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How Patience and Perseverance Led to Where I Am

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Winthrop chapter.

Ever since high school, I knew that I wanted photography to be a part of my life in some form or another–I just didn’t know I wanted it to be my career yet. I struggled and persevered through multiple wrong majors choices and bumps along the road, including transferring schools and losing the majority of my major credits due to a major switch. Once I reached Winthrop, though, something clicked and I finally realized I wanted photography to be my full-time career. I threw myself into multiple photo classes and started the long road to getting my Bachelor of Fine Arts, which I was already behind on if I wanted to graduate on time. With a lot of patience, I have finally come to terms with the fact that I am not graduating with the rest of my class; and that’s okay. My education is much more important than graduating with my friends, and once I do graduate, I will have a degree that will allow me to broaden my creative horizons and continue to learn and grow. 

When this most recent spring semester started, I applied to about six different exhibitions and art shows. These were all over, from local, to international shows, and I had no idea what to expect in terms of results. I eventually heard from the first show: I had been rejected. I was discouraged but still held high hopes. After all, I had five more tries to get into a show, and there were plenty more shows out there to participate in. A few weeks after the first show results, I got the second show results: I hadn’t gotten into this one either. While it was still early on in the process, let alone the fact that I’m still in college and have my whole career ahead of me, I became incredibly discouraged. I was, and still am, surrounded by people constantly telling me that my artwork is good, that it is worth something, but I wasn’t getting results that reflected that. Turning to my best friend, also well versed in photography, I had a bit of a meltdown–I had become increasingly discouraged and wondered whether my artwork was ever going to be good enough. This may sound dramatic, but at that moment it felt warranted (not to mention, are you even an artist if don’t wonder if you’re good enough? Forget artist, are you even human if you don’t feel that way sometimes?) After spending a few minutes feeling sorry for myself, I internally scolded myself–feeling pity for myself wasn’t going to get me into an art show. 

The week after I had been rejected once again, I went to my classes, as usual, checking my email frequently and telling myself that I’d hear something soon. During a 15 minute break in my rock climbing class, I checked my phone, not expecting to see anything interesting, when lo and behold, there was an email from one of the art galleries I had applied to. Posted in the subject bar was a big fat CONGRATULATIONS–I was so beside myself that I freakishly yelled out to a group of almost strangers, “I got into an art show!” After muted cheers and congratulations, I truly realized the magnitude of what I’d done. Like every artist before me, I had persevered and pushed through the frustration of rejection. I have now been accepted into an international art show with a virtual gallery, and an in-person gallery in Los Angeles, California. While it is only one acceptance, it signifies the beginning of a hopefully long and beautiful career that I cannot wait to pursue. Thank goodness I was patient and didn’t give up in the very beginning. 

To view the virtual gallery, go to https://www.artshowinternational.com/winners-2021-still-life-1

The show runs from April 1st to 30th.

Sophie Harvey is a Fine Art major at Winthrop University with a concentration in Photography. She loves Harry Potter, dogs, funky art, and her boyfriend more than anything!. Her favorite color is yellow, and if she had to choose one food to eat for the rest of her life, it would be hibachi.
Winthrop University is a small, liberal arts college in Rock Hill, SC.