Whether you’re studying liberal arts, music, film or creative writing, you've probably gotten certain reactions when telling people what your major is that were slightly different from the ones that your non-artist peers receive.
From the highly positive comments that give you hope, yet remind you how far you have to go, to the slightly judgmental quips that will make you want to punch someone, here are the main phrases you might hear from various people around Montreal.
1. "But can you get a job in the future with that?"
This one is usually from the friend of yours that has his or her future all planned out, and whose plan will go pretty smoothly – or at least smoother than yours. Usually they're not really trying to shame you or anything, they just legitimately don’t know what the hell you’ll be doing next.
2. "So, like, you want to be a teacher or…?"
Another one from those who don’t really know what you are going to do with your future. Except this time they already assume that whatever you’re planning to do is just not really going to work out anyway.
3. "Oh, you’re an artist! Yeah, I’m an artist too. I paint! But you can’t really live off that, so now I drive taxis."
This one is usually said in a condescending tone. And it's most definitely depressing to hear! You usually hear it when you meet someone who used to have the same hopes and dreams as you but is now part of "those who didn't make it". You can comfort yourself knowing that he probably was not as serious in his art as you are right now.
4. "So.. you have a plan B right?"
This is the legitimately worried one. It can come from your best friend at law school, but usually it comes from Mom and Dad. Sometimes your parents are completely supportive of what you're doing, and sometimes they are supportive but are still not sure about that dream of yours. They just want you to be 100% sure that you know what you're doing.
5. "Good luck at McDonald’s!"
Usually coming from strangers on the Internet. Ignore that one, it’s sh*t!
6. "You're so lucky! It must be so easy to study that. You just have fun all day and get good grades!"
Because apparently being serious at something is easy when it involves the arts! This one is usually coming from friends in a highly technical field that feel like anything that is not what they are studying is a piece of cake. Lots of people don't see all the hard work involved when it comes to the arts, but finals week is just as hard in the theatre program as it is anywhere else.
7. "Oh my god! That is so interesting! This is so cool! I'm friends with an artist now!"
From your first fan ever! This one is kind of bittersweet because it comes from that friend of yours that already treats you like a pro, when really you still don't know what the hell you're doing. Sometimes it's still pretty sweet to hear though!
8. "I can’t wait ‘til you get rich and live in NYC or Hollywood!"
Kind of like the one above, this will be said by that friend of yours who is really intrigued by what you are doing, and shows a lot of enthusiasm while also being pretty delusional. You don’t really want to crush their dreams though. You politely answer that you will take baby steps.
9. "Can you draw me/ show me one of your pieces?"
This is from the type of person that will only ever want to see you again for one thing: to get a piece of your art. Whether they want to see and keep something from you, or have you produce something for them, they will not let you get away without it.
10. "So you’re going to be the next [insert extremely famous artist here]!"
This is from one of your parents' friends when they proudly tell him/her what you’re doing in college! They are vaguely aware of what your courses involve and you will have to correct them quite a few times about your career of choice. You wouldn't mind that much if you didn't have to repeat to them that you're not going to become a legend.
11. "If you really want it then go ahead and work hard for it!"
This one is from your inspiration, your best friend, your mom or whatever awesome person wants you to achieve what you want. It's one of those sentences full of cliché that feels way too optimistic, but that you still kind of keep in the back of your head at the same time.