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Thread: Career future

  1. #1

    Default Career future

    So, big question here. I am going into mechanical engineering, and i do enjoy the engineering classes a good bit, they are actually pretty cool. However it has always been my dream to go into ceramics art. I know that the life of an artist can often be challenging financially, but I feel really confident in my ability to produce quality products, and art of unique and intriguing style.
    My problem is the conflict in my mind. The best way i can explain it, is the feeling of being trapped. I feel like for one, i am trapped by the expectations of my parents, which i don't think is entirely bad, it helps to have someone who has high hopes for you, however it is stressful not wanting to disappoint someone, while you want something else for yourself. I also feel trapped in myself, because I know that i am capable of being a mechanical engineer, and two things arise because of it. 1) is that i wan't to be capable of raising a family, and i know i can if i am an engineer. 2) i don't want to think to myself that i am giving up because of the stresses, thinking to myself I collapsed because I felt like school was kicking my butt.
    The thing is, I also don't want to feel like to myself that I gave up on my dream. Whenever i get stressed out from school, i'll say "i just wish i could be a potter." Along with that, is that my long term plan is to get through school as an engineer, and then to become a potter as soon as i can, weather it be before or after retirement, depending on what works best. I also know that there are potters in the world that make a fine living and have a happy family, which is all that i want, i don't want to be a genius, i just wan't to be a good person, with a good life.
    So I don't know what my feelings are telling me, weather i should be patient, or weather i should reach for my dream. Honestly I know that the path will be challenging, but i know i will do good, and will love it.

    Any advice?

  2. #2


    Ceramics engineering! There makeing engines and spacecraft and cutting tools and all sorts of stuff out of ceramics. You'd gain a knowledge base of the stuff to enable you to push your art to the limit while makeing a living playing with the stuff you like.

  3. #3


    Yeah, i have considered the idea. Still veers away from my ultimate goal a little, but it would be a good middle ground. Still not sure about the idea though, i'd have to start off as a materials engineer which would require a lot more chemistry and a better understanding of some really abstract principles which kind of give me the creeps. But i do admit that i would know some killer info about ceramics that could revolutionize my art.

  4. #4


    Easy-do the pottery as a hobby. If you've found a decent job, you'll be able to afford some supplies, and it might serve as a good stress reliever after a long day mechanically engineering. And yeah, if you have room in your schedule, take a couple of materials classes and who knows, maybe you'll be that guy that's making a mint because you made some new awesome thing.

  5. #5


    As a kid, I always wanted to be a church organist. My parents wanted me to be a teacher, at least, because you couldn't make much money as an organist. I went to Westminster Choir College in Princeton, New Jersey, and got my degree as a performing artist, pipe organ as my instrument. I struggled to pay the bills until my wife and I moved, me going to a job as a church music director/organist, and my wife a teacher. Even so, things were financially tight as we raised our family. Eventually the church which employed me fell on hard times and I left.

    Now I work as a teacher assistant during the day, and a part time church music director during the evenings and Sunday morning. I've struggled and I'm not happy with the arrangement, but for many years I was relatively happy making beautiful music, playing concerts and being aired on WVTF, pulic radio.

    You have to decide, can you be happy as an engineer, or will you regret not following your dream. You can do both, as has been suggested. That is what I'm doing now, but I would rather be a full time church musician in a large successful church. If you choose ceramics, you should think about opening a studio so that you can teach others. You will have to be creative in order to make a living. There could be some very lean times. If you get your engineering degree and don't like being an engineer, you can start ceramics in your spare time, and slowly build a business, eventually leaving engineering. It's all up to you.

  6. #6


    Thanks for the personal experience dogboy. Yeah, I really wan't to go into it, even though i know it would be a struggle, i think i could make it through. Although it wouldn't hurt either to keep it as a hobby until i have made it through engineering and gotten established, and then tried to set up a foundation in ceramics. I just go through a lot of moments where i think to myself, why wait for later when i know it is possible to do it now. Anyhow, I have gone back to the conclusion that i aught to give engineering some more time, although i sure wouldn't mind changing majors to ceramics art. I think i can be happy as an engineer, i just know that if i don't become a potter later in life, i'm going to regret it, which just causes me all of the more to want to start now.

  7. #7


    Usually when it comes to big decisions i just wait and see if i feel anything diffent later on when it actually comes closer to that oppertunity. My life dream is becoming a diaper wearing psychologist since i enjoy helping other but yet that goal is hard to meet.

    The only advice i could think of is before becoming potter, get some clay and try to makes some pots yourself and see what kind of feeling that gives you when you handle with things like that. The challenge of doing that is probably not having the right tools to help make pots, so if thats the case then try to still form something from clay. If you are really intrested in it afterwards i say go for that dream job and don't let anyone hold you back from your happiness. =)

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