Ask an Almost-Adult

Every month, Lithium writer Alana James will be tackling your tough questions! The following inquiries were submitted anonymously.

Anonymous: What should I do if I’m in a situation where I feel isolated and left out while everyone has their own tight-knit friend groups?
Alana: I’ve found that if you are starting to feel isolated, the best thing to do is take a chance and try to make a new friend! I know it may seem difficult to do and that others may not accept you since they already have friends, but most people won’t object to a potential new best friend. I’m a senior, and I was a loner for most of high school. I only recently started socializing more and getting to know new people. One way to try to make a new friend is through group projects. Try to find things to talk about besides school until you find something that you both have in common—but make sure to get your work done!
I realize it may seem very nerve-racking to talk to someone first, but all friendships have to start somewhere. Some people feel more comfortable starting off friendships through texting and then that will progress to in-person communication. I hope this helps!

Anonymous: How do I convince my parents that art is a career I can pursue (in my case, film and photography)? They believe it isn’t a real job and that I won’t make money.
Alana: I believe this is one of the most common conflicts of our generation—deciding whether or not to pursue art. I’m also currently going through a similar situation, and the thing that stuck with my parents is letting them know how passionate I was about an artistic career. Once they realized how unhappy I would be with anything else, they became very considerate and—though not completely agreeing with the choice—added in some conditions. For example, I could pursue an arts degree while having a minor in something business-related, or go to a school that will allow me to be exposed to different areas of the field so that I can have more versatile skills.

Parents want the best for us, and because of that, they fear the future hardships we may endure as the result of inconsistency in an art field. I recommend sitting down with your parents and talking about the different options you have that will enable you to still study film/photography while still maintaining a reliable income in your career. Best of luck!

Anonymous: I’m trying to put together some type of poetry book/zine and I’m figuring out the pricing. What are some factors that may define it?
Alana: Something very important to consider is what you believe it is actually worth. When I say this, I don’t mean on a scale of $1-$100, how talented am I and what should people pay for my amazingness? But how much time and effort was put into your work? Considering the quantity of your creations is also a huge factor. Many starting zine creators & art sellers worry about whether their pricing is too high. Despite this, be aware that there is nothing wrong with wanting to make profit off of your works—don’t sell a $5 work for $1.

In regards to price ranges, be aware that since you are just starting out, your goal is to make your work widely available and accessible to a wide range of people in order to become more well known. I’d personally say $3-$5 is a nice starting point, though you should heavily take into consideration the quantity you are releasing so that you are selling at a reasonable price. Good luck!

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