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Hey guys, I know for a lot of you graduation is coming up super fast, and it seems completely absurd that it's been almost a year ago since I was in that boat.  I well remember the two options presented to me:

1) Get a studio job.  Preferably close to home.
2) Move back in with my parents.  Possibly get a day job or something.

I just wanted to remind ...whoever is reading this... that there are about a gazillion alternatives.  In fact, any possible train of actions you can conceive of is an option.  It's hard to think of options not presented to you as options, but you really can go anywhere and do anything.  This is the only time in our lives when we don't have any greater obligations- we don't have a wife and kids to provide for, no company that would collapse without us, our bodies can handle sleeping on a springy old couch for a while.  This is EXACTLY when you should take a gigantic risk because the only thing you actually NEED to "make it work" is perseverance and optimism.  (I'm not going to lie, a pair of devoted and generous parents doesn't hurt while you make the transition, and for the record I know times are tough but at least ASK them before you assume that they wouldn't help you out with money stuff for a while.)

I'm an absolute mess, and I'm only about 50% self-sufficient, but that proportion is growing every month and so is my confidence and the one thing I've NEVER doubted is that jumping on a plane to the other side of the country the day after graduation was exactly the right choice for me.

Pep talk over.  I just wanted to get my 2 cents in there since I'm certain it's on a lot of y'all's minds.  Best of luck!
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:iconsketcheth:
sketcheth Featured By Owner Mar 15, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Thanks for this. It's nice to hear.
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:iconninkira:
ninkira Featured By Owner Mar 11, 2012  Student General Artist
Great advice! May I ask, what made you chose to go to RISD? I am considering aiming for that school.
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:iconlorhs:
Lorhs Featured By Owner Mar 9, 2012
So you moved out there before finding a job?
Also, I'm a long way off from graduating, but this is very inspiring!
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:iconelitropio:
Elitropio Featured By Owner Mar 8, 2012  Student Digital Artist
*raises hand* Me too! Me too!

...signing the "I think BIG even if my parents are not devoted and generous!" group too. :P
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:iconashkey:
ashkey Featured By Owner Mar 7, 2012  Professional General Artist
You have no idea how encouraging this is to read. I graduated when you did, by the sounds of it, but in my situation my SO of five years got a job across the country and I've been unable to follow because of not managing to get a career going. I've thought of every situation/solution possible, in my mind, but it's really encouraging to know that it's still possible to be surprised other options popping up. Does this mean managed to lasso a job in whatever industry you're aiming for, or an entry-type position? Either way, good for you making it happen!
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:iconsakya:
sakya Featured By Owner Mar 7, 2012  Professional Artist
clap clap. I m figuring out what to reply.

But maybe if I only clap my hands I'll make my point :)
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:iconteh-jinxie-girlie:
teh-jinxie-girlie Featured By Owner Mar 6, 2012  Student Filmographer
Great timing, I know a few people you need these words of wisdom. I wish you the best with whatever you do!
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:iconmox-ie:
mox-ie Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2012  Student Traditional Artist
i think you just read a thousand soon-to-be-grads minds'. great post- really reassuring! thank you!
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:iconameko-no-mori:
Ameko-no-Mori Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2012  Student Traditional Artist
Here here!! I have been going through the transition myself, and would love to second all this, as well as add my own two cents - that you should not let anyone convince you to entrench yourself in a full time job until you're CERTAIN is where you want to be. It's easy to lose yourself in being busy and not notice that the world is changing around you, and that you're growing up and missing opportunities in the fields you love. You do not need to work full time to be self-sufficient - you just need to be creative. Stay on people's couches in exchange for chores if you need to. I know that the money is tempting, but your youth and time is priceless. I am now personally quite happily situated working just about three hours a day, plus odd jobs maybe once a week, and am making enough to pay of my hefty loans. I'm living at my boyfriend's parent's house where I pay my keep by helping them file all of their records. I work at a publishing firm for no pay, I'm a tutor for pay, and I have the time in my mind to pursue my long-term career goals! (MA in education, down the road). So that's my two cents. Don't let anyone tell you that your time is worth money - it can be, but it's important to prioritize and stay healthy in this transition time - I say save the full time job for when you are certain of what you want in life (and if you're certain, kudos to you!)

