Artful Responses To Critics Of The Arts
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Artful Responses To Critics Of The Arts

As told by reaction GIFs and famous quotes

Artful Responses To Critics Of The Arts
An exhibition at the Rice Art Gallery

You consider yourself a member of the arts. Maybe you’re a musician, dancer, artist or writer. Maybe you study Asian languages, cultures and civilizations. Or, perhaps you study broad swaths of history, or pursue studies in the theater. Being in the arts and humanities, you do any number and/or combination of things. And you love what you do. What you don’t love, however, is the seemingly constant barrage of questions like “Why don’t you study something more practical?” and “What are you going to do with that degree when you graduate?” The next time you hear a question like this, it’s important to be prepared. If you’re feeling lost for words or can’t summon up the energy to deliver your usual speech, here are some famous quotes about the arts that will help you silence the haters. I hold them dearly, and hope they’ll be as helpful to you as they have been to me. Sometimes it’s just as important to refer to them when trying to silence little pangs of fear and doubt in your own mind as it is to use them with other people.

*Please grace your ears with Nicki Minaj's "I'm Legit" as you read this for maximum bad-ass feelings*

When someone asks you what you’re doing with your life:

“My focus is my art, and that's what I love to do. I have to be really passionate in order to do something. I've turned down many things that I just didn't believe in.” – Beyonce Knowles

When someone says you’re going to be a starving artist and have almost no chance of succeeding:

"Any man who keeps working is not a failure. He may not be a great writer, but if he applies the old-fashioned virtues of hard, constant labor, he’ll eventually make some kind of career for himself as writer.” – Ray Bradbury

When someone asks why you’re studying the arts at a school full of engineers and pre-meds:

“Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible.” – Frank Zappa

When you really just need to prove everyone who ever doubted you wrong:

“I had a boyfriend who told me I’d never succeed, never be nominated for a Grammy, never have a hit song, and that he hoped I’d fail. I said to him, ‘Someday, when we’re not together, you won’t be able to order a cup of coffee at the f*cking deli without hearing or seeing me.'” – Lady Gaga

When someone says you’re making a mistake by devoting your life to creative pursuits:

“A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing.” – George Bernard Shaw

When someone complains about how subjective the arts are, and doesn’t understand how to determine if something is worth the hype:

“It is good to love many things, for therein lies the true strength, and whosoever loves much performs much, and can accomplish much, and what is done in love is well done.” – Vincent van Gogh

When someone wonders how you’re going to support yourself after graduation:

“The arts are not a way to make a living. They are a very human way of making life more bearable. Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven's sake. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. Do it as well as you possibly can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something.” – Kurt Vonnegut, A Man Without a Country

When someone accuses you of being idealistic and impractical:

“You know how creative people are, we have to try everything until we find our niche.” – E.A. Bucchianeri, Brushstrokes of a Gadfly

When someone “admires” the risks you’re taking by pursuing your passions:

“You wanna know what scares people? Success. When you don't make moves and when you don't climb up the ladder, everybody loves you because you're not competition.” – Nicki Minaj

And last but not least, my personal favorite — when someone in the hard sciences gets condescending:

“We don't read and write poetry because it's cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for.” – John Keating, Dead Poets Society

I hope these tidbits serve as sources of comfort and inspiration when times get tough. It’s normal to forget why you’re passionate about something occasionally, and to question your path. But it’s also important to remember the love you have for what you do. With enough backbone and persistence, hopefully we can all make it. And hey, even if we don’t, we can say we’ve tried things other people refuse to, and that’s something worth celebrating.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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