afrofabulous asked: Do you think that 28 is too old to try to pursue a career in art on your own terms? I wanted to be a 3D animator for as long as I can remember, but when I got to college I realized that going to college for it wasn't for me. The school and the environment was horrible and I was completely uninspired to continue animation. I went to school for fashion illustration after that and I although my teachers thought my art was truly beautiful, I didn't get to finish because I started a family.
(cont.) I became inspired again recently and I have been drawing and sketching everyday (for the past two years) as well as learning animation on my own. I am heavily influenced by your webcomic, but I just wanted to know if it was too late to pursue my dream without school and by myself at 28?
I started TJ and Amal at 31, with a weak art education and zero experience in comics, so you can probably guess where I stand on the matter!
I wish our culture didn’t place such heavy emphasis on “making it” in your teens and twenties; that the (justifiable!) attention paid to prodigies wouldn’t set “prodigy” as the norm. This kind of BS does everyone a disservice.
If you have a dream and the resources/ability to pursue it, there’s no reason to sit it out just because “everyone makes it by 25.” Because everyone DOESN’T make it by 25. Some do, some don’t, whatever.
What’s more, age can bring experience that will inform your work — work you couldn’t have made at 20 or 25 without that experience.
Sometimes when I get discouraged about this stuff, it helps to remember an anecdote I read a few years ago—
A retiree mentions to her friend that she’s considering going back to college and finishing her degree.
"What, at 65?" says her friend, "You’ll be at least 40 years older than everyone else in class!"
To which the lady replies, “oh, so you think I should wait till I’m 70?”
There’s no going backwards.
James Murphy was 31 when he started LCD Soundsystem.
Jonathan Coulton was 35 when he quit his software job to do music full-time.
There is always time.
I used to think that I was a failure because I’d reached the age of 26 without having achieved any kind of measurable success. I still occasionally think this. But I know that, honestly, it’s never too late to start.
Since I’m turning 35 this year, this kind of thing has been weighing on me a lot. When I read EK started TJ and Amal at 31 with very little experience, I almost cried. She’s fucking phenomenal. I started Wighthouse when I was 30 (no formal art edumacation here either) and was paranoid as hell about it cuz of my age, but you know what? That’s the proudest I’ve ever been of anything I’ve made, and I did it for two and a half years, the longest I’ve done anything, ever. It’s hard not to see all these talented youngins and get caught up in the age bullshit, but once you do, you realize it doesn’t matter one bit. Just make art!
I laugh a lot. I mean, a lot a lot. I think a reasonable chunk of my last relationship was due to me laughing at my guy’s jokes, even if they were awful. (They were mostly okay. Love you, Ben.) When I find something extremely funny, I feel…terrible. Why isn’t anyone finding this as funny as I do? Am I a freak? Are they the wrong ones? Does it matter? (no)
I also feel terrible telling someone they made me laugh until I wanted to collapse, which should be a good thing for all involved, right? But this time, I think I figured out why. It’s that same, childish feeling of telling someone you like them. It’s that same vulnerability. Simultaneously, I also feel it’s important to let someone know they make me laugh, since that quality is very important to me, and I’m grateful for it.
Or maybe it’s just another case of me feeling way too much. Okay, yeah, that’s got it, we’re good /cut