5 Things Every Studio Art Major Hears

I am a strong advocate of doing what you love. Whether that may be business, science, philosophy, or the arts, do it with passion and do it with love. Life is way too short to be doing something you don’t enjoy. That is the reason why I’m a photography major. Photography allows me to be creative and critical all at the same time. However, doing anything in the arts automatically gets you a bad rap. Here are just a few things that studio art majors get on a daily basis.

The conversation when meeting someone new and telling them you’re an art major goes something like this:

1. “Art is cool, I guess. Too bad my parents would never let me do something like that.”

Well, for starters, my parents are incredibly supportive and believe in me 110%. Secondly, why would you allow your parents to decide on your future career? But that’s none of my business.

2. “You must have so much free time.”

Nothing aggravates me more than this one. Yes, because my 3-hour long studio classes that meet twice a week and the other 6 hours a week I have to put into them outside of class gives me so much free time. Not to mention that we are usually taking at least two studio courses and doing a variety of other things in the art department. Everyone who knows me knows I don’t ever leave the Paul Creative Arts Center. Some believe I have a secret bed in there (I don’t I promise).

3. “But what are you really going to do with that?”

Everyone always assumes that art majors just believe they’re going to automatically make it big as a freelance or “starving” artist. But there are so many things you can do with an art degree! To name just a few, there’s commercial/cooperate work, museum curating, art restoration, art history research, and photojournalism.

4. “I took an art class in high school and it was so easy.”

I will say this once: art in high school is completely different from art in college. While I was lucky enough to have wonderful and incredibly inspiring art teachers in high school who truly taught me the love of the practice, there’s a certain type of responsibility that comes with taking a college art course. You feel so closely related to the work you produce because you spend so much time and effort creating it. It’s also so disrespectful when someone denounces these classes because the professors who teach them do art for a living, do it well, and have so much knowledge you would not even believe.

5. “Finals week must be a breeze for you.”

It’s quite the opposite actually. While taking classes that require exams and papers to be done for finals, we are also scrambling to make sure we finish our studio projects on time. Finals week are full of critiques that last anywhere from 3-5 hours.

I love being a studio art major. Not only have I grown immensely as an artist, but a person as well because of the courses I’ve taken and the professors I’ve studied under. I could not be more thankful for the experiences and opportunities I have gotten through the Art and Art History Department. My point in all of this is: do what you love and don’t allow anyone to tell you otherwise. Every major has its risks, but I truly believe if you are doing what you’re passionate about, you can make it work.