In the modern world, many college students’ guardians encourage them to pursue degrees that will lead them to financial success. These degree paths typically fall within a limited number of fields: medicine, law, technology, and business. This emphasis on profit over passion is not entirely misguided.
Many college students accumulate thousands of dollars in debt in pursuit of a bachelor’s degree. This debt only multiplies when students pursue graduate, medical, or law school. However, not every student desires to pursue a career in one of the four aforementioned fields.
For every student who is studying for the LSAT, there is another who has put the first stroke of paint on a canvas that will one day be mounted on the walls of a gallery. There is no denying that art schools have an important role in society, whether that role is appreciated or not.
The Ignorance of Art’s Origins
Art is everywhere. Critics of art school educations do not recognize how much of their lives are defined and influenced by art. They would not be able to dedicate countless hours to their favorite video games without the influence of an animator. The billboards around them would be blank without the dedication and creativity of a graphic designer.
Many of the clothes they wear first originated in the mind of a fashion designer. The modern art museums they frequent would not exist if the artists featured had given up on their dreams and pursued a consistently profitable avenue instead. People appreciate art without appreciating the origins of an artist; for many, this origin is an art school.
It is a somewhat dystopian idea that financial success should be the primary determinant of an individual’s value and contributions to society. Many individuals who have achieved great financial success have done so at the expense of others. For example, executives in large corporations often prioritize efficiency and profits over employee interests. They may eliminate or consolidate entire departments without considering how their decisions affect human lives.
In contrast, most artists are the opposite of self-interested. They are producing art that the public will enjoy in exchange for limited financial compensation. They are often offered “exposure” for their work, instead of living wages. They may work on commission, which is in no way consistent. Thus, why so many consider the executives to be more productive or valuable members of society? Should financial success truly be the main variable that is considered?
In her TED Talk, art historian Katerina Gregos explains why art and artists are important.
She notes that artists “always see a world full of opportunities, chances, potential, possibilities, and prospects.”
Since many artists do not share the same 9-5 constraints that white collar workers do, they may be more willing to take risks than office workers who have gotten complacent. A world without art would simply not possess the same creativity and excitement of a world with artists. Regardless of one’s career path, dissertation writing services can help students complete their education and enter their career of choice.