Yesterday I wrote about the arts being a very solitary world in which to work, today I am thinking about the support offered for those expressing a desire to pursue a career in the arts. At the moment – with my own artistic career – I feel a bit lost; I would like a mentor, someone in the industry who has been there who can offer support and guidance, and who believes that I might have something to offer.
I have never seen such support – not from schools, college or university. Not from anybody who is supposed to be there to help you on to the next step in your life. Of course family are always there supporting me, something I know not everyone has and for which I am hugely grateful, but none of my family work in the arts so although they may want to offer support there is little they can actually do. If you want to get support for such a chosen career path from a young age eg. at an educational establishment then you have to go to a specialist arts school. To find someone outside of this route you have to be lucky, opportunistic, good at networking and talking to the right person at the right time.
I realise that the arts is a tough industry to crack, what I don’t understand is why it’s so hard to find somebody to (occasionally) help you do it. Maybe I’m delusional and wishing for something that resembles a fairtyale reality, but why can’t there just be more support for such a career choice offered at educational institutions? Why, basically, are the arts not a bigger and more supported part of our society more broadly? Which – I know – is such a huge question to address. (sigh).