Creative process is art’s greatest asset

Savanna Hennig

At a young age I was firmly told by someone that being an artist wasn’t a real job.

Savanna Hennig
Savanna Hennig

A few of my high school instructors were convinced that I’d be throwing my life away by going to college for art, rather than pursuing an admirable career as a doctor or engineer.

But yet, it’s almost impossible for me to imagine myself in the future doing anything that’s not related to art in some way.

I grew up loving art more than anything else, so much so that it will forever be my outlet. There’s something so beautiful about creating something from thought and imagination.

Right now, I’m having the time of my life with the privilege to step into the Art & Design building and experiencing everything it has to offer. I feel that so many of the professors know and care about their areas of study, as well as their students.

All of this gives me a sense of comfort that I’m investing my money in the right place.

Then there’s the job market for art students, just glaring at us from the future. It’s a heavily competitive field, and even then there are not many stable jobs for artists fresh out of college.

How am I even sure I’m taking the time in college to pursue a successful career? Am I investing my money in the right thing?

Even if my decision to pursue art is the best possible choice for me, I feel a pressure over me that I need to be amazing at what I do in order to be successful.

Sometimes I panic when I try to create something and then I realize I’m not nearly at that level of talent yet. I feel that everything I create needs to be perfect. A mediocre artist is a hungry artist.

I know I’m not alone on this path. I have met some wonderful people on campus who all have plans for the future that involve art in some way.

I’m sure most of the students who have an Art & Design major are well aware of the unstable ground that awaits us after we graduate.

Sure, it’s a comfortable feeling to be in the same boat with every Art & Design major on campus, but at the same time there’s the feeling that I need to be better than everyone else if I want to be successful. I need to be fantastic if I’m going to college for art.

But art’s not about that, is it?

To me, art is simply about creation. It’s about taking something and using it to get a point across, about designing something that makes a difference. It’s about making an audience think differently.

Art can be more than paint on canvas or charcoal on paper. Art can be words on a page, or how a billboard gets its information across. This is what truly draws me to my field.

I see modern artists create spectacular pieces of art and noteworthy designs for advertisements today.

And to think, these artists made it that far in the field; they are making a wage by creating art even today.

In the future, that could be my work being sold; that could be my advertisement that I get paid to make. I could get paid by doing what I love if I follow the right steps.

And finally, smiling to myself and shaking my head, I think of that one person that had told me that art wasn’t a real job.