This is my first time posting here, but I have to ask all of you for some advice. Actually, I was thinking of posting this thread in the Advice forum, but I felt like the topic here is more specialized for my specific concern (even though I have no self-made comic to share). If this thread actually belongs to the Advice forum, sorry for the mistake and feel free to move it for me!
Basically my concern is whether I should take a gap year from my random-bachelor's degree education to learn how to draw (ta-da, that's why I'm asking you guys). Knowing that many of you consider yourselves people who've seriously dedicated themselves to making comics, I thought it would make good sense to ask you if taking a gap year to "learn how to draw" for comics sounded like a reasonable choice in your guys' minds.
Some of you might ask why (if I want to "seriously dedicate" myself to comics) my education isn't related to comics/learning how to draw in the first place. I could do studio art, but the program here isn't really great (the focus is on theoretical highbrow stuff and not so much on technical skills-building) and if I'm not going to get a solid foundation out of it, it would scare the crap out of me to graduate with a fine arts degree and not have anything serious to offer --> starving, useless artist.
What that points out is that I don't really have an art foundation in the first place (with or without the studio arts program). I can draw all right from observation, but basically all I know is self-taught and some vague, general guidelines from some drawing books. It's always an abstract, strange process when I try to shade any of my life drawings and kind of tortuous even when it mysteriously works out. I doubt I'm really going about that like I should be, and likewise for a dozen other aspects of drawing... Drawing characters free-hand I'm an absolute beginner at (the "doodling" stage).
But since I want it to actually seem like I'm serious about one day being able to put comics out there, I want to take the time to learn how to draw. Unfortunately, the way I am I can't do both academics and learning how to draw at the same time. So, I thought I could take a gap year. Here's what that would entail:
- I would try to get a job in the summer first, and if by the middle of summer I'd have something secured, I could let my school know I plan on taking a year of absence.
- I would work at least part-time (20 hrs/week = $640 a month). This would barely cover my rent ($400 a month) and food while staying the same area as my school.
- Drawing: I kind of want to take a drawing course on the side, but failing that financially I could at least practice on my own. Somehow I would practice enough until I magically became actually skilled at it.
The way I see it, if this actually works out I don't have much to lose. I'll still have my degree to go back to once the year ends and my plan entails not dipping out of my savings (which I do have, but I'm reserving to pay back my debt for education). The only thing is that I'm not pursuing some leadership positions I could because I might end up doing the gap year, and it does put my mom through inconvenience I can't go into.
Two risks that do exist are
1) if I get a part-time job, I will lose it somehow and have to take out of my savings after all.
2) even if I manage to keep my part-time job, nothing will come out of trying to learn drawing so it will all be a waste of hardship anyway.
I actually have what feels like a track record of failure (like learning how to draw over summer, or studying well enough to do pre-optometry) when it comes to doing things.
But I'd rather try and fail than not try at all.
That's is my rationale for taking a gap year, but for some reason I still feel threatened like I'm thinking of doing something foolish. When I bring up the gap year to other people, they advise me to "talk more with other people about it" and "think about it longer." My mom seems opposed to it, and that matters a lot to me. Ultimately I fear that I don't have the talent or seriousness in me to bring myself up to a professional caliber, or that even if I do it's not a guarantee of success.
I guess I just want people to tell me if I'm being foolish or not, but at least from people who actually think about making comics as an actual pursuit. Could you guys offer me that input? Sorry..., I know that I write in a prolonged manner so this post is lengthy, but I really do hope to get some advice from here.