1. Art has a real and valid place in academia.
I spend hours researching art periods, theories, specific pieces, theorists, artists you've never heard of, all for one paper in my art history classes. Through creating art, I am conducting research in best practices. I am in the Honors Program, which proves that there must be academic merit to my art otherwise the opportunity wouldn't be presented to me.
2. Some of my classes are only worth half their credit hours.
Typically, one studio class meets six hours a week but only count three hours towards graduation. And most majors are taking two to four studio classes every semester on top of all the other generals required and other major courses. And this also doesn't include the hours outside of class.
3. The hours required outside of class equal a part-time job.
I will often spend as much as twenty hours a week or more working on a design project because that's how much time I need to get through the multiple stages of the creative process, and that's still not enough for most projects. This is also why artists get the stigma of being loners and introverts. I'M NOT BEING ANTI-SOCIAL BY CHOICE, I JUST WANT TO GET AN A.
4. My projects do not consist of drawing or creating whatever I feel like.
Most of my projects have many parameters about what needs to be included or have a very specific element that needs to be portrayed. Sure, I have creative liberty to work within that, but I'm not creating things from whatever I get inspired by. Sometimes the inspiration is solely the deadline.
5. I will end up hating about half of the work that I do.
Since I am not creating my work for my personal fulfilment and often rush to finish before the deadline, I am not allowed the liberty to really do what feels right for a piece. And because I've been with the project through the whole creative process, I've seen the mistakes on it for longer than anybody else, and I hate it because I don't feel it's the quality of work that I could actually put out.
6. Critiques are the most soul-crushing part of the semester.
Digital critiques are a little bit easier to endure since those often consist of moving and/or deleting elements or anything else fairly simple, but fine art critiques are hard to endure from both ends. How do you tell someone that just spent 50+ hours on a painting that their composition isn't working and they need to start over? And once you reach your upper-levels, many of the critiques you receive are changes that you have already mentally noted anyways.
7. Nudes are extremely commonplace.
And they are not controversial whatsoever. Trust us, there are a lot worse things that have been burned into our brains than a vagina.
8. Stop saying "I could do that."
No, you couldn't. You can probably recreate it, but you didn't exist in the same time that the piece was created, so there's no way you would have been inspired to create it. And every piece of art ever created does not exist in a bubble, they were all created as a response to the world around it. Dismissal of art without context is ignorant and rude.
9. Don't expect to ever see me during finals week.
I have two papers to write, three multi-part final projects to finish, and four exams to write in addition to work and meetings in between there. I will be isolating myself in my studio in order to complete everything without entirely losing my sanity. Once it comes to Friday night, though, if you see me out, I would appreciate if you buy me a drink because I just survived actual Hell Week.
10. Coffee and caffeine are gifts from the gods.
Because of all of the things I have to do, I will more than likely only get 20 hours of sleep this week at most. That's why I believe every art department should be equipped with at least five coffee pots for students to use. And this is true during the whole semester and not just during finals week.
11. I have actual exams that have actual answers, sort of.
In the art history classes that I am required to take, which is where most of our exams come from in the art department, the answers for questions can always be proved right or wrong, unless they can't. Because art is based on so much theory, it's nearly impossible to mark something as incorrect if the connection of theories to art is there and backed up. But on the other hand, it's also very hard to mark as correct if the answer doesn't follow typical art history thought. So yes, I do have actual exams, just without absolute answers like yours have.
12. No, I will not do that thing you want for free.
If I am creating something for you, that means I am taking time away from another project that I am either getting paid for or doing for class, and both of those are important to me than creating something for my best friend. (Sorry, but friendship doesn't pay my rent.) Depending on how close we are, I may do it for cheaper than normal, or I may just ask for the work in exchange for something else. But the thought process is the same as if I were an accountant. You wouldn't expect me to do your taxes for you for free just because we are friends, so why is my art ability any different?
13. I will be successful after graduation.
Stop saying that a degree in art is worthless. And the stupid jokes about starving artists and simplistic and dumb. Artists are literally creating the world that you exist in and a degree in art will allow us to follow our passion for the rest of our lives. Graphic designers, web developers, illustrators, animators, photographers, and fine artists alike are finding jobs in television, marketing, video game production, interior design, architecture, literature, music, movies, and the list goes on and on. Art may not change the world immediately, but it sure as hell makes it look good.