When I really think about it, I realize that I make 2-D print art because that’s what was offered in school and encouraged of me.
I’ve always admired dancers but dance was never an option in school.
I’ve always admired musicians, but classes for instruments or vocals were never offered.
This was all in grade school. My high school had music (no dance teams. All girls. Dance teams were for girls who cared about boys’ opinions, and we couldn’t have that, of course.) but by then I was already a jock and a print artist.
Wanna know why?
Because my grade school offered volleyball and taught almost exclusively 2-D art. Mixed media? Not a chance. Music? Honestly, too out there (I accidentally attended a conservative Catholic grade school).
And while maybe (I’m genuinely not sure of this.. The school part not the good person part) that school made me a good person, also maybe I would have explored dance and/or vocals, or even have been encouraged enough to have the balls to learn guitar.
Fact is, all my life I’ve had 2-D art shoved down my throat.
And I do not believe for a second that that is not a HUGE reason why I am a 2-D artist today.
But I love to sing, more than most things, actually. My mom’s heard me and has complimented me, which is sweet, but she never encouraged me to explore that venue. Even when I expressed interest.
And guitar. For YEARS I YEARNED to be able to skillfully play those damn strings. With no classes at school and not a penny or driver’s license to my name (age 12) there was no way I was learning how to play that guitar unless my mom sponsored it. And she wouldn’t sponsor it (I LOVE YOU MOM I’M SORRY I KNOW I WAS ALREADY TOO BUSY!).
I’m not saying don’t take your life into your own hands and do the things you want to do; I believe exactly the opposite. Because I am 22. And can do things for myself.
There are no excuses.
But when you’re 12, or 9 or 6, if you’ve got an inkling of an interest in something, you can’t explore it unless others provide you with at least the materials, if not the education and the encouragement… And the ride.
It is IMPERATIVE that we continue to provide developing minds with as many options as possible.
This is not a crusade for arts education. This is a crusade for education.
How can kids truly find themselves when they’re not even told that half the world exists?
Do you know I used to sit in our rec room (good ‘ol Wisconsin) on the computer, editing photos, making them better or more artistic, for hours at a time, wishing there was a job like that out there for me?
I wished for years.
And wishing is synonymous with wasting time.
This was legitimately before Google.
But unfortunately not before people stopped reading books.
So it was a little hard to know what was in the career world.
No one ever told me that there are actual HUMANS who make all the signs on the side of the road pretty. Or who designed the logos of the companies I saw every day.
No one ever told me about graphic design.
And I never even knew how to ask.
I had to find it on my own, at age 19, years later, when I was told that what I was doing and loving for years is called graphic design and that there’s an entire damn WORLD out there for freaks like me.
I wasted years without guidance. Wandering around in an unidentifiable, lonely abyss.
Without options in education, America will lack options in people.
If only math and science are taught in schools, we will eventually have only mathematicians and scientists.
If only the arts were taught in schools, we’d have only artists.
We need everything and everyone.
So SAVE ART EDUCATION and SAVE EDUCATION…… And maybe….. Save America?