This article originally appeared in Miss Nothing Mag.
"Creativity": the use of imagination or original ideas to create something; inventiveness.
How much creativity do we see around us today, and do we realize what an artist of some sort made? Some will, of course, say yes, but many should take a good look around and notice. Vivienne Westwood, Picasso, Damien Hurst, Ludwig Van Beethoven, Charles Dickens, Wes Anderson, Henri Cartier-Bresson, I could go on. Nevertheless, the point is that almost everyone will be able to recognize, acknowledge and respect these very well known artists for their individual talents and work. It took time, and don’t you wonder how these artists emerged?
The creative industry is highly competitive and cutthroat, but when it comes to the studying of an art or creative related subject, students who have chosen that path tend to get shrugged off. Art isn’t always seen as a ‘real’ subject compared to academic routes. Why? Being an art student is equally as important as other subjects, and now more than ever their work is everywhere! So now in pursuit of a dream career following the lead of the infamous as mentioned above, the young artist begins a journey. The journey has many battles and not all are easy to win, but some are worth the struggle. They’ll potentially have small successes with big ones following on in the near future, but to get to any of those kinds of checkpoints it’s the failures and doubt that is overcome that builds the young artist to that point.
We naturally assume that if someone is studying art, they’ll have an easy ride through university and not need to put in half the effort of those studying what some call a ‘more serious’ subject. This is just not the case. True art has no exams, but the amount of time more academic students spend studying is relative to the amount of time an art student spends on concepts, research, and production. Art is serious. Art is everywhere around us and should not be looked down on, as the creative industry is bigger than ever. So now knowing this, can we imagine it to be an uphill battle for a young creative to stick to their passion, whilst still trying to be realistic about their future? Still can’t imagine?
Okay, maybe look at it from this angle: Each young artist is fully aware of the stereotypical remarks that will come with selecting a creative prospect. There is already a sense of negativity about their future before they’ve even had a chance to prove their worth. The negativity and self-doubt can then potentially continue, as there is no guide on how to make it as an artist. There is no straight and narrow. You could go through university with the top grades, finish with a First, have a striking portfolio, even have had some good work experience under your belt too, but does that mean you’ll become the artist you want to be? No. Sometimes it’s whom you know, for some, it’s down to being in the right place at the right time, and for others, it might not even mean anything towards their career yet.
If we compare it to what we would say is certainly a difficult degree such as medicine, what we’d find is that there is a set way to become a qualified doctor. Put simply, you’d need to earn a medical degree, complete a residency program, obtain licensure and then get certified to advance your career. Medicine is also a long journey, but the difference is that a job is easier to access in regards to the fact that their degree is their worth.
For a young creative their degree may help, but it won’t always get them the job. Artists must fight for those jobs and experiences. Art is serious too.