An art education is something that I wish every artist could experience for themselves. Majoring in art or attending an art school will place you in an environment that forces you to learn, and will give you the resources to do more with your talent than you could ever do on your own.
When I went to college I majored in Art with an emphasis in Graphic Design. I took all kinds of art classes: photography, sculpture, art history, design, typography, illustration, drawing, painting, and the list goes on.
At the end of my four years, I not only had skills I needed in my chosen field, but I came away with a greater understanding of ALL aspects of art. I could see how specific art movements came about; I understood the flow of art history from ancient times up to today. I even understood how I fit into that world of art.
I learned how to think for myself, and how to judge art without following the crowd. And, although I went into college thinking I would be a graphic designer, by the time I graduated I knew what kind of artist I really wanted to be – a painter.
All along the way were great professors who truly changed my life. They urged me to do more, to think deeper, to create to the best of my ability. They taught me to escape the limitations we all place upon ourselves, and kept pointing out the areas they knew I could improve in.
At college you also learn just as much from your fellow students as you do from your teachers. Late night discussions, art critiques, and some healthy competition all spurred me on to become a better artist, and often made the work much more fun.
On those days when my enthusiasm died and I was tired of school, well. . .the money I was paying and the grades I wanted kept me focused on the task at hand. Enrolling in all those art classes put my money where my heart was. I was completely invested – mentally, emotionally, and financially – and I had no choice but to banish the thought of failure from my mind.
Looking back, I’m thankful for all of it; for the awesome professors, for all of my friends, and even for that lurking fear of failure – it’s the kind of crazy journey that makes a person who they really are in life.
By my senior year I knew that the assignments and the grades were simply catalysts of change, NOT the real reason for being there. Even the diploma wasn’t what made it worthwhile.
It was who I became.
So if you’ve been thinking about going to an art college or majoring in art, I strongly encourage you to do so. It really did change my life, and I know that it will change yours too.
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