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Name: Emmanuel Asante
Dreams of: Being an art teacher
I got a message on Facebook after one of my last diaries. A co-founder of the Western Sydney Ad School offered me a scholarship to one of their short courses. I told my mentor, Abdul Abdullah. He said that if he were me, he would take up the scholarship and do Tafe as well. I said OK, if that’s what you’d do, that’s what I’ll do too. I’m excited. I’m really hopeful.
The course will start in mid-February. I’ve signed up with the enrolment and everything. I’m now just waiting to hear back.
I remember when I decided to become an artist I told my teacher: “People are saying that being an artist is hard. There’s no money. There’s no career.” And my teacher told me to go after it, that you never know where it might lead. And here I am. Being a professional artist is something I never thought I would be. But look how it has turned out. It feels so surreal when I think about how tough things have been.
I thought I would be an art teacher. I still want to be one. If you want to become an art teacher you have to be very, very good. I don’t feel more insecure about that long-term goal. I always knew it was going to be hard.
But I am a little insecure in terms of exhibitions for this year. I don’t know if it will be like 2020, where almost every show I was in got cancelled. I don’t know if, when we get the vaccine, whether things will go back to normal, or if there’ll be restrictions all throughout this year.
Recently I was supposed to have an exhibition that got postponed because of Covid. I was due to get some money for art supplies – usually when you do a big commission for museums, galleries and so on you get given money for art supplies. So because the exhibition has been postponed, the money hasn’t come through for the supplies and I haven’t been able to buy any yet to get to work. But I’m promised it will come soon.
The new restrictions in Sydney have most affected my friends who are creatives. My friends who were doing art exhibitions and so on had their work postponed. But my friends who work in retail and customer service didn’t get affected. They were just told they need to wear face masks and it’ll be cool.
One friend of mine, who I used to go to high school with, has basically given up. He is a good artist, but because of what is going on it’s made him not want to do art. He wants to do something that will get easier money, something that he will be able to make a living from.
With Covid circulating around, my social artistic world has been limited. Most of my art and ideas are based on my personal experiences, and I take inspiration from movies. Drawing has become part of me. If I don’t draw or paint, I feel a bit empty inside. When I wake up in the morning, the first thing I do is paint and draw.
But my experiences outside my home have been limited. Whether the restrictions have been eased or not, I tend to say, ‘Oh, there’s no need for me to go out into the city or see a show at all. I’ll wait for the virus to die down.’ It’s limiting. Even going to the cinema. Being on public transport is a little bit worrisome. I prefer not to go in that way.
Tomorrow, though, I will go into my local Tafe campus for its open day and enrol.
I’m still quite hopeful I’ll be able to become an art teacher. Being an artist, I think there’s a 50-50 chance. I’m excited. I’m hopeful. I never dreamt it would come this soon. I expected the struggle for my art to be seen and for my career to start to take shape would be a very, very long one. My life has been a constant struggle. This time, things are going according to plan for the first time.
Source: The Guardian
Keyword: My life has been a constant struggle. Now things are going according to plan | Australia news