(Also, thanks, your advice is super rocking! I have been feeling somewhat trapped - and am just now getting excited to go on some adventures and leave home base for a while. Nice to have that feeling affirmed - that this is our youth, and this is the time!)
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:iconitsanidiom:
itsanidiom Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I plan on leaving my safe English speaking Haven of Canada and move to Germany for at least a year D: I'm scared but at least I still have 1.5 - 2 years before I'll be able to grad
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:iconkierach:
Kierach Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2012
High five, same situation here.
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:iconobsessedkitten:
obsessedkitten Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Thank you ^__^ This is actually very uplifting~ Graduating in 2 months!
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:iconsilvercaffiene:
silvercaffiene Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
I'm graduating soon and you're totally right, it's hard not to see that any other course of action besides those typically presented to you as actual options. I keep telling myself not to be afraid but I guess there is that fear, that things don't work out. I'm glad to hear that someone out there is having this adventure (one that I dearly want to take part in), optimistic and getting through and enjoying the whole process. Best of luck to you as well! :)
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:iconnennnnnn:
nennnnnn Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2012
I started following you recently so I'm not informed - are you a student or these words are just a big tip on graduating students ?
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:icontoerning:
toerning Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2012
I graduated last year this time, so I have a very limited field of knowledge haha
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:icontheemmasaur:
TheEmmasaur Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Thank you very much for this =) Graduating has become very stressful for me and my friends at the moment, especially because we don't know what will happen after Uni is done. But that just makes the future more exciting!
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:iconpaperspiders:
PaperSpiders Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2012  Student Traditional Artist
Thank you!

I am an art student and this totally applies to me. I think you are right. I should take a leap.
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:iconcamelie:
camelie Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2012
so true, there's no one week when i thinnk of these times with melancholia... and now it's too late ! Great message :)
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:iconkenyu05kr:
Kenyu05KR Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2012  Professional Filmographer
This has been in my mind for a while too, I'm graduating from SVA in May and Its happening so fast! Hope all goes well. This post has atleast made me feel a little better about it :) I've yet to finish my thesis. good luck to you as well.
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:iconalicexz:
alicexz Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
LOVE. YOU.
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:iconproject-epic:
project-epic Featured By Owner Mar 4, 2012  Student Filmographer
Good lord your a diamond
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:iconxiao-hua:
Xiao-Hua Featured By Owner Mar 4, 2012  Student General Artist
Thanks! Graduation is a long way off for me, but I think keeping this in mind will definitely benefit me :>
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:icongabriela-birchal:
Gabriela-Birchal Featured By Owner Mar 4, 2012  Professional
I'm going through this right now.

It's been about 6 months since I've graduated and I was terrorized that I didn't know what to do. I'm taking a big risky bet right now, and I really don't know if it'll work, but I figured that the worst that could happen was for me to go back live with my parents. I'm not at least 10% sufficient, unfortunately, and being in a country that sees illustration as something not worthy is hard but I'm determined to become a good illustrator.

