My Child Wants to Be an Artist: I Worry About Their Future

If your child wants to be an artist, consider these recommendations before starting to worry about their future.
My Child Wants to Be an Artist: I Worry About Their Future

Last update: 10 July, 2023

“Mom, Dad… I want to be an artist.” This is a statement that many parents prefer not to hear from their children because they believe that this type of profession doesn’t allow them to achieve a good standard of living from an economic point of view. On the contrary, they’d prefer that young people choose more secure and stable career paths, as some traditional careers are believed to be. Are you worried because your child wants to be an artist?

It’s clear that as parents, we want the best for our children. For that reason, we’ll always prefer that they take the paths that we consider to be the best. However, each person chooses their own path in life. Once autonomous, young people will make many decisions that won’t coincide with our beliefs or values. In the following article, we’ll help you face this situation.

Living as an artist

The working world is undergoing profound transformations that often leave us speechless. Until a few years ago, the range of possibilities, when it came to choosing a professional field, wasn’t as wide and diverse as it is today. And we’re not talking about a matter exclusive to the field of work. On the contrary, the enormous number of possibilities out there is a reality that encompasses the whole of life, from the most superficial aspects to the most profound.

This makes us think that the world has become so complex that those professional paths that seemed to assure a good future in the past no longer represent any guarantee. The same is true the other way around. Those professions that, until recently, seemed like a waste of time can now come to pleasantly surprise us.

It’s true that making a living from art includes a certain amount of uncertainty, as the music, film, theater, photography, or drawing industries aren’t exactly predictable scenarios. However, this doesn’t mean that the future of young people determined to dedicate themselves to the world of art is destined to be lacking in resources. So, if your child wants to be an artist, be careful not to react too quickly.

A teenage girl in an acting class.
Generally, young people have a lot of information about how the fields they’re interested in work. In addition, the art world offers a wide range of possibilities.

How to accompany a child who wants to be an artist?

It makes sense that as parents, we don’t like it when a child wants to be an artist. It’s likely that, according to our perception, the world of art seems dangerous or indisputably fragile. For we interpret reality through our own eyes. However, now more than ever, we must know that the reality we see isn’t absolute nor is it the only one that’s valid.

Here, we’ll share with you some recommendations to accompany the decision of your child who wants to devote themself to any of the branches of art without losing your mind.

1. Listen to what they have to say

Before reacting impulsively and answering: “An artist? Are you aware that you’re going to starve to death? The last thing they need right now is for you to be unwilling to listen to them. The idea isn’t for them to try to convince you, but for them to feel safe sharing an idea, a desire, or a personal decision with you.

Your child may later be interested in hearing your opinion, as long as you’re able to give them a partial answer. For now, listen to what they say and draw your conclusions: Do you listen to them with confidence? Do you think they idealize the artistic world? Do you think they’re mature enough to take into account both the pros and the cons? What do they say they want to achieve by being an artist? Are they motivated? Do they really like it?

2. Learn from them

Young people tend to spend a lot of their time listening to music they’d like to make at some point, watching the kind of movies they’d like to act in, or attending arts events they’d love to be a part of someday. At the same time, they’re interested in researching and learning from the creative processes of their favorite artists, as well as understanding the paths that led them to success. In this regard, it’s more than advisable that you avoid falling into adultcentrism and be able to take a curious and humble attitude when listening to your child’s contributions. Don’t underestimate their ability to take on new challenges.

Another attitude of parents that isn’t at all convenient is to conceive professions in the form of pyramids; that’s to say, from higher to lower in value. This attitude attempts to establish hierarchies of careers according to subjective criteria, for example; the administrative type jobs are basic, law is a task for hucksters, artistic professions are for strange people, etc. These prejudices are basically born from the parents’ lack of information regarding these careers.

– Erika Llerena –

A teenage boy talking to his mother about playing the guitar.
Your opinion will probably be very valuable to your child. Tell them what you think with clear, but not unquestionable arguments. It’s important that you can give them a perspective that’s as unbiased as possible.

3. Give them your point of view

Remember that you want what’s best for them and that in no way do you want them to feel threatened by you. Try not to give them authoritative directions on how they should live their life. Once you’ve entered your child’s world of interest, simply offer your perspective and share your vision. No one denies that you have more experience than they do. But try not to give them a rigid speech in which you unfold what life’s like and what the working world is like.

4. Support their decision

This point may be the most difficult, but it’s also the most important. Family support is, without a doubt, a fundamental element for young people to go through the transition to adulthood in a pleasant and enjoyable way. Remember that supporting their decision doesn’t mean agreeing with it, but rather, validating and accompanying their choice from a loving place.

In addition, you can encourage them to be trained in the discipline they want to pursue, as well as help them to enhance their sense of responsibility. Often, an artist is also an entrepreneur. In this regard, building an entrepreneurial mentality and carrying it out effectively will be a challenging task. If your child wants to be an artist, choose to encourage their critical thinking and help them not to get carried away by the excessive enthusiasm that a seductive project can arouse.

The most important thing is happiness

Ultimately, what matters most to us is that our children are happy and able to live an enjoyable and authentic life. Encourage them to have the courage to take risks in order to grow personally and enjoy their relationships, their work, and their time.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Llerena Carpio, E. Y. (2019). Influencia de los padres de familia en la elección vocacional de los estudiantes del nivel secundaria de la institución educativa 40194 “Ricardo Palma” de Secocha del distrito de Mariano Nicolás Valcárcel-Camaná, Arequipa 2018.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.