Art School – Week 16
I made it! The final week of art school, Fall Semester! From my humble beginnings as someone who knew nothing about art, other than that they enjoyed painting. Now I am a serious art student and getting better every day. I never imagined, when I first began this process, just how rewarding it would be or how much I would grow as a person.
I have endured abject poverty, the indignities associated with living with relatives, harsh critiques from teachers and strangers, fatigue, cold, rain, a romantic breakup, and the normal doubts associated with pursuing a career in the arts.
What I can say with certainty is that going back to school to get my art degree is the best decision I ever made. Regardless of how much money I end up making or what I end up doing, I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I have found my calling. There is nothing better than knowing what you have been put on this earth to do and actually doing it. Besides the many wonderful art techniques I have learned, the most valuable thing I have gained at art school is faith and confidence in myself.
Criticism is never an easy thing. It hurts when work that you have slaved over for days is received with apathy or derision. However, I have learned to assess my work myself, take into account the criticism given, and then reevaluate the work. Sometimes the critiques are valid and, once I’ve made the suggested changes, the work is even stronger. Sometimes the critiques just reflect someone else’s desire to impose their aesthetic over mine or they reflect a petty desire to injure. Because I have learned to trust myself, I can take the good comments with the bad and evaluate them for myself. What matters most is not whether or not the work is “good” based upon outside opinions. What really matters is that I am doing the work and staying true to my vision.
I never would have been able to make such a statement, and mean it, before going back to school. I did not learn these lessons IN school, but, rather, as A RESULT of school. My desire to become an artist is so strong that there is a beautiful lesson in each day, each project, and, now, each semester. I wish for myself and all of you the same kind of beauty and passion.
Now, go follow your bliss…