My dad was a very smart man. Though, at the time, I had my doubts. He wasn't too pleased when I told him I wanted to be an artist. We didn't talk about what might be a better profession for me, or why was it that I wanted to be an artist. My high school guidance councilor washed his hands of me. Several teachers told me without a college education I wouldn't amount to much.
Told you my dad was smart. Well, while I was trying to get help from my teachers and guidance councilor, my dad set about learning how one becomes an artist. He talked with art teachers from other schools and was directed to an artist named Ruth Van Sickle Ford, a successful artist and director of the Chicago Academy of Art. rs. Ford and I talked for a couple hours before she gave me a letter of introduction to Frank Young, owner of the American Academy of Art in Chicago. She said the American Academy was more in line with what type of artist I wanted to be. I studied drawing and painting there for four years.
My education in art took a side-step when I got a job in a gallery. Working in the gallery as an errand boy I learned what this gallery looked for in the way of artists, I saw artists turned away and was told why. Wall space is valuable and on Michigan Avenue very pricey. The gallery could not afford to hang a two hundred dollar painting on it's wall and survive. It's collectors want established artist, artist with a philosophy and a long term goal. Over the years I've had to write out my philosophy and long-term goals a few time for galleries. I learned doing good work isn't always enough. I continue to learn about both the creative and the business side.
My dad didn't send me to a person with a PhD in Medieval Studies or a person with a Business Degree who paints every other weekend for information on being an artist. My dad was smart. He sent me to an artist that was successful doing what she loved doing. I can't afford a new car every year or steak for dinner every night but I have been able to give money to help out the people in Houston and Puerto Rico by doing what I love doing.