Art is where the heart is, but we need security!
Only 40% of working artist have a bachelors degree, and sometimes I feel like I can apart of the 60% who didn’t need one…
Was spending 4-years in college going to get me there? Could I drop-out of college, and start a design firm? With all of my experience, and my portfolio could I land a job doing what I love without a degree in my hand?
I remember my second year in college sitting in my dorm room bumping All Falls Down from Kanye West debut album College Dropout…
“ Man, I promise, she’s so self-conscious
She has no idea what she doin’ in college
That major that she majored in don’t make no money
But she won’t drop out, her parents’ll look at her funny
Now, tell me that ain’t insecurr
The concept of school seems so securr
Sophomore, three yurrs, ain’t picked a carurr”
Deep down I knew I could make it in the art / entertainment world If I dropped out of college, but like Kanye said I didn’t want my parents looking at me funny.
I realized I was logging into my portal every month requesting to change majors from: art, to fashion, to french, to computer science, to journalism…. I wanted to do it all.
The main reason I went to college was to prove those against me wrong… I was told in my youth that “I would not make it past high school”… On the other hand I remained in college because of my parents, who tell me constantly “ it will all pay off” , and that “You’re not dropping out, you going to finish”.
According to U.S. Census Bureau 2012 American Community Survey, “ There are 2 million arts graduates with bachelor’s degrees in [ creative fields ] living in the United States. Fewer than 200,000, just 10 percent, make their primary earnings as working artist”.
Jaz W. is a computer networking major but has a passion for the music industry. Jaz is a producer / artist/ and song writer. He has produced songs for many upcoming artist like Lorine Chia, and even toured the country with rapper Mark Battles.
After touring the world, and living in San Diego for a few years , at age 21 Jaz was ready for change. He decided that he would move to LA to continue chasing his dreams, but decided he would enroll into school and do both.
“I needed a back up plan. Yes taking a risk is sometimes apart of chasing your dreams but in this generation we need security.” — Jaz W.
The struggle in pursing a career in art, while going to school, and working a job can be very hard to do. Jaz says that for him “it’s hell to be honest but if you really want something you chase it”.
Aaliyah 21, is a Communication major at LACC who has the voice of an angel. She writes most of her music on the train every morning before class, then spends her afternoons working, and late nights either performing or the recording studio.
Listening to Aaliyah sing, I often think “Wow, she could really be a famous singer, if she wanted to…but than that might involve her having to change herself for the industry in order to make money,etc. ”.
Going to school full-time , while being an artist full-time as an adult can be hard; but it will all be worth it in the future.
Aaliyah chooses to pursue both her schooling and music, “Because it is important to pursue that which drives your entire being while still using wisdom and understanding that things of real value take time to manifest. So, in the meantime, acquire more skills and become more valuable to the marketplace ”.
Aaliyah, Jaz, and I could all forget about school if we wanted to take a chance with life. If we wanted to have no back plan. Instead we want to set examples for future generations that you can pursue a degree, and be an active artist at the same time.
College is not necessary, but it helps provide security and give us time to figure it all out …