What kind of advice would you give to the young generation?

Try yourselves in as many fields of art as you can. It is essential to be able to express your feelings. Play music, write or paint, it does not matter which, just create things. It is good for everyone.

“Study well, study well, study well,
So your brain does not shrink!
Study well so others cannot scorn you,
and so you don’t need to hide with shame!”
(Excerpt from the slam video Tudás hatalom – Knowledge is Power)

EMŐKE: Master at least one foreign language!
TAMÁS: Do not take any advice! So many people try to put you on the ‘right track’, teach you or educate you. However, only you can know clearly what you want. But then you should really know it, and never lose sight of it.

Well, I am also just at the start of my career. :-) You need to be sharp, whatever path you decide to follow. You need to perform 100% in your field, use the opportunities, or even create opportunities and use them, exploit them with empathy. Not with force. You need to make compromises to some extent, and work a lot. Don’t whine. It is easy to complain. Find solutions instead.

As I am also a teacher, and so, this is the most difficult question. Now I would have to give something like a recipe, something that would be general and also witty, but in effect, useless. Everybody needs something different. Ultimately, what you need to achieve is the joy of immersing into what you do, a high level of absorption and focusing. This is the pleasure of creation... But I don’t like big-sounding words.

Their main problem seems to be lack of concentration, so yes, learn to concentrate, and only say what you really believe is true, learn to appreciate the difference between something desirable and something you desire and so forth.

Alas, many of those commonly repeated American platitudes happen to be all too true. You need perseverance and a will of iron. If you strongly believe in something and you feel it to be your calling, stand by it no matter what, and be strong enough to stay on your feet. Life will give you the chance you need to get going at the right moment. The only question is whether you’ll be ready there and then - spiritually, intellectually, professionally and humanly.

They should seek the thing in which they can realise themselves through being creative. They should try to live as consciously and freely as possible. They should focus on pleasure but live in moderation. I advise them to follow the path of freedom, because freedom is a great responsibility and, to my mind, the greatest responsibility there is.

They should look up to the sky more often and realise that everything is fleeting and the universe is infinite, which means things that seem unreal can also be real, though they may only be sensed, rather than being visible.

Refuse to conform to expectations. It’s a cliché, but there you go.

I think every child and every young adult can be absorbed by something once they figure out what suits them and what they enjoy. Children are better at making decisions or simply more daring and braver. When children can retain that for a long time and stick to their dreams rather than attempting to meet the world’s expectations, they can be really happy. It doesn’t matter what they actually do; they will always feel happy doing that. They should keep themselves in training and always seek out new challenges. That brings new experiences, which is good both for them and those around them.

My advice is not to take advice from anyone.

Usually, it’s no use giving advice to the youth; however, if I were to give some anyway, I would tell them to be curious and keep their curiosity their whole lives.

KCsCs: I feel like a 20-year-old in spirit, so I’d rather be careful and give only some general advice, the most important of those, in my opinion, is to hang on to your self-identity.
ZK: Fight for your truth and for justice.

I used to believe I did not have a chance to have a career. I was too late. I was 37 when I came to Hungary. I did not speak languages, and I was not part of the art circles. It took 4 years to get into Erika’s Gallery (Erika Deák). He (God) says that we have hope in our hearts, He shows you the road, and He can put you on the road. He wanted me to be an artist, even before my mother or my father was born. I would like to advise the young generation to find God, He will give them the road, He will give them protection. The artist has a duty to the society. Our duty is to be ourselves. And God wants to help us understand it.

Can I give some clichéd answers? It’s only clichés that come to my mind right now. But let’s say they should take these clichés to heart because there’s a reason they have become clichés. They should listen to American BS like “You can do it” and “Never give up”. My other piece of advice to them is to be informed. They shouldn’t be forced to do anything they don’t like – or should they? I’m also a bit undecided when it comes to myself – what I force myself into and what I don’t – it is all a little fuzzy.

As Yoda put it, “Do, or do not. There is no try.”

I could not really give them any advice. I feel sorry for them that they have to live in a world that depends on technology.

They should be open-minded. They’d better keep the gates of their mind open as long as they can. And they should learn a lot. They should learn to live and let live. It’d be great if people could understand the importance of this principle in this country. They should live life as if they only lived once even if they know it is not the case. And whenever life happens to present them with an opportunity, they should recognize it and make sacrifices to seize it.

They should only listen to themselves. For every question, they have the answer inside them. They should have the courage to look inside themselves, ask questions - ask and it shall be given them. There is infinite creative potential in every person. There is the touch of the divine in each of us; we all have the power to create.

