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Why majoring in art is not a path to failure

Why majoring in art is not a path to failure

Why majoring in art is not a path to failure
September 11
09:00 2018

College is one of the things that almost every parent hopes for their child, expecting they will make a good future for themselves. For most parents, that hope for their child to get a higher level of education often extends to any major or field of study — except for art.

For many generations, getting a degree in art has been seen as the “easy route” through school and only leads to a stereotypical life of a “starving artist.” What most people who have not majored in a creative field fail to recognize is that nearly everything around us is influenced by art in some way or another.

People who doubt the influence and power of art make their first oversight by only thinking that art is what you can view at a museum or gallery. When our understanding of art is expanded to include the modern interpretations of traditional styles, like graphic design or animation, the utility and value of art become more apparent.

And while those majoring in fine art may risk falling into some of the artist stereotypes, there are many other majors encompassed in an “arts” degree that are substantial divergences from classical, fine art.

The modern art degree has drifted further away from the gallery-centered fine art degree, and more toward giving students the abilities to produce products for an interested market. An example of this way of thinking is a major like graphic design, in which students learn tools and techniques to form their art in ways that attract potential customers.

Most objects we see every day might not appear to be related to art but have factors that are influenced heavily by the elements and principles of design, making them more effective. Roads are an example of this: the fundamental, artistic principles of emphasis and contrast can be found in the different colored lines that easily help drivers determine where and how to drive on the road.

We wear clothes every day but most people don’t think about the origin of their clothing, much less think of them as art pieces. People think of fashion designers as prestigious, household names who show off their work in Paris or New York City but forget about those who make everyday fashion for the masses.

While there are many more facets of art that often go unnoticed, other areas of study are forgotten when thinking about what it means to be an art major. Sound design and animation are used in the production of movies and TV shows, but these programs are often overlooked or left out of the conversation. These majors represent a large portion of the people who go into the art field but are not considered to be under the art umbrella.

Yes, those who major in art do make cool products like movies and video games, but their biggest contribution is all the design that goes into every single work of art made. Without the work and perseverance of art majors, those with “real majors” like business would have nothing to sell.

Featured Illustration: Austin Banzon

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Shane Monaco

Shane Monaco

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