The Trinity Voice

Starving artists in the making

Students follow their hearts to the arts


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Little kids almost always have an idea of what they want to be when they grow up. Some want to be singers, dancers, artists, actors and celebrities. Sadly, most of those dreams slip away as they grow up and learn that there is a clearer path towards success. Years of medical or law schools guarantee you a financially safe career and lavish lifestyle. But for those who dream of careers in the arts, success is less guaranteed.

After studying the arts in college and acquiring student debt, it’s still not certain that a job can pay off debt is that was accumulated over the years.

Parents’ occupations often influence the career goals of their children. Some students intend to study medicine because their parents are doctors or choose to become a lawyer because their mom runs a law firm. But what about students with a stimulated left side of the brain; students who live their lives from an artistic standpoint? Sometimes parents can get in the way of these dreams because they fear that their child will not make it big or be successful in life.

Hearing that your child wants to become an animator or actor can be frightening news to a parent’s ear. From a parent’s perspective, the years of high-level education and money spent on tuition could be a waste if their child doesn’t find success in their chosen field of art.

At Trinity, there are many students who plan on studying arts in college and have a completely different experience applying to colleges, telling their parents, and figuring out a plan for their future than those who just follow in their parent’s footprints. Current seniors have experienced differing reactions from their parents.

Some parents believe that their children simply are not taking the idea of getting a career seriously. They think the only sensible career choices are those that will make lots of money and can be considered intellectual. So when their teenager says they want to pursue art, they believe it is just because they lack an understanding of what a career should be; a problem they’ll overcome. Senior Jessie White intends to double major in photography and communications.

“At first [my parents] were surprisingly supportive, but it was probably because they thought, ‘Oh she has time, she’ll change her mind,’” White said. “But there’s actually nothing that I want to do more than [photography] and I think I’m capable so I’m gonna go for it!”

Other parents solely want their child to be happy. Money and lavish lifestyles don’t matter to them; they solely want their child to be happy. Senior Alexandra Rick plans to study vocal performance in college.
“[My parents] told me, ‘You know we just want you to be happy, whether that means singing or being an econ major,’” Rick said.

Some parents have an established family tradition that their kids do not want to follow. Senior Colt Holler plans on studying illustration and animation in college. Holler got an interesting reaction from his parents when he told them he did not want to be a part of the family’s auto empire.

“My mom was less excited, but she was kind of [happy] about the idea that there would be one person in our family that would not go into the car business,’” Holler said.

Holler’s dad actually encouraged his son to pursue his love for illustration.

“My dad actually was really on board with it, because that was kind of a hobby that I shared with him—a love of animation,” Holler said. “He was excited about my choice.”

No matter the reaction, parents play a crucial role in whether or not a student will actually be able to pursue the arts in college. Although pursuing the arts has developed a negative connotation, parents should encourage their children to follow their dreams. They should also be willing to help support them financially to study the arts in college.

Applying to art schools is a completely different process than applying for a business school or medical school. Supplemental portfolios, essays and auditions are required on top of any mandatory essays and forms. Photography, short films and artistic statements are usually necessary for visual arts programs as well. For theatrical and vocal performance applications, sample performances and in life auditions are necessary.

Sample sketches and pieces of artwork are also required for art schools like Savannah College of Art and Design. An arts application is any normal college application with additional files to submit. Students pursuing any form of arts go through a long and draining application process. This exhausting process only proves the misconception that art school is a less legitimate option for studying. Although the process is challenging, it pays off in the end.

The process of applying to any art school is stressful, but it can also be lots of fun. Although there are many rejections in the process and the acceptance rates are low, it feels amazing and rewarding when one is accepted. The long months of hard work and essays most definitely pay off.
Although it may be frightening to both the student and parents, students who are truly passionate in the arts do end up pursuing their dreams, forever striving to find success.

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Starving artists in the making