I think perhaps responsiveness is the most important thing. The current generation is different from the one before it. In my father’s generation, people went to school, did one job their whole lives and then retired. Now it is not uncommon to see your job become superfluous in three years’ time. That’s why being able to adapt fast is so important. At the same time, we’re the first generation that needs to work all our lives until we die. There are hardly any self-sufficient young people under 30, hardly any jobs available once you’re 40, and practically none for people above 50. That means you have about 10 years to make something of yourself.

Not to be seduced by the outward too much, all the richness is inside us…

Play as much as you can. Get a feel for as many professions as possible. Stay where you feel most comfortable, where you’re not even aware of the passing of time. I recommend manual work, with all kinds of materials and trades; no philosophy, no humanities at all. I would ban writing and reading. These things contaminate people; I would encourage manual work only. Europe believes it can just sit around and think while China works. But this is not the way to go. We need creativity; drawing is very important. There are many different drawing methods and a good sense of shape and proportion is critical. Drawing is also an important part of Germany’s economy for example; they produce many drawing books. This is from what society can create added value.

They should live in peace with themselves and others. They should be honest with themselves and those around them. I was a teacher for 12 years and I always told my students that if they lived a consistent and honest life with a single purpose, they would find their place. I’m fortunate because this has been granted to me.

They should keep an open mind and should gather as many experiences as they can and let themselves be touched by other fields of art instead of just sticking to the genres that they like. In other words, they should let themselves be inspired.

They should realise that we are all born into facts and processes of art history and into the universal situation of contemporary art. We need to define our special roles and find ourselves within that context.

I’m reluctant to give advice, because I can still remember that when I was younger I didn’t listen to anyone.

Live your life to the fullest. Not in grey, but in full colour.

I always tell my elder son to read a lot. I have the impression that young people don’t read much these days.

József: They should have integrity and love.
Ibolya: They should be persistent and not give up after their first failed attempt. They should keep on trying.

I could talk about a lot of things. However, the first thing that came to my mind right now is travelling. Maybe because it played an important role in my life. Spend some time abroad if you can, whether for a short time or a longer stay. It’s definitely worth it. You can gain so many new experiences, and it can improve your relationship towards yourself and the people around you a great deal.

Try to make a living of doing what you love. Everybody gets old, and if you spend your life doing what you do not really like, you will realise that you have done nothing.

Do you really want to get me started on this? “Péter Egri: Paraenesis ...” Let’s just skip it.

There are two kinds of answers to that: things that have worked for me, and things that haven’t. I’d recommend patience. I encounter impatience everywhere I go.

Is there an answer to that that’s not terribly clichéd? Believe, believe, work, work and then the results will come – I really really believe that. Perhaps I’m the best example that practicing very hard will eventually bring success.

Don’t complain about your situation just to hide your insufficient skills.

Zsolt: We have a lot of interns at the studio. We tell some of them that they should be more precise and focus more during work. As a generalisation it can be said that they aren’t prepared for that. It’s a cliché but I’d say that the young generation should try their best to achieve their goals. Of course there’s nothing new in that.
Donát: I wouldn’t give advice. Everybody pursues happiness and realises that others pursue it, too, and we should help others in finding happiness instead of blocking their way. Anybody who doesn’t realise that won’t get what it’s all about anyway.
Ákos: They should travel a lot, find the thing they enjoy doing and get absorbed in it.

Good question. You need to work in this profession for a minimum of 20 years. Then you’ll see. Afterwards, you can’t stop.

A century ago it was natural for every young artist and architect to travel the world. That was an inseparable part of preparing for life. Then they would return home and found their own business, workshop or office. So I recommend that young people learn at least one foreign language, or even better two, very well, and keep an eye out for opportunities to see the world. They should travel around and work in different countries, and then bring home all the knowledge and experience they have gathered.

I wouldn’t like to offer advice since they are better off figuring things out for themselves.

Ádám: I don’t like giving advice, but if I had to, I’d tell them that they shouldn’t believe anyone who says that something can’t be done. There’s always a way.
Sándor: They should learn languages, they should live for extended periods in as many places as possible around the world and they should travel to Asia.
Tibor: I figured out yet what kind of advice is really good advice.
Orsolya: Boldly forge ahead.

They shouldn’t listen to anyone or try to live up to anyone’s expectations.

Probably this is the advice I’d give (though I don’t believe there could be just one piece of advice): listen to everyone, but don’t believe anyone.

I wouldn’t necessarily like to give advice – I think I could use a bit of advice myself – but I’d like to see them breaking out of their comfort zone and creating something exciting in any art form that would make me feel envious that I’m not 20 right now. Unfortunately (or fortunately) I don’t feel that way yet.

