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Destroying the Dream Crushers: A Call for Artists to Follow their Dreams


There are many stories of people who, as young aspiring artists, had their artistic dreams stomped on by teachers and parents. A lot of them were told that their creations weren’t good enough, and some even had their work destroyed right in front of their eyes and then told to start over.

I often wonder how many artists have quit and closed the door on their dreams, never to return. At the same time, I wonder how many started again later on in their life.

I remember getting caught sketching a horse in the third grade during a class other than art—if memory serves me, it was probably math (AKA, my second art class). A note went home with me from school that day. My parents weren’t at all happy with that report.

I remember asking my Mom though, if the teacher commented about my horse. I really didn’t care about the math at all, I just wanted to know if my teacher liked the sketch as much as I hoped she did.

Let’s just say, the answer I received was not the desired response.

Over the next few weeks, I was treated to never-ending lectures of how wanting to become an artist was not a good choice for my life. I heard it all: I was told if I pursued that dream, that I would wind up living in a tent somewhere near the tracks. . . or if I got a job, it would be as a garbage man/woman (no insult intended to our maintenance workers). I was told I would be a homeless bum, and that no one would ever want to marry me.

So did I give up or quit right then and there? No, I couldn’t. Creating is in my blood, it is what I am meant to do. I did let things calm down for awhile though. . . and I made sure to pay more attention in math class!

Now, years later, I have to tell you: I’ve dealt with a lot of people who still have the same perception of artists that was prevalent back when I was just a girl.

In many states there are schools—both grade schools and high schools—which are terminating their art classes but keeping extra-curricular activities like football, tennis, and basketball. (Something I really don’t understand or agree with)

And today I want to say that if you are one of the many, many artists who have had their dreams crushed when you were younger, please know that it’s not too late to begin following your dreams again.

Don’t let negative comments bring you down. There are a lot of cynical people in this world who have a very negative view of anything that is different from what they do.

Some of them are people who gave up on their own dreams long ago, and deep down, they resent your enthusiasm, your aspirations, and your persistence in following your own dream, simply because they gave up on theirs.

Some will even delight in planting seeds of doubt within you and tearing you down. Don’t let them!

These are the dream crushers. . . but they have no control over you. You can still get back up, get on with your dream, and get creating!

*Note: this post may contain affiliate links*

I often think about how many hours of my friends’ lives are spent in an office environment. For them, getting that “office with a window” or “corner office with a view” is a symbol of great achievement and success. (And a nice perk, too!) In contrast, my studio is mostly the great outdoors, which comes with its own set of challenges—think gritty wind, hot sun, and rain while. . . read more

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