you are qulaified to advise others in how to manage and or invest money, you should be able to do that the absolute BEST for yourself since you have absolute control.  In fact if they are SO good at things like investing......... why are they still working as a finacial advisor or investment counselor?  They should be using their time making themselves big money.   (The only good answer there is a love of teaching and sharing.)

 

My first test for hiring a new "financial advisor"........  they better be driving either a Rolls (riding in it while someone else drives) or a Lamborgini (themselves), their offices should look like a set for a company from a James Bond movie, and their home better have at least 23 bathrooms, a heated olympic swimming pool (inside), a staff of 10 to manage things, and electrified fences and armed security guys with big bad-lookin' dogs. ;)

 

best,

 

......................john

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I love the snow, but my studio,which is in an old service station,does not function too well at 25 deg f. So we just settle in and wait till the roads clear, feed the birds and put small warm coats on the squirrels and possums that come by for a visit.

The roads are clear today so back to the shop.

Wyndham

Made me smile. How do you catch the squirrels to put little coats on them?

T.

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John, when I first read that, I thought you said you were still snowboarding.

 

I had a flash of an image of you riding a snow board, with a sword strapped to your back.

 

I'm a two sticker.... not a one sticker. ;) Been skiing since I was a kid. Still current Level III PSIA Cert and former PSIAE Ed Staff member.....but no longer teach skiing at all. Pottery hasn't damaged my body much.... but high level skiing has. :rolleyes: I've been in PT all winter so far for some rehab of some long term skiing damage ....... and with Dr.'s permission went skiing for a couple of hours yesterday for the first time this season. So far, so good.

 

Little known fact........

 

While used sometimes for the transport of a katana by Ninja, the "swords in saya (sheath) on the back with the hilts projecting above the shoulder"......... doesn't really work in a combat situation. It is a "ninja" movie convention. For a normal length katana, the amount you can extend your hand and arm over your head in the draw usually isn't enough to get the tip of the sword to clear out of the saya. This fact has repeatedly be demonstrated in lots of dojos.

 

It can be done,..... but it is not something you'd want to have to do in a fight. To do it usually the saya has to be mounted very low on the back, so the tsuka (hilt) does not project as highly above the back as is typically seen in the movies and anime.

 

Looks cool and kinda' threatening sitting there with the hilts high in the air though.

 

Watch the movies carefully........ you'll typically see the person start to draw, there will be some sort of a cinematic visual cutaway, and the katana will be flashing away already out of the saya. You won't see the sword actually come off the back out of the saya. The exception to this would be a short sword, a person with an extermenly ununual arm length to body size, or anime manga and movies.

 

best,

 

.........................john

 

PS: How do you find the right size coats for the squirrels?

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My first test for hiring a new "financial advisor"........  they better be driving either a Rolls (riding in it while someone else drives) or a Lamborgini (themselves), their offices should look like a set for a company from a James Bond movie, and their home better have at least 23 bathrooms, a heated olympic swimming pool (inside), a staff of 10 to manage things, and electrified fences and armed security guys with big bad-lookin' dogs. ;)

 

I've been working with the same accountant for 18 years. During this time he became a partner in his firm, and now owns two houses and a boat. Not too shabby! He does a great job and deserves it all.

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My husband is a financial advisor ... But he only advises ... does not sell any financial products. He feels that ( for him ) this is the only way to give people fair advice. It really makes his day when he works with people who listen and follow his advice ... then, see the huge difference a year or two makes.

What always amazes me is the people who pay for his advice and never follow through. Maybe he should park the Rolls in the driveway and stop asking the house staff to stay out of the way.

I am in Atlanta still waiting for my cancelled/ rebooked flight home tomorrow ... Snowy Raleigh is finally thawing so I can get back.

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UH oh Mea I own two houses and two boats maybe I should be advising???

I have had the same account for 25 years untll this Monday-as she retired this past year and we have a new person we have yet to met on Monday.

I'll have to let the home staff in on the details it will break the butlers heart.

 

 

TJR the jackets are the easy part its the socks and shoes that are hard to get on them with those tiny laces.

My squirrels are training for two rodent bobsled races held next year in  Manatoba

Mark

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