One night last year, shortly before I left for Boston, I was thinking: how would I feel about myself if I became a ______? If I were a scientist, I would feel smart. If I were an artist, I would feel cool. If I were a psychologist, I would feel serious and interesting. If I were a physician, hm…. I’m not sure.* Then again, this is entirely speculation, since I really don’t know what it’s like to have these occupations.
Back in 2008 I would have never considered being an artist. I was interested in neuroscience. Art was too fuzzy and not intellectual, in my opinion. I liked art as a hobby, but that was all it was. I would have felt stupid if I had majored in art. After all, everyone my family knew who majored in art did it because it was fun and easy. Then they had a hard time finding a job afterward.
Then in 2009 something changed in my brain. After taking some art classes that I had wanted to take since high school, I found myself getting influenced by them and the people around me. Over and over again, the attitude I was immersed in was to follow your passions.
One thing I noticed was that in the classes, there were only a few people who were serious about the subject. It was their major. The rest, and vast majority, were only taking that class for fun. I also realized a few other things, based on my observations of people’s performance and conversations with others about their reasons for majoring in art. Here are my conclusions.
Don’t major in art just because you think it’s fun or easy. Don’t do it because you’re “not good at” other subjects. (One girl said she’s considering it because she’s not good at math, science or English.) Do it if you really have talent. Do it if you have marketing skills or are willing to develop them. (Or if you don’t have to worry about making a living.)
In no way am I saying I’m an authority on this. I’m not even sure if I have the aptitude to be an artist, based on the standards I listed above.
*Upon further reflection, I decided I would feel kind, boring, and sexy. Strange combination, I know.
Original Post 9/14/2012 8:12 PM