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Topic: 16 yo son wants to be an artist  (Read 4803 times)
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« on: April 02, 2011 04:27:30 PM »

Hello Craftster Artists,
  My son is 16 and just dropped baseball with a possible scholorship to be an artist... a tattoo artist. His first attempt at art was last christmas and it was really good. He expressed to us that he wanted to be a tattoo artist, we have no problem with that since me and my hubby have sleeves and best friends have 2 tattoo shops. But we tried to express to him to use baseball to get to college, nope he dropped baseball = no $$ for college. So my question for you artists are how do I direct him to be the best artist he can be? He wants to go to college where the tattoo shop is located ( not far from us) and our tattoo artist told him as long as he is in school for art and buisness he can apprentance. I want him to know that we support him in anything he chooses regardles it wasnt our plan for him.

Thank you for any suggestions
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« Reply #1 on: April 06, 2011 09:04:04 AM »

First of all, that is great that you are so supportive (although from the sounds of it, you are awesome parents).  Trying to sustain yourself as an artist is not easy, and luckily for your son he already has an "in" with a tattoo shop.  That already puts him light years ahead of the game (getting an apprenticeship is the hardest part of becoming a tattoo artist). 
But, if you want to also push him artistically, the best thing you can do for him is to be his biggest critic.  Of course, I would warn him before just ripping his art apart verbally... tell him that development is hard, and if you only ever gave him positive feedback it would be hard for him to know how to improve.  Depending on his style, or what he is interested in, try and find contemporary artists that he might like and be able to relate to.  Even though he is in school for art, most focus on art from the 1970's and earlier and tend to ignore artists that are actually creating art right now. 
Here is an artist that he might like:  http://www.zaxart.com/ 

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« Reply #2 on: April 06, 2011 09:10:57 AM »

thank you so much for your advice... I will pass on the website to him... I am lucky that the shop he will be apprenticing at is really big in different culture (hispanic) and american history, which he happens to excel in. Thank you again because I am totally lost with this stuff.
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« Reply #3 on: April 06, 2011 09:19:18 AM »

Oh I can't wait to show him this website... what an amazing artist...
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« Reply #4 on: May 14, 2011 01:44:09 PM »

Has he ever taken an Art 101 type class? It'll definitely help to learn the basics, the elements of art, and the principle of design. Smiley Then, with my parents supporting me in my art, being an open, honest critic can be very important; but it's also helpful when my parents pointed out where i was improving, so that I could see my growth and felt motivated to continue learning Smiley

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« Reply #5 on: May 22, 2011 11:24:40 AM »

Thanks for the advise... he hasn't taken any classes because baseball and Avid took his electives... he was planning to take a summer class at the local college but they canceled all there summer classes... bummer... he is going to take it as an elective next year... (senior year) he is also going to spend some time with my tattoos artists family this summer to see what it is like to go to work everyday.... clean the shop.... intern stuff... i am very excited for him Smiley

it is hard to be a critic because he takes it personal... but thats part of growing up... !!!
« Reply #6 on: August 11, 2011 08:01:09 PM »

It would be good if he practiced things like figure drawing/ life studies and learning things like color theory, perspective, and anatomy. Also I'd recommend going to the library and getting some figure drawing and anatomy books for him to learn out of, they really helped me when I started drawing seriously.  Smiley
« Reply #7 on: September 17, 2011 04:19:57 PM »

Black books, black books, black books.......get him some A4 black sketch books and a decent technical pencil and encourage him to copy straight out of other peoples books, and trace trace trace.

Good artists borrow great artists steal - pablo picasso

If he has an opportunity to apprentice, thats half the battle won. Now he just has to play about with developing styles till he has a clue what direction he wants his work to go in, as at some point he will have to pick what he bag is....all good tattoo artists are known for having there "thing" be it Portrait, Irezumi, Black-and-gray, vintage 3 colour, Typographic and so one. 

He will never make good money being a jack of all trades, and master of none.

A small $100 investment in a airbrush and compressor would go a long way too, that way he get used to maintaing machinery and will help dramatically with his understanding of colour, shading and hand style for lettering work.   
« Reply #8 on: November 15, 2011 12:06:11 AM »

I suggest letting him create an account on deviantart.com. There he can post any drawings he does whether they're sketches or full blown colored for feedback from other artists. Not to mention there are groups on there in which he can join to get more help in improving his art.

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« Reply #9 on: December 07, 2011 11:09:24 PM »

I think it's awesome that you are being so supportive, though I could imagine your concern with money for college being an issue.  It sounds like you live nearby to the school so maybe rent wont be an issue.  Having gone to art school, I can say while it's great to get that degree and all, the best opportunity that art school presents is the motivation to practice and develop your portfolio.  It seems like in the art world your portfolio is what talks and not as much the degrees that you have. Try lots of things and see what styles fit you as an artist.  It might take a few classes to see that you really love working with oil paints, or illustration is your thing.  Figuring out how to make that work in a tattoo setting will be his unique challenge.  It sounds like he's got all the support he needs and that he will do great!

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