Quick Poll: Did your Family and Friends Discourage You From Becoming an Artist?

I recently read an article about Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Records, Virgin Airlines and serial entrepreneur, where he talked about the reluctance many people feel when trying to decide whether to leave steady employment to begin a new business venture. Comments on the article included many references to the added challenge of having friends and family members who discouraged taking the risk of starting a new business.

When my wife Carrie and I decided to start Xanadu Gallery in 2001, we were very fortunate to have moral and financial support from family members. Their encouragement had a huge impact on our ability to get the gallery off the ground. Even more important, their ongoing support through the difficult early years and the recession that began in 2007 were crucial in helping us keep the business going.

Branson’s article got me thinking about the challenge it is for an artist to take the plunge and pursue art full time, and it made me wonder how big a factor family members and friends were in the decision making process. I’ve certainly heard stories of young artists being discouraged from pursuing art as a profession.

Which leads me to a quick poll. Did the people closest to you, your family and friends, encourage or discourage your pursuit of art as a profession? Vote in the poll below, and then share your experiences or thoughts on the influence friends or family have had on your pursuit of your art – please share your thoughts in the comments below.

How supportive were family and friends when you considered pursuing art as a career?

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  1. Allan
  2. Stan R
  3. Clint Struthers
  4. Jenna Citrus
  5. Anne-Marie Smith
  6. Debbie Roberts
  7. Frank Wilson
    • Susan N Jarvis
  8. P. Bingham
  9. Ian Griffiths
  10. Stephen R Carpenter
  11. Lynda
  12. Christopher Roche
  13. Marianne Hornbuckle
  14. Norman Bean
    • Glenis
  15. Kathleen Mekailek
  16. Marita Cheney
  17. Kimberley
  18. Nancy Hughes
  19. Bill
  20. Karen Blanchet
    • Glenis
  21. Lynn Foskett
  22. Glenis
  23. Eugenie
  24. Suganthi Manickam
  25. V. P.Maguire
  26. Paul Harman
  27. Danielle Hatherley
  28. Paul Corfield
  29. Claudia
  30. Anna
  31. Jo
  32. Suganthi Manickam
  33. Susan N Jarvis
  34. David Randall
  35. Sonja Caywood
  36. Kate Klingensmith
  37. Mary Pargas
  38. Jacquie Vaux
  39. Katya Coad
  40. Jim Cochrane
  41. Julia Lesnichy
  42. Lori Woodward
  43. Jennifer McGill
  44. Chuck Middlekauff
  45. Melissa Skarsten
  46. Elizabeth Lane
  47. Stephanie Marcus
  48. Arthur Benjamins
  49. Cathy Fields
  50. Barry Gordon
  51. Charlotte Shroyer
  52. Jane Forth
  53. Patrice A Federspiel
  54. Marcia
  55. Circe
  56. Sarah
  57. Amelia Furman
  58. Simba TANGAI
    • Elaine Nehm
  59. Tabitha Benedict Aaron
  60. Audrey McNeill
  61. kathy
  62. Suganthi Manickam
    • Kathy
  63. Catherine Holland
  64. Kamilla
  65. Lillian Winkler
  66. Elisabeth Ladwig
  67. Carolyn Young
  68. Carolyn Young
  69. Andrew Wilkins
  70. Andrew Wilkins
  71. Christene
  72. Terry

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