Written by: Emma Woodward
Thursday, 9 December 2021
If you’ve ever been given career or life advice, then at some stage, you’ve probably been told to, “Follow your dreams”. If you want to pursue a creative career, then you will be following your dreams, but that isn’t always easy to do if your family members don’t support your choice.
Whether you’re in Year 10 choosing your subjects for your final years of high school, navigating Year 12 and getting ready to apply for university courses, or a graduate deciding which course offer to accept, you might find your family urging you to choose something more practical, to follow the kind of career path that they followed themselves, or even to avoid making the so-called mistakes that they believe they made in their own careers.
It can be difficult to stick to a creative career path in the face of opposition from your own family, but it will be worth it in the end.
So, how do you get your family to support you in your creative career choice?
It’s pretty unlikely that your parents or wider family members are horrible people who want to see you miserable. If they’re raising objections to you pursuing a creative career, then it’s probably because they’re worried about you.
Try to find out exactly what your family’s concerns are. In the process, they will see that you do value their opinions, which can only be a good thing if you want them to listen to yours. After all, communication is a two-way street.
Find out why your parents think that a creative career is a bad idea. Do they think that it’s vague and impractical? That you’ll never make any money? Or do they have a very traditional view of “proper” careers (doctor, lawyer, accountant)?
Now that you know what your parents’ or family members’ objections are, you can address them.
If they’re worried that the creative industries don’t offer opportunities for secure careers, then find and talk to people in the industry who have successful careers. We may be biased, but we believe that AIT tours and info sessions, open days, and grad talks are a great way to prove that careers in the creative industries are viable. They are a way of finding real-world examples of successful creatives to replace your family’s stereotypes of struggling artists.
You’ll also be able to gain a greater understanding of specific career paths. Creative careers are broad. Here at AIT, we offer courses in 2D animation, 3D digital design, game design, film and video, games programming, and mobile app development. Our graduates have gone on to pursue diverse careers, proving that every one of these disciplines offers the opportunity for a very real and rewarding career.
As you ask your parents or family members to understand your choice for a creative career, try to think about the things that they value. Do they believe in pursuing careers with the greatest earning potential? Careers where you can help others? Careers similar to their own, whether that be in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) or another field that seems far removed from the creative disciplines?
Take this chance to show them how a creative career can take you in many different directions, and that with dedication and the right training, you will be able to find fulfilling work.
Sometimes people think of creativity as something frivolous. Something to be enjoyed as a hobby or in leisure time, rather than as a serious career. But our world needs creative people.
Let’s look at 3D digital design for a moment. Pursuing 3D animation may seem to be a very specialised career path, but it can still take you in many different directions. 3D animations are used to entertain, inform, plan, and predict. 3D animators often work in STEM fields, creating technical or medical simulations, or instructional content.
Through the educational content that they create, 3D animators are uniquely placed to pursue a career that helps others.
3D animators are skilled professionals, and their talents can be used in a variety of ways.
In what at first sounds like a bizarre set of events, animators who worked on Disney’s Frozen recently helped to find answers to a 62-year-old tragedy, known as the Dyatlov Pass incident.
In 1959, nine Russian hikers disappeared and were later found dead in what seemed like very strange and grim circumstances.
This incident has been the subject of investigation and speculation ever since, but when the head of the Swiss Snow and Avalanche Simulation Laboratory (SLAB), Johan Gaume watched Frozen, he marvelled at the realistic depiction of snow, and set out to learn more.
Working with the specialist responsible for Frozen’s snow effects, Gaume modified the film’s snow animation code for his avalanche simulation models and was able to more accurately simulate the impacts that avalanches would have on the human body, determining that an avalanche (not aliens, not secret military tests, not Yetis) could have plausibly caused the tragedy.
Think about that for a second. A professor who specialises in snow and avalanches called on the expertise of the animators of a children’s movie to solve an unsolvable case.
You see, 3D digital design, (or 2D animation, game design, film and video, games programming, and mobile app development) might seem to be purely creative, but that creativity is underpinned by dedication and skill. You might not be called upon to solve mysteries that are over half a century old every day, but as a creative professional you will combine your incredible technical ability with out-of-the-box thinking, and the world will always need people like that.
If you’d like to find out more about a career in the creative industries, then register to attend an AIT event (and bring your family along too). We regularly host free industry talks, demonstrations, and workshops, and our course advisors are always available to answer your questions about AIT and the creative careers that our courses can lead to. Or you can download a course guide today.