“Artists have the hardest time finding a stable career.” People would tell me that I would not be successful until later in life if I studied in the arts. “Who studies art?” “What is there to learn about the arts in a classroom? Can’t you teach yourself with a Youtube video?” These are all questions that have caused me to wonder why I am studying art at Hope College. What benefit is there in studying the arts?
Peace of Mind
Personally art has always given me a sense of peace. I would express myself through words on a page or lines across a canvas. In my life I have struggled with a sense of self. I didn’t know who I was and art allowed me to explore myself. I would look deep inside and create images and stories with emotion and power.
Everyone I talk to who studies in the arts have expressed the same discovery. The same passion. From dancing to writing to theater or music people are given the chance to search themselves. Studying the arts may seem “useless” to some people. Yet, those words themselves are useless against the strength of the arts. Even if you do not seek a degree in the arts, just engaging in them is fulfilling.
Ability to Explore
You can change who you are through art. You could become an adventurer in a forgotten city, a scorned lover, anything you desire. To other people this may seem like an overactive imagination and fascination with fantasy, but it isn’t. It’s an exploration of the mind and strengthening the imagination so many lose as they grow up.
You can explore other worlds but you can also explore the inner mind, yourself and who you are.
Benefits of Studying
After I was asked what one could even learn taking classes on how to write I began to wonder that myself. What was I actually learning that practice couldn’t teach me? What was the benefit of writing? Couldn’t it just be a side-hobby? I would make more money studying something else, right?
While the answer to the last question is: probably, there is so much to be gained from studying an art. Personally, I have gained more wisdom from my professors and learning from their experiences than I have from simply reading. I have furthered my abilities to write in different genres successfully and explored what topics really fascinate me.
Settling is unpleasurable. Why would you settle for something you do not love purely because that was all the internet had to offer you? I settled in high school. I chose to only write the genres I read, which were fantasy in the third person perspective. Along the same lines, I only drew what others were drawing: animals and hyper-realistic people.
Studying an art can broaden your horizons. Give you a deeper connection to the world and those around you that you may have never had before. You should never let others’ opinions of your love in the arts change how you view the benefit of the arts.
Create and allow yourself to get lost in what you love. Deepen your understandings and broaden your horizons. You shouldn’t stay stuck simply because you are challenged. Be you, be true, and be creative.