Dear Mom and Dad,
Most people view artists and college art-majors as flaky, irresponsible, weirdos who will never have a “real” job. But not you.
From the moment I showed an interest in art you encouraged me to pursue it, practice it and to love it. You signed me up for summer art programs, bought books and supplies. You stayed up late with me when I needed someone to hold on while the glue dried. You critiqued my projects when I wasn’t sure what to do next. You guarded my work from the dangers of a curious family dog. You allowed me to be my own special brand of weird.
When college came and I wanted to major in art, not once, did you ever tell me to pursue a more reliable career. You kept right on encouraging. You praised my success in college courses. Drove hours to lend a hand with laying cement for a final project. Drove hours again to help me lift a toilet bowl into a tree for a sculpture project. You stayed up late to talk on the phone while I walked back to my car from the art studio in the wee hours of the morning.
When I needed a part-time job to work through college you helped me find the perfect one. Even though it wasn’t anything that remotely interested me, it was perfect in every other way. I was able to find another job doing the same thing when I transferred to another school. Then when I graduated with my Bachelor of Fine Arts and got married I found another job doing the same thing in my husband’s hometown. It’s not my dream job and it’s not even art related. But you know what it is? A steady income with great hours and great benefits.
That steady income has allowed me to do whatever art I want on my own time. Since graduating with my BFA three years ago I’ve worked my steady full-time job and also started my small business doing what I really love. Recently my small business has turned into a full-fledged part-time job. And it’s everything I ever dreamed of. I’m making art and people are loving it and paying me for it!
It feels impossible to tell you just how excited I am to finally see my love for art turn into a way to provide for my family. But I want you to know that even if it hadn’t panned out; even if I never got to the point where my art would be profitable, I regret nothing. Earning my BFA taught me how to do what I love and do it the best. It brings me so much joy to just do this, making money is secondary.
So, again, thank you. I know how easily I could have ended up with parents who only told me “Art is just a hobby, it’s not worth going to college for.” Thank you for not giving up, for not discouraging me. Thank you for teaching me how to work hard. Thank you for believing in me. Thank you for providing for me in so many ways. Thank you for desiring my happiness. Thank you for planting my roots firmly in the foundation of Jesus Christ: my Rock, my Faithful Love, my Provider, Restorer, Rescuer. Thank you for all of your sacrifices: sleepless nights, paint-soaked carpets, college tuition, to name only a few.
I love you Mom and Dad!
Your Daughter, the Artist