Lately, I’ve been getting a lot of emails from students… many of them trying to decide which path to take on the college route.
It seems like yesterday I was going through that exact same thing. Of couse, I knew I wanted to be in the arts… but I wasn’t quite sure which way to go. Fine Arts, or Design… which by the way, I had NO clue what a ‘design’ degree meant back then.
When I visited the college that would eventually grant me a diploma, Carnegie Mellon University, I was walking through the design hallway and saw a project they were working on- designing watches. My mind was made up. I wanted to be an industrial designer! I mean who doesn’t want to go to school and learn how to make cool products that you want to buy yourself? Actually, I’m sure alot of people don’t… but I sure did.
So, I left the fine arts world behind, and went full force into the design world. Alot of you ask about going into fine arts… how to avoid the ‘starving artist’ stereotype, etc… and well, I’ve got a lot of personal opinions about that. No offense to anyone studying fine arts, but for me… it just didn’t seem like the right path. Part of me feels like fine art prepares you for being good at … art. but not necessarily making money (unless you’re part of the 1% of artists who hit the goldmine and become famous before you are room temperature). I’d love to tell you money doesn’t matter, and in the end it really doesnt, but in order to live you need to eat, and in order to eat, you need money. I’m not saying I sought out to be a billionaire, I just wanted to make enough income to live comfortably.
I also feel that experiencing other parts of life can inspire art more so than actually studying art. Again, that’s just my personal opinion- but put me in a room and talk to me about how Dali’s painting ‘Persistence of Memory’ meant this and that, and I’ll be thinking… how do you KNOW he meant that. What if he just wanted to paint melting clocks? Call me naive, but these thoughts constantly went through my head in art history. I love and enjoy art history, but it never inspired me to go make great art.
Part of me feels like if I focus on other artists’ work too much, I lose track of my own sense of style. I’d much rather go out, experience something new and be inspired by that. For example, the illustration above… that was a result of me venturing out of the industrial design world, and trying a few theater set design courses (which were amazing!). Experiencing new things and putting yourself out there to try things you never thought you could do are the most inspiring and eye opening parts of life.
Yup… I’ve completely lost track of what this post was about. I think what I’m trying to say is, if you’re on the fence about going to college for fine arts- go with your gut of course, but I personally think art is something you will always do if you are passionate about it. Is it really necessary to pay someone to tell you how to be an artist? You don’t have to be the best artist in the whole world to be successful at it, you just need to find your unique voice. You also need money to eat… so you can spend some time finding that voice.
Whether you study Fashion design, Fine Arts, Design, whatever… be creative, passionate, and hardworking.
P.S. this post is soooooo long… but I’m going to keep going.
I want to share something personal with you… from way back in the day! I found an old blog of mine online a while back (not a chance I’m sharing that link!). I wrote alot about my struggles through school, and this part really choked me up a bit.
“I’m starting to realize that maybe this is the wrong major for me? Maybe I’m not cut out to be an Industrial Designer.
I know it sounds like every silly girl’s dream, but I wish I could be a fashion designer. I can’t tell you enough how much I LOVE sketching fashion ideas. I could do it all day. Then again, who knows if my ideas are any good in that either. I just don’t know what I’m best at. “
And there you have it. I struggled too! and look at that… I now do fashion sketches all day everyday!
Make your dreams come true people!!