Posted on December 18, 2017
I love painting. But everyone in my family is totally against it. I am from a small town where anything other than engineering is not considered a profession. Whenever they see me painting or drawing, I am scolded. What do you suggest I should do?
This question was asked to me by a 17-year-old guy I met the other day. Out of your own life experiences, big or small, what would you advice this guy?
Touchwood, I have been fortunate in this regard since my family has never forced me. I was given liberty to exercise and practise whatever field of study and career I wanted to opt for. However, to the 17 year old one, I’d suggest that you should follow your heart. Initially, your parents will be against you, but you should prove them your worth in drawing and painting and show them what all you can do with drawing. Impress them to such a point that they have no option but to agree and approve. You can start contacting people who are already into professions related to painting, collaborate with them, work free for them, and learn as much as you can about the insides of the profession.
I’m going through the same issue and would suggest what I prefer to do. You can work on both your current studies and painting. Obtaining optimum marks would suffice, and simultaneously, you must expand your boundaries in painting. Its just to show you can be good at engineering too but don’t want to be one among the crowd. I know it won’t be easy; maybe that’s why great things take time. All the best to you.
There are primarily 2 reasons why parents don’t allow for painting or any such creative professions.
1. They are not aware that painting can make money. At max, they would know MF Hussain or Raja Ravi Verma (which is also rare), and these people made money pretty late in life. So parents are just concerned at the end of the day that you should not ruin your life.
2. They fear what will the society say, and at the same time, they are apprehensive about you excelling in painting.
Since you are 17 years old, what I would suggest is do a little research about streams, colleges and career options, famous painters, exhibitions, etc. to be first sure of how strongly you want to pursue this. If you feel it’s just a hobby, put your head down for engineering and continue painting as a hobby. If you really want to pursue this professionally, then you need to gather the proper knowledge so that you can talk. Parents won’t say no if they see your conviction and how serious you are about it. You need to make them realize it’s not always about money.
Convincing parents is not at all an easy task, and you should do so when you are sure that you want to pursue your career in painting only. Tell the pros and cons of engineering to your parents, also tell them that it’s not necessary that you will get the highest paid job after completing your engineering as there are only a few who grab the highest paid packages – that to in IIT’s.
Though I have been in this kind of situation, my parents allowed me to do what I wanted to do by putting various conditions in front of me. I had no other option then to agree, and this is what I did but I was happy because I was doing what dreamt of.
I don’t know what’s the actual situation but I would suggest that you must try to convince them in any manner if you are sure that painting is your call. If you really want it, no matter what the situations around, you must go for it.
(Edited by Saurabh Srivastava)