I was a little impressed when I read this journal, saying that you graduated recently. I've been following you not long ago, but your art looks so mature and well resolved that I figured you had at least 5+ years of experience with this. Your work is impressive, and it helps me a lot to see someone like you sharing this kind of knowledge. Thanks!
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:iconthatguyfromstuff:
ThatGuyFromStuff Featured By Owner Mar 4, 2012  Student Filmographer
Thank you
now all I have to do is remember that for 4 years....
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:iconpeterryczkowski:
peterryczkowski Featured By Owner Mar 4, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
good pep talk. not my shoes, but good words, wish i had them when i was youger
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:iconadelaidelee:
adelaidelee Featured By Owner Mar 4, 2012
Thank you for this! I try to remember this whenever I start freaking out about the future, but sometimes I need reminders like this.
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:iconominouscorn:
OminousCorn Featured By Owner Mar 4, 2012
Odd how I got to here... I was just looking at a pic of derpy hooves or something because a friend kept talking about it like it meant something. Anyway I stumbled upon this and while it doesn't really apply to me, I give you a thumbs up. I'm a senior in college about to graduate with a degree in biological science with a minor in chem and psych. I'm planning on trying to get into a decent medschool but the mcat and getting letters of recommendation seems very daunting right now. I grew up working on a farm and really would like to stay there but I can't disappoint my family who want a better life for me. Oh well, good luck artists.
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:iconominouscorn:
OminousCorn Featured By Owner Mar 4, 2012
Odd how I got to here... I was just looking at a pic of derpy hooves or something because a friend kept talking about it like it meant something. Anyway I stumbled upon this and while it doesn't really apply to me, I give you a thumbs up. I'm a senior in college about to graduate with a degree in biological science with a minor in chem and psych. I'm planning on trying to get into a decent medschool but the mcat and getting letters of recommendation seems very daunting right now. I grew up working on a farm and really would like to stay there but I can't disappoint my family who want a better life for me. Oh well, good luck artists.
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:iconmickeythewicked:
mickeythewicked Featured By Owner Mar 4, 2012
Thanks for this bit of inspiration! I'm only a freshman in college, but I still worry a lot about this sort of thing. I'll remember this as the years go by, and I will definitely try to take more risks (and work on my art diligently, of course).
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:iconsavagefrog:
SavageFrog Featured By Owner Mar 4, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I decided to take the safe route & not study art until I feel secure in my ability & finances. Most of the people from my university's art program are umployed & ended up with option no. 2. It's something that not even jumping on a plane can solve at the moment since there's way too many people in art-related fields that they end up drowning out each other....
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:iconjoshuaotero:
joshuaotero Featured By Owner Mar 4, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
I wish my wife and I got this kind of advice right after graduating art college. I'm now I'm in the option 2 position.
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:iconbriandanielwolf:
BrianDanielWolf Featured By Owner Mar 4, 2012  Student Digital Artist
Thank you for posting this. I've got another year before I graduate, but I'm still fretting about where I'll be going. Right now, I really just want to see the rest of the world and gain more life experience- I feel like I can't make truly great art until I've lived a bit more. I don't know how I'll do it, but that's my dream. In the meantime, I'll be making comics, and this fall I'll begin my senior thesis project- drawing and self-publishing an anthology of short comic stories- amongst a bunch of other projects classes. My hopes are that those will take me somewhere, but for now I'm just excited that I'll get to spend a whole school year doing what I love.
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:iconmiasus:
miasus Featured By Owner Mar 4, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Thanks, I have a senior show coming up in few days and this really helped me :)
Now I'm going through exactly same thing that you have been through last year, and I'm very nervous/excited for what will happen beyond RISD.
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:iconschnestel:
schnestel Featured By Owner Mar 4, 2012  Student Digital Artist
Thanks so much, I am going to print this out and hang it over my desk, while I'm working on my Bachelor project.
Should hold of the fear.
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:iconpatbollin:
patbollin Featured By Owner Mar 4, 2012
I'm 40 and have 3 degrees and, unfortunately, I have a mountain of debt to show for it. Student loans suck, but I can tell you that they suck even more when you can't pay them, because of a mountain of consumer debt to go with it (credit cards and such). My best advice is to stay away from consumer debt. It will suck your soul! Try to do everything on cash. Good luck with your plans (and risks) for your now and your future. It is a great adventure.
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:iconsillyhatpenguin:
SillyHatPenguin Featured By Owner Mar 4, 2012  Student
this is really reassuring!
i'm a few years away and all but i really felt the same away about college, that it was the ONLY option after high school
i would recommend to others a gap year, there's a lot of growing to be done in between
for whatever reason a gap year is more common in the uk
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:iconjunbowman:
JunBowman Featured By Owner Mar 4, 2012  Student General Artist
Great Journal. I can definitely relate.
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:iconhathien603:
Hathien603 Featured By Owner Mar 4, 2012
I love this, and I needed to hear it as well :tighthug:
Graduating college is scary business and I'm certainly not ready to be a big girl yet! I'm hoping I can find something in the art or equine industry. The good thing is I have two loving parents that will be overjoyed to have me living in their house again ;)

