It seems that every time I take an interest in something my mother thinks I should do it for a living. And of course her way of thinking is that in order to do something ‘for a living’ you must go to school for it. I am not a believer in going to school for anything. It may be fine for others, but its just not for me. And why should an artist have to go to school for it anyway? All of this has come about because I suddenly found myself inspired to design a shirt (I have yet to get around to making it). As soon as my mother caught wind of my sudden project, she decided I should go to design school. Now why on earth would I go and do that? I tried to explain to her that I get bored of things far too easily and its not something I enjoy enough to do every day, all day. This isn’t the first hobby she’s tried to get me to go to school for.. there’s drawing, painting, drama, writing and so on. None of which are so important to me that I think I should waste money on university in order to get better at it. Except maybe drama, which I considered many years ago, but the school I wanted to attend was way hard-core and I could never afford it. And then of course there is photography.. I know how to take a picture. I can see my mistakes myself and I can try to fix them the next time I pick up my camera. I am also a believer in creating art to please myself first and if others like it, that’s a bonus. If I wanted to be a doctor or lawyer or something fancy like that, I would suffer through any class in order to do it, but I have no desire to do either job or any like them. So, dear mothers, don’t push post-secondary on your kids. Especially if your reasoning is that you regret not going yourself. All you have to do is encourage them in whatever they choose to do and please don’t mistake a hobby or talent for a career choice!


  1. Melanie

    I’m glad to hear this because I was starting to think that maybe I wasn’t doing my motherly duty by pushing post-secondary education on my boys. Life is education and there are so many ways to get it without going to a school. I think school has it’s merits, like you say if you want to be something fancy like a doctor or lawyer or for technical things that a person really could use some teaching on. However I think that we have become an over-education society insisting on special education for everything when experience, hands on training and common sense would be enough. Whatever happened to learning something from a experienced master or by trial and error? I guess I’m saying it’s good to try lots of things and if it comes down to it that a person does have to go to school for further training, fine; but it doesn’t have to be a given that school has to be in the picture. A college/university training does not necessarily make a person better at their job. If that were the case then there isn’t a parent in the world who is any good at their job because there aren’t any parenting schools out there.

  2. Ashley Løseth

    It has to be a choice the person going (or not) has to make on their own. And as far as art is concerned, isn’t it more fun to figure out new techniques on your own? I think it is. Like you said, it takes trial and error. I remember Tara saying that her drawing teacher at ACAD gave her bad marks because she refused to conform to his style. He told her he would change her ways before the year was over, but he had no such luck and I think that’s a good thing. People don’t go to school to become like everyone else, I mean, how boring would that be?

    And as for parenting schools… well the thought just scares me! Parents would be better at their jobs if they just spend time with their kids, not away at parenting school or with their noses in parenting books while the kids get into who-knows-what.

  3. Melanie

    I am in total agreement with you again. I can’t believe that an art teacher would have that attitude. Yikes!

    I’m glad there aren’t parenting schools too because like you said spending time is so important in all relationships and no book can give you that.

  4. Ashley Løseth

    Yeah Tara’s horror stories were just another reason for me not to try getting into ACAD. And thank you for agreeing with me! I’m glad I’m not the only one who sees things this way 🙂

  5. scarletsculturegarden

    You have to make your own choices. But I know exactly what you mean about you do something once, maybe twice and then your mother starts saying you should it for a living: I watched the September Issue a month or so back and ever since she’s been saying I should work for US Vogue.

  6. Ashley Løseth

    A lot of mothers seem to be that way. When I tell mine that I don’t want to design clothing, draw, paint etc. she argues that she just wants her kids to do what they love and get paid for it. I suppose its natural to want that, but its still so frustrating.

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