I am a multifaceted artist born and raised on the north side of Chicago. I prefer to paint with oils but I enjoy playing with many different mediums. I have experience with painting, drawing, print making, digital photography and sculpture. I recently graduated with a BA in Art Media and Design from DePaul University and plan to continue creating art, not only solo, but in collaboration with others as well as pursuing a career in art education.
What do you want to be when you grow up? We are constantly asked this question throughout our lives, especially in school by our teachers and peers. This is a question that is used to base what you will study so that you can eventually work in the field you have always dreamed of. One thing that your parents and teachers will often neglect to tell you; is that you probably will change your mind, time and time again about what you want to do with your life. They don’t tell you about some of the financial struggles you might face by changing your mind so many times.
I switched majors and Universities 3 times before settling for something, which is what I had wanted to do in the first place. The most important advice I could give to any college student is to follow your heart. If you choose a career you are unhappy with, you may switch half way through your life anyway!
When I first applied to college I wanted to study Visual Art, but that changed when other opportunities fell at my feet. A good friend worked at a major record label, and offered me an internship! I was always taught the importance of work experience and saw that the school I was going to be studying at offered a program in that field, Music Business Management. I was so blindsided by my excitement that I didn’t take the time to think about what that field really entailed. I should have known that, as an artist, I would be unhappy in this field. Business and Art use two completely different parts of the brain. I was pretending to be something I was not, and three years later, I could not bear to lie to myself any longer.
I left that school and took a few months to think. Instead of coming up with a solution I was getting wrapped up too tightly in my social life, and knew that if I stayed in the city, I would wind up doing nothing with my life.
After some thinking, I left the city and moved to the west coast afor a year where I attended school for Psychology. It just seemed like a major that I could eventually incorporate art into, and I felt that it would satisfy my need to help people. The weather did not agree with me out west, and I chose to move back home and attend a different university in the city. I took an art class that made me remember why I loved making art so much, and chose to end with that as my major. It took me 6 years to graduate with a BA in Art Media and Design, all because I didn’t take the time to really think about what I wanted. I also lost a large amount of money in the process between the many years of school and moving back and forth across the country. Lastly, while I learned a lot and gained many credits, my specialized credits did not transfer every time I switched majors and schools.
If I could give anyone advice about choosing majors or schools, it is to really give it some thought. Talk to peers or parents, grandparents and representatives from the colleges you are applying to. Sometimes they can give you suggestions and show you a path that you did not know was an option. If you want to get a head start and have no clue what you like, attend classes at a city or community college and earn your associates degree. That way, you will save money on general academic classes, and working your way toward the degree you hope to achieve.