Firstly, allow me to introduce myself. I'm Rebecca Bray, a 22 year old about to graduate from Falmouth University and preparing to begin my journey to attempt to 'make it' as an artist. A painter, to be precise, a skill which many people find increasingly difficult to comprehend my desire to pursue (usually people whose lives wont be affected by my choice of career path, ironically).
"A painter? but SURELY you know, painters only gain their fortune once their dead?!"
I can still hear word-for-word this phrase leaving his lips so nonchalantly, as though he wasn't insulting the rest of my life... but I'm not bitter, a contradiction to my tone of voice I realise, but I'm not bitter (honest!), merely irritated. However, it's this kind of attitude towards the arts that drives my want to succeed in it.
The Education Secretary has recently claimed that "the arts are not future-proof" and is unashamedly warning the next generation of artists to steer clear of further education in creative subjects.
This view will be that of many, with claims such as... in academia there's logic, there's correct answers, there's a formula and most importantly there's a clear path to economic success. Fine. In many cases, there's also a repetitive daily routine, a mundane, beige office and a money-greedy, dickhead boss who will never appreciate how flexible your backs becoming from bending over backwards for him.
So I say to those who want to paint, to draw, to perform... dream big, live for you and enjoy your creative journey. Mine has been challenging, frustrating but ultimately the most fulfilling development of character, skill and confidence I believe I will ever encounter and by no means is it over...