An Open Letter to Art

Subject: An Open Letter to Art
Date: 22 Mar 2018

I don’t know how it makes me feel. Studying something people perceive as having no career, something that is “just a hobby” and not a real job. What encouraging words, right? I guess they’re not wrong. Not many people do actually make it in the art world. Many just have it as a side job and that perfectly okay, but what if I wanted more? How does one so-called “make it” in the art world? Is this even something I actually want to do or have I just put so much into it that I feel I can’t back out? Is it both? Don’t get me wrong, Art, you amazing and inspiring and it makes me so excited to learn new techniques and ways of doing things in Photoshop, but what happens when I learn all the tricks? How do you keep the excitement in something you know everything to? The professors at school tell me I play it safe, I can do more, and just wait until these aren’t just assigned projects for a grade but something I want to pursue. If someone could tell me what playing it safe means then that would be fantastic.
How are people able to pass the line where it is no longer an assignment but something they want to do so much? Why have I not had that yet? They tell me my work has confidence but I don’t. Well of course not. How can one have confidence when they feel they have no place? I haven’t figured out what I want yet. Apparently, it will take years for that to happen anyway, so great. It doesn’t matter that I don’t have a style yet because that will take 10 or so years to find, even better.
Art, why does it feel so impossible to be stuck where I feel. As if I am the only one. Growing up it was said you go to college, to get internships, you learn what you need to and you get a job- straight out the gate. Especially watching someone very close do just that and here I am as a Junior never having done anything for a job except a cashier at Dunkin- it really defeats you. I want more than anything to go home one day and tell my mom, “I got a job! I have an internship for a photography company! They want me to edit their pictures!” When will that happen? It’s the end of March and I still have yet to get a portfolio ready or write a cover letter. How am I supposed to be hired now? I sit every night thinking and struggling to know what is next to do. When will I have the time? Why don’t I carry my camera more often with me? That by now should be an extra appendage- but it’s not. Am I unmotivated? Do I seriously just don’t care or am too lazy? I know I’m afraid of failing you, Art and doing things wrong but I’m just doing this for me so how am I failing? I’m failing myself? Because I think I have?
Art, we have a lot to figure out.