Been asked to speak to high school students at my past hs about being an illustrator and I need some time figuring out how to approach it in a thoughtful way.
The thing with artist talks is that you get a lot of artists talking about bootstrap mentality/all hard work and nothing else. I think it’s important to be grateful and talk about the support and luck and everything else (access, privilege) that got me to a working position.
However I want to do it thoughtfully, because I’ve noticed that many times people will make those statements in a way that it makes younger students who don’t have that kind of access feel bad. Almost like bragging even though they didn’t mean it. And others think that “letting
students know your secrets” or “letting them know what kind of support you got” will invalidate your accomplishments, which I also think is steeped in selfishness/self consciousness.
No need to reply to this thread btw, just something I’ve been stewing on. The more I do this the more I realize just how much of my successes have been based on either pure luck (which in turn is based on access to resources that I have been allowed to tap into early on), or it
Is based on who I am friends with/connections/networks in the industry, etc. And when you dig deeper in that you realize having access to those connections is based on a specific set of criteria that has to do with... soft skills for example, location, luck, finances available -
even early parental support to stuff like art supplies or classes or emotional/financial support - all is under the umbrella of privilege. And I don’t want to give another talk without talking about this in a coherent and clear way, because that is what students need......
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