I’ve been teaching for nearly 20 years, and from the start it’s been my mission to communicate firm principles of general validity to my students that they can build on even when everything else becomes confusing. Managing to lay the foundations of your life and live accordingly can be the greatest source of happiness.

I can’t really give advice to anyone. My experience is that the path that takes you to where you want to get is not necessarily straight. I never took other people’s advice. The only thing I can say is that life is short, so everyone should live it intensively.

They should find what inspires them the most and focus on that thing alone.

They should value friendship. No professional or financial gain is worth throwing away a long-time friendship for.

I would get everyone to see a therapist. I think self knowledge is a very important quality, but it’s one that’s not promoted by the Hungarian school system. A lot of time could be saved that way.

They should love life. It seems that we only live once and there is no second chance, so it’s worth making sure that we enjoy it while it lasts.

They should be happy if they have something to work on and if they can do something they enjoy. They shouldn’t pay attention to how much they are paid right then.
I always tell my students that they’ll have to invest 20 to 25 years of hard work before they can make real money. They should find their own path and a way to make a decent living.

They should be honest with themselves. Love what they’ve got. Life is a great joy, and the way you live is yours alone.

I could give lots of advice. It’s a sign of aging, some kind of compulsion to go around offering advice.

That they should have the courage to be firm. They shouldn’t make decisions to gain other people’s approval.

I can only refer to my own case. I had a dream, and that’s important. If you believe in yourself and work hard, the results will start to show.

To search for God.

ND: This accelerated pace of life can give rise to a certain superficiality. For us, the related fields are a source of daily inspiration. Young people today seem a little narrow-minded, so I try to get them interested in erudition. I place great importance on being widely learned and well informed, and also on keeping an open mind.
GZ: They should be immune to daily hassles and ad-hoc problems, be familiar and remain up-to-date with related fields and be sensitive and sympathetic. The only places where you can learn our profession really well are good workshops.

RF: They should create an environment for themselves that they enjoy being and working in. They shouldn’t make any compromises and should do something they like. Since you spend most of your time working, I think you can’t be happy if you don’t like what you do.

JN: They need to face their innermost thoughts and get to know themselves. They have to be completely upfront with themselves. Young people need to be made aware early on that they are individuals who are responsible for shaping their own lives.

Be an artist only if you see no viable alternative.

Go away and work in the studio of a great master. Then come back after 10-20 years.

It is becoming far too difficult. I would rather not talk about it.
But it would be important to remain Europeans. It would matter a lot.

Pay attention to your thoughts and ideas and also to other people’s. Learn how to express yourself and communicate properly,

Be brave! Pursue your ideas. There is no real risk while you are young.

KI: All of them should learn a trade, one where they make products by hand. It is important to have a personal connection with materials. This is how I did it and it has worked for me.
NR: Be open and tolerant. Ask questions, do not accept things just as they are.
KS: Do what you like doing, what you are really interested in. This is the source and origin of good things.

Travel a lot! Learn languages!

K: Determination. Gain practical experience to complement your theoretical knowledge. As far as I can see, people who define their target well ahead are the ones who can develop the most.
A: Do not be fastidious. Be purpose oriented and determined in your work.

I would give them wise advice – if I could.

CsH: Just run! Don’t look back!
TT: Run away while you can.

(laughter, and then, after thinking for a little while) Faith, hope, love!

There is no general advice that could help someone decide. I am convinced that everyone can find their place.

I can only think of stereotypes here: learning, persistence, consistence, luck…

Smile. This is the basis. Then, it should be coupled with persistence, positive attitude and humble.

Do not listen to advice from others. Everyone has his or her own path they have to go along.

I would tell them never to take advice from other artists.

(laughs) Do NOT trust anyone above 30.

Never lose heart. Be persistent!
Do not believe anyone who says that there is no future! There is always a future – what is not there is a clear vision of it. Change is the essence of everyone’s life. You can and must survive the economic crisis (and any other crisis). Live your life! Be open. And work, work, work … okay, sometimes go to a party...

Love your craft, be strong-willed, pursue your dreams until you accomplish them.

Keep it up, guys!

They should get out of here! Forget this self-enclosed, inbreeding kind of mentality, consider Hungary as a weekend holiday resort, where it is pleasant to be but is, otherwise, insignificant professionally.

I do not think that I live my life wisely. Nevertheless, the advice I can give on the basis what and how I have loved is that you must believe firmly in your decisions. You can learn from good as well as bad.

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