Being an art major is harder than you think

There have been countless times when my friends would told me they wished they had my life. I often see my friends studying hard for their classes while I rarely have anything to study for. Since it appears that I have a lot of free time outside of the art building, many of my friends think that I’m cruising through college. I just want to clarify that being an art student comes with many challenges of its own. I believe each field of study has its own difficulty and shouldn’t be compared to one another. Instead of studying textbooks like my friends, I spend most of my time completing projects.

To start things off, all Baylor art students face the challenge of not being able to work on their projects past 11 p.m. inside the Lewis Art Building because it closes. I know many of us want to stay late at night to finish our projects before deadlines, but we physically can’t. In addition to that, a lot of the times we can’t take it home either because the materials we need have to remain inside the building, so we’re confined to the time Baylor permits their facilities to stay open. Trying to balance other school work and extracurricular activities often leaves us cramming a lot of work into the limited hours we have in the building. At times we don’t have the pleasure of taking our time and making sure our projects are perfect.

Apart from the hands-on aspect of art, it is mainly conceptual and based on individual creativity. There isn’t one set way to approach an assignment. Since there are multiple ways to accomplish the same task, there’s no way to “study” for it. We are expected to perform and execute the task at hand to the best of our ability. It’s difficult to be innovative and to create something different from everyone else. We are taught to push beyond the boundary of being basic and to come up with an original idea. It’s very obvious when a student works on a project the day before it’s due or when a student doesn’t put much effort into their work. Although art is subjective, it is also objective in the basic principles of design. Starting from the fundamental courses, each and every course builds upon each other.

I must admit that a lot of the work we have to do is enjoyable and relaxing; however, it can also be stressful. Students need to understand that art isn’t just about creating cups or drawing still life. Art is an extension and reflection of the artist. An artist’s reputation is mainly based on their body of work. Just like every other field of study, the art world is very selective and competitive. We are dependent on how well we can communicate through our work rather than a grade on a transcript.

Pursuing the art field is scary and comes with a lot of risk. It takes a lot of passion and dedication to make it through, so let’s have some respect for students majoring in the arts along with all other fields of study.