Do Not Fear The Art Career

Do Not Fear The Art Career

The possibilities are endless.

In terms of a career, most parents fear hearing that their child wants to become an artist. I was fortunate to have a very supportive family, but if I had a dollar for every time someone asked me what I was going to do with my art degree, I would be able to buy a lot of canvas and paint. The concern is understandable with the competitiveness of the field, but if an artist is dedicated they can make a living doing what they love.

The term "starving artist" is a stereotype.

Somehow, the term ‘starving artist’ has become the stereotype in our culture. I have often heard individuals categorize artist types as lazy, unintelligent, and even worse. An artist who fit those criteria would fail. The artists who succeed are the most hardworking and clever people you would ever meet. Dragging out of bed late in the day hung-over does not make a masterpiece. Artwork is made after years of thought, practice, deliberation, research, and organization.

Artists work hard to learn their craft, it doesn't appear overnight. (image credit Paul Niemiec)

Being an artist is not easy, but those who are willing to make art their entire life will succeed in their path as an artist whether they go to art school or learn on their own. Loving what you do helps quite a bit. Art requires a very passionate and driven person. After all, you practically have to run your own business, and the brand is you! You must find galleries to represent your work, shows to be in, and promote your work to the public both electronically and physically. Of course, as a professional artist, it is natural to move our work out into the public to be seen.

As an artist, it is important to show your work to the public. Last year, I curated a show of student work for our university.

Sometimes, especially early on in an artist’s career, it is necessary to have a source of additional income other than selling your own artwork. There are many jobs for creative people. As a growing artist, it is important to be around art. A job working for another artist or at a gallery would be beneficial. A job in design would allow one to flex their skills, and that could be in advertising, graphic design for the local newspaper, freelance jobs, or even book cover designs. There are also production arts such as pottery. Commissioned work is fantastic income because it allows you to be paid for doing what you love to do the most. Teaching is also a very valid option on many different levels, from local community recreation centers to universities. It is important to be open to any opportunities that arise.

I have always been told to make the art I feel the need to create, and if I am dedicated enough, then the money will follow. It is important to make the art for the sake of creation instead of the sake of money; otherwise it might become dull and repetitive. As long as an artist is aware of their intentions, audience, and market, they should survive in this world. Being an artist is possibly one of the most flexible careers out there. The possibilities depend on what you want to do and where you want your artwork to take you.

Cover Image Credit: Julianna Wells

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An Open Letter to the Person Who Still Uses the "R Word"

Your negative associations are slowly poisoning the true meaning of an incredibly beautiful, exclusive word.

What do you mean you didn't “mean it like that?" You said it.

People don't say things just for the hell of it. It has one definition. Merriam-Webster defines it as, "To be less advanced in mental, physical or social development than is usual for one's age."

So, when you were “retarded drunk" this past weekend, as you claim, were you diagnosed with a physical or mental disability?

When you called your friend “retarded," did you realize that you were actually falsely labeling them as handicapped?

Don't correct yourself with words like “stupid," “dumb," or “ignorant." when I call you out. Sharpen your vocabulary a little more and broaden your horizons, because I promise you that if people with disabilities could banish that word forever, they would.

Especially when people associate it with drunks, bad decisions, idiotic statements, their enemies and other meaningless issues. Oh trust me, they are way more than that.

I'm not quite sure if you have had your eyes opened as to what a disabled person is capable of, but let me go ahead and lay it out there for you. My best friend has Down Syndrome, and when I tell people that their initial reaction is, “Oh that is so nice of you! You are so selfless to hang out with her."

Well, thanks for the compliment, but she is a person. A living, breathing, normal girl who has feelings, friends, thousands of abilities, knowledge, and compassion out the wazoo.

She listens better than anyone I know, she gets more excited to see me than anyone I know, and she works harder at her hobbies, school, work, and sports than anyone I know. She attends a private school, is a member of the swim team, has won multiple events in the Special Olympics, is in the school choir, and could quite possibly be the most popular girl at her school!

So yes, I would love to take your compliment, but please realize that most people who are labeled as “disabled" are actually more “able" than normal people. I hang out with her because she is one of the people who has so effortlessly taught me simplicity, gratitude, strength, faith, passion, love, genuine happiness and so much more.

Speaking for the people who cannot defend themselves: choose a new word.

The trend has gone out of style, just like smoking cigarettes or not wearing your seat belt. It is poisonous, it is ignorant, and it is low class.

As I explained above, most people with disabilities are actually more capable than a normal human because of their advantageous ways of making peoples' days and unknowingly changing lives. Hang out with a handicapped person, even if it is just for a day. I can one hundred percent guarantee you will bite your tongue next time you go to use the term out of context.

Hopefully you at least think of my friend, who in my book is a hero, a champion and an overcomer. Don't use the “R Word". You are way too good for that. Stand up and correct someone today.

Cover Image Credit: Kaitlin Murray

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News Flash: 'Building The Wall' Is Still A Dumb Idea And Always Will Be

The government is still partially shutdown because of funding for the wall. Really?


A man who is a strong supporter of building the wall told me this metaphor: If you don't want the wrong people walking into your backyard, you put a fence up. We don't want the wrong people coming to America, so we put a wall up. I respect people's political beliefs, and because of this, I want to share mine.

I believe that President Trump demanding money to build a border wall is dumb.

It's hard to believe so many people really think that this "build a wall" has everything to do about border security. It's just inhumane and wrong.

Literally, the most notorious drug lord of Mexico has shed light about how he smuggles the drug into the U.S. They have brought it through fishing boats, trucks going through the legal point of entry, underground tunnel, but not through unwalled parts. The half of million pounds of narcotics that were secured at the border? They were all al legal points of entry.

I'm saying this because I am a proud daughter of immigrants who crossed the border. The media has portrayed immigrants as these horrible people infiltrating our country. They just want somewhere safe to live to raise their kid.

The conditions of Latin American countries are inexplicable. Communist have risen from the ashes dominating these countries letting people rot on the street starving. There are little to no job opportunities. I haven't seen my family in three years because it is dangerous to go.

The media doesn't tell you this. They don't tell you how many people have gone to the border and returned to Mexico because ICE agents tear gas them.

They tell you that they throw babies over fences to distract border patrol agents. They tell you children are dying because of malnutrition of trekking thousands of miles to get the border. They don't tell you that those same children have been eating unmonitored food with thousands of microorganism some mal some good.

Not all immigrants are not bad people. The notions that all immigrants are criminals is "fake news." It has been a hook, line, and sinker for the Republican Party. There are studies such as one from the journal Criminology showing that places with high undocumented immigrant population does not equal high crime.

Should undocumented citizens attempt to become legal residents of the United States? Absolutely, and that is a problem if they are evading taxes and other legal notions with more consequences.

However, we should not lie to ourselves and act as a wall is to help border security against drugs and crime. It's just a physical quota like 1920s immigration laws. There is a better solution then sacrificing 5.7 billion dollars. Let me translate that: 5,700,000,000 dollars. That is our taxes. As a college student, I rather have those 5.7 billion dollars be translated to scholarship, grants, financial aid, and helping us, the future of this country become the best people we can be. Why build a wall when the future of America, who I personally think is more important can be helped.

I don't come from a rich family, and I don't have the means to afford a college education without loans, so when I hear that the Government can afford to give 5.7 billion dollars for a wall, I have the right to be upset. Tell me I'm wrong, and call me dumb, but this is my unpopular opinion.


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