Do your family approve of your choice to be an artist (be it full/part time professional or as a hobby that makes money)? At school did they insist that you focus on academic subjects? Did your art suffer as a result? When you left education did they tell you that you couldn't be an artist and that you had to get a "proper" job instead?
Now don't get me wrong, I love my parents and I know that they have only ever done what they thought was best for me. But as it turns out what's "best" for me isn't the same thing as making me happy. Over the past 10 years they've discouraged me from pursuing my art and I know that my resulting lack of confidence has affected my skills. I am currently trying to develop my art beyond being a hobby so that one day I may even be able to do it full time. However my parents make it perfectly clear they don't think this is going to happen and that I should just suck it up and get used to being stuck in an office forever. (Not a very attractive option.) They seem to have the misconception that being an artist is the slackers choice, faffing around, being lazy, and avoiding real work. But as we all know becoming a good artist takes a lot of hard work! They also like to cough up the old story of "there's no money" in art and how do I expect to live without money?
Chatting with a few close friends the other day I realised that they were in a similar position. Possibly the most talented artist I know works crazy hours at a desk job so never has time for the art she loves. And my other friend wants to reduce her work hours to part time so that she can focus more on the fantastic quilts and bags that she makes. Sadly such things are easier said than done in this world.
Please comment if you've had similar experiences with your family. Have your parents pressurised you to choose the GCSEs/A levels that they want you to study rather than what you want to study? I'd be really interested to see how prevalent this is and if over time they have come to realise that doing something you love as a job is not a crime!