The question was posed. Why are you going to school to be an artist?
Unspoken accusations often, but not always, lie behind this line of questioning: “There is no money in art.” “You already have a good job.” “You’re still hanging on to a dream.”
The accusations ring true, but in this instance I have to reply. I am going to school to be an artist because I have to. I would regret everything if I were to abandon my pursuit of becoming an artist.
So dramatic, I know. It only gets more so as I continue to examine my reasons.
Art is real. Creating physically what I feel emotionally gives me this incredible sense of power and freedom. Whether or not the point comes across exactly as I want it to is of no consequence. I created, with my hands, something that comes from my soul. Perhaps this is why I struggle with the academic side of studying art. I am working on technique and skill and becoming a better technician of my trade. It’s frustrating, sometimes demoralizing, but absolutely necessary for me to be able to take what is in my brain and manifest it for others to examine.
It does not help that I am a classic overachiever. The fact that I am not always the best is an ego clipping experience, but I continue to thrust forward with the lessons learned from past mistakes. I am a better artist for it. Just ask EmilyCello at the Stark Raving Cello Blog about the Benefits of Failure.
Ultimately, an art education will make me a better person. I will have fulfilled my goals and found new ways to look at the world and communicate with others.
But there is a more pressing issue here. I originally decided to go back to school for my children. True, I am not home as often, but I am providing them a valuable lesson: One can achieve their dreams, with education, hard work, and dedication.
And honestly, what better reason can I give than that?