Good luck to all the other seniors of 2012! :w00t:
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:iconzamaranthine:
zamaranthine Featured By Owner Mar 4, 2012
Very inspiring, thank you!
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:iconfarlo:
Farlo Featured By Owner Mar 4, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
It's comforting to hear others (such as yourself) going through the same thing. I've been out of school for almost a year, moved to California, working small freelance jobs, and so far not totally independent. I was hoping with all the work/networking/etc. I did before graduation would help... but not really. Oh well I gotta say I've learned a whole bunch. Headed off to Germany this Wednesday.
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:iconmonavx:
monavx Featured By Owner Mar 4, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
It always pays off to take a risk, I think. I'm living in New York now in order to pursue my illustration career, and I am certain it was the right decision.
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:iconmusicfromtheceiling:
MusicFromTheCeiling Featured By Owner Mar 4, 2012
Yep, I'm planing to jump on a plane too, and go far away from france, somewhere in europe or canada, as I did for my internship (I discovered that moving inside of the european union was easier than I thought), I'm really looking forward to this because school starts to be really boring.
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:icondestructobot:
DestructoBot Featured By Owner Mar 4, 2012  Student General Artist
YOU READ MY MIND. These things are really great to know, thanks sooooo much for posting this!! If you don't mind me asking, what exactly did you do after graduating? Where did you go what did you do what are you doing now how did that happen etc?
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:icontoerning:
toerning Featured By Owner Mar 4, 2012
Haha of course I don't mind! Basically, Kai and I decided to move out here, and we started looking for places and found a sublet in Oakland from which we could look for a proper place in the city. He went on a day ahead of me and we soon discovered that Oakland is NOT ideal. We spent a terribly unpleasant few months trying to find accommodations in San Francisco. It was very discouraging. We came within a day's worth of misery of just packing everything in a Uhaul and heading up to Seattle where his mom lives, but as these things happen on the brink of disaster we found the ultimate place. Found a third roommate, we have a cat, it's hilariously idyllic.

In terms of work, I got hired to do a graphic novel pretty shortly after graduating, but unfortunately they were a little quick to draw and the script hasn't even been finished yet so I'm still waiting for them to send me a revised contract yadda yadda yadda. And in the meantime I'm working on some other short comics and a comic pitch for another guy and a sample for some folks at another publisher, which I'm tentatively optimistic for. Basically I'm sowing a lot of seeds and trying to make ends meet while I'm waiting for it to "come together." I've been taking a lot of odd jobs and doing some tutoring and stuff as well. Basically just doing every possible thing I can think of in which the areas of Art and Money overlap and seeing what strikes my fancy!
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:icondestructobot:
DestructoBot Featured By Owner Mar 4, 2012  Student General Artist
Sounds like an adventure! I'm getting horribly anxious about finding work after school especially since I don't have any internship experience and I just DON'T KNOW ANYTHING and I don't feel like my work is up to snuff etcetc... I just feel super tempted to fly away and work on a farm idk
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:icontoerning:
toerning Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2012
Internship experience is great because it gives you a one-up in terms of deciding what you would and would not be happy doing. The chances of you working in the exact field in which you had your internship, and therefore making 1:1 use of it, is very slim, but the chance of you learning about your working preferences is 100% so that's the only reason I would suggest it. In terms of it helping you find a job, you're not missing too much by having not done one.

Honestly, if you want to fly away and work on a farm, you know what I'm going to say. DO IT. The ONLY 100% guaranteed good results course after graduating is to do what you WANT, and I very highly value the skills and the self-awareness I learned during my year on a farm! (probably you were kidding, but the principle still stands!)
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:icondestructobot:
DestructoBot Featured By Owner Mar 6, 2012  Student General Artist
Ok... That's really interesting and good to know!

I was actually being pretty serious about it, wwoofing sounds super appealing right now ehehe

Anyways thanks again for posting this, it's just super encouraging and makes me feel so much better that someone anticipated my problems...
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:icontoerning:
toerning Featured By Owner Mar 9, 2012
Ah, Wwoofing. The life of a dirty hippie. I've got a friend who was wwoofing for a while and she had both good and bad spells so if you'd like me to get you in touch with her it might be helpful!

:heart: People naturally want to help. The world naturally wants to work in your favor. Without getting too woo-woo on you, we just gotta let it happen!
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:iconthepudding:
ThePudding Featured By Owner Mar 4, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
The jumping on a plane thing sounds nice haha. I wish it were an option for me.. I have no choice but to do two years of college, or ultimately disappoint my parents like my sister did...
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:iconnaruluvzramen:
NaruLuvzRamen Featured By Owner Mar 4, 2012
thanks for the kind advice! i'm graduating this year, so that's exactly what i'm thinking right now =D
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