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  1. #1
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    ''Studying art is BS!'', and how you cope with the phrase

    Having now spent my first year at an art school in Toronto, i've come across....way too many people saying that or something similar. Being the big city, everyone is trying to make it big. And by big, I mean land 100k jobs and whatnot....and having casual conversations with these people is just so impossible. It always boils down to the question at some point or another, ''what do you study?''
    When I answer, ''concept art for entertainment'', they either know what it is and give me odd looks or they have NO idea what it is and make me elaborate that it's basically art. And you all know how it goes after that.

    I really don't care, to be honest(as i'm so damn used to it now), but I was curious at to what all of you peoples' experience with this issue is, and how you personally cope with it.

    Also, on a sidenote; I know a couple of dudes from a pretty big fraternity, and once I got to know everyone in that place I also had to elaborate on my studies, to which they had diverse reactions. None of them positive of course. Ironically though they asked me if I could design their halloween party flyer and later on their St. Patrick's day flyer.....they LOVED me for it and hold me in high regard now. The drawings weren't even very good, really


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  3. #2
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    Just wait till you try talking to other people "studying" art
    And I use the term studying very very very very loosely here
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    Quote Originally Posted by Demo View Post
    Just wait till you try talking to other people "studying" art
    And I use the term studying very very very very loosely here
    just wait till you meet "artists" (yes, those people that grow up from people "studying" art)

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    Why on earth do you have to cope with the phrase?

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    These people you describe find comfort and security in money and material goods and that is not necessarily a bad thing, but they also aren't inherently creative, and they don't understand how much art actually influences their daily lives and decisions. There is no other way to convince them than to actually show them, even then it's doubtful that someone with that mode of thinking would understand.

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  10. #8
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    What Bill said. Eventually you realize it isn't worth the time and effort and you'll pick something non-descript as an occupation like "plumber". Even then people will say they're aunt/mom/best friend's little brother is a plumber too and ask if you know them.
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    The (notoriously eccentric and irreverent) composer Erik Satie once solved this problem when, at a party of all manner of grand and important guests, he answered questions about what he did for a living by claiming that he was a gymnopedist. It had the desired effect: no one had any clue what that was, but no one wanted to admit ignorance. Thus he made a good impression all round. :-)
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  13. #10
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    I actually can appreciate what you mean-- there's definitely an attitude among some people in Toronto that if you're not aiming to be rich, you're not doing anything worth doing.
    Having said that, if you want to be taken seriously, be confident about who you are and what you want to do. People can only make you feel small if you let them.
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    I had a friend that used to make me feel bad for studying art. He was pre-med and always gave me a hard time about it. Every time I accomplished any academic milestone he would shout "whatever, it's ART! You're not going to have a job."

    Fast-forward 4 years, and he's pretty much ruined his chances of going to dental school and still works at the video store. He bitterly says "wish I could just stay at home and draw all day instead of work. Must be fun." To which I reply "It sure is."

    Forget those people. Do what you want but put your heart into it.

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  16. #12
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    Tell them it’s BA NOT BS.

    Most people tend to lose sight of the fact that college is basically a piece of paper. If you're not self-motivated maybe it is more than that. However, anyone with drive and initiative can learn just about anything on their own. It doesn't matter where you read a book all that matters is you read it.

    To be honest a lot of other majors don't end up getting much out of their degrees either.


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    Quote Originally Posted by sanya View Post
    I actually can appreciate what you mean-- there's definitely an attitude among some people in Toronto that if you're not aiming to be rich, you're not doing anything worth doing.
    believe me it's not a Toronto only thing. there's that ongoing sausagefest among, let me generalize for a second, a whole bunch of pressed males, optionally having either MBA, miserable marriage or a whole bunch of issues rooting in their childhood (abusive dad much?)
    having spent most of last year in SEA and seeing levels of dickiness that western expats (and rejects) show there, I can only shake my vivienne westwood bag disapprovingly and soundlessly wipe in my burberry handkerchief when no one can see it. lvl 4 irony alert

    and wait until those people are you clients and you're billing them. now your final numbers are obv wrong and you're a greedy bitch and they should probably hire a Chinese freelancer for 1/5 of your price. no they aren't going to, but you're still a greedy bitch.

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  19. #14
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    I'd say about 90% of the people I talk to are themselves artists so I really haven't experienced any of that.

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  21. #15
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    Just create a high-class product and use your art to market it to high-class people. They'll all be forking over money to eat out of your hand.
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    Quote Originally Posted by manlybrian View Post
    Just create a high-class product and use your art to market it to high-class people. They'll all be forking over money to eat out of your hand.
    very much this

  23. #17
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    ''Studying art is BS!'', and how you cope with the phrase"?

    I dont... Some people define themselves through a paycheck, others through a pretty picture. do what you love and don't waste time thinking about the opinions of others.
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  24. #18
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    This problem is completely alien to my experience. Of course, I've made it a policy my entire life not to associate with assholes.

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  26. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elwell View Post
    This problem is completely alien to my experience. Of course, I've made it a policy my entire life not to associate with assholes.
    Yea, that's the attitude I keep most of the time. Although I'm still in that transition through the naive young adult phase where you want to explain things to people, but I do foresee the fact that I really won't give two shits eventually.

    Also, seem's like a bunch of people here have heard that before. It IS a sausagefest of MBA's, expensive cars on debt and male(also female) insecurity.

  27. #20
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    Art Students are not the same type of people that talk to Fraternity dudes in my experience.

    Different worlds, man.

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    Just tell them you're studying design and they'll be like LOL OK COOLZ. Instead of saying I study art in a casual conversation in public, I'll just say, "Oh, I study Industrial Design!" and they'll think I'm cool br0!111 But when I tell them I study art, they'll think I'm a pothead or a dumb arse. You will find many uneducated and lazy people in the masses, so they obviously won't take the time to study up on a subject such as art and will resort to generalizations off of stigmas.

    Tip: Avoid personal conversations with randoms in public. It almost never ends well. Make friends among others that do the same thing you do or coworkers you have at a job you know and trust.

  29. #22
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    When I was in school, I wish I could say I took some sort of moral high ground, but when people said "oh, you kids are art majors," we responded with "at least we aren't vis. comm majors!" Because, you know, silly visual communications majors were all just wanna be art majors who couldn't commit. Never mind that we took a lot of crossover classes together

    Seriously, though, in my experience, every major picks on other majors. The physics students make fun of the chemistry students, the political studies kids make fun of international relations, philosophy makes fun of religion, and everyone makes fun of theatre majors who in turn make fun of musical theater majors.

    But none of that really matters in the real world or the grand scheme of your life. Do what makes you happy; don't worry so much about others.

  30. #23
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    Pretty much everything that everyone likes involved an artist in some way. Cool-looking things aren't just magically conjured up out of nothing. I once knew a guy that thought all the lighting and color composition in movies and TV shows was just coincidence.

    First you need some guy in charge to come up with a terrible idea. Then you need artists and engineers to polish that turd until it shines. Then the guy in charge makes strange requests picked randomly from a hat. Then the artists and engineers tack that on and after several more rounds of this it finally gets shipped out the door. If it sells well, the guy in charge can take credit, and if it doesn't some of the artists and engineers get fired.
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  31. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by SandyMan View Post
    Having now spent my first year at an art school in Toronto, i've come across....way too many people saying that or something similar. Being the big city, everyone is trying to make it big. And by big, I mean land 100k jobs and whatnot....and having casual conversations with these people is just so impossible. It always boils down to the question at some point or another, ''what do you study?''
    When I answer, ''concept art for entertainment'', they either know what it is and give me odd looks or they have NO idea what it is and make me elaborate that it's basically art. And you all know how it goes after that.

    I really don't care, to be honest(as i'm so damn used to it now), but I was curious at to what all of you peoples' experience with this issue is, and how you personally cope with it.
    That kind of attitude comes out of ignorance and a culture that seems to advocate the idea that artistic skill comes out of no-where, rather than a life-time of study and practice.

    I was pretty lucky - my parents supported my return to art, although even they were surprised how much work it was. (I lived at home at the time, so it was pretty clear I was either working at my job, sleeping, or at school drawing.) I knew what I wanted to do, and didn't need other people to validate it for me.

    Just ignore them and be patient; now when I tell people I work as an artist, they are amazed and love to ask questions about it. :)
    Last edited by Alice Herring; May 9th, 2012 at 04:22 PM. Reason: I like text smilies :)

  32. #25
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    Not talking to people you don't relate to isn't the solution… Unless, you're an ostrich. I had I guy tell me once that he used to not talk to anyone who wasn't into 4wheelers. He was just that smart too. Too learn how to talk to everyone you have to learn how to be comfortable in your own skin.

    Yeah, as a science major (10yrs ago), I remember making fun of any major that wasn't as hard. In the end though, it was still just a piece of paper.


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  34. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Imrooniel View Post
    just wait till you meet "artists" (yes, those people that grow up from people "studying" art)
    In my comment I was referring to the fact that if you think fraternity/ business/ whoever, can be ignorant about what it takes to study art then just wait till you meet some other people "studying" art and realize how completely ignorant they can be about it.
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    I live in an area that has a lot of older people. Large senior population (60+) So its great when we get in conversation and they are just like "oh who is this bright young man" etc... and then they finally ask "So what are you studying?"
    me, "Art and Design"
    them, "Oohh, that's nice"
    The expression on their face never gets old.

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  37. #28
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    "I really don't care, to be honest(as i'm so damn used to it now), but I was curious at to what all of you peoples' experience with this issue is, and how you personally cope with it."

    wierdly, given how unglamourous sitting at a desk drawing can be, being a self-employed designer seems to slot in next to architect and becomes quite prestigious later on, and people get all interested and corner you at parties with their boring schemes to quit work and do art... so stick at it and beat them to it!
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  38. #29
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    interesting little tid bit that might cheer you up. I used to have this amazing art teacher a few years back who would teach a class specifically for business men, lawyers, and such. The class was a way to introduce them to some painting, drawing and art history to let them cope with there crappy desk jobs, and manage some stress. apparently every time the class would end for the year an amazing amount of the people in the class would quite their jobs and enroll in an art program.

    she had all types of stories about high up position business people and there first time drawing, and how freeing it was for them.
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  40. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Demo View Post
    interesting little tid bit that might cheer you up. I used to have this amazing art teacher a few years back who would teach a class specifically for business men, lawyers, and such. The class was a way to introduce them to some painting, drawing and art history to let them cope with there crappy desk jobs, and manage some stress. apparently every time the class would end for the year an amazing amount of the people in the class would quite their jobs and enroll in an art program.

    she had all types of stories about high up position business people and there first time drawing, and how freeing it was for them.
    Hehe your teacher must of made an insane profit from that. What a smart idea
    But in all seriousness, that's pretty awesome! Both the fact that these people decided to take some art classes, but moreso the fact that some quit their jobs to enroll full-time!

    Of course, the world needs buisnessmen and office workers, that's fine, I just wish all people were a little more open minded

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