College for liberal arts?

Colleges are for fun and to prove that you can do your chores, but they are not for learning.
(Elon Musk)

For writing, art, and video production skills, you'll either learn on your own or at a low-cost junior college. But if you are to become an interesting person, these practical skills must be balanced by a deep cultural appreciation of the arts. For you as an artist, a knowledge and enjoyment of fine art and literature. You'll want to be able to converse about more than using Photoshop's interacting layers. About how back in 1600, Michelangelo Caravaggio stalked his stabbing victims at midnight through the streets of Rome, then painted his dark and dramatically-lit masterpieces during the daylight hours. And, how he probably used one of the first large 8" glass lenses from Murano near Venice... sit the subject in the sun outside a dark box, a camera obscura, lens in the wall throwing an upside-down image on a canvas  on an interior wall, fast trace with charcoal saving so much layout time. Today, it's easier -- just project a JPG on that canvas. Both fine and commercial artists have always loved the latest technology, true that. Like Norman Rockwell using a Rolleiflex camera to capture his neighbors’ facial expressions in Stockbridge, Massachusetts – for all those Look Magazine covers.

Learning art history is a sine qua non, Latin for ya gotta do it. After all, you are carrying a blazing torch for those gone before you, back 36,000 years to the incredibly delicate and beautiful wall images at the Altamira cave complex, located near the historic town of Santillana del Mar in Cantabria, Spain. So much art history since then. And the quickest way to get a handle on the scope of it all -- buy a new or used copy of Janson's History of Art: the Western Traditon. Expensive? Yes. Essential? Yes. As Michelangelo said, invest in yourself to get ahead. So get that heavy Janson's book. Put it under your pillow at night, and maybe you'll be rapidly infused with art history as you sleep! King Charlemagne tried that circa 800 AD. Illiterate, he slept with a Bible under his pillow, taking in the holy text as he slept. Did it work? We have no idea. Maybe, because these days, you can rapidly clone hard disk info to a second disk under heat and pressure.
Next, you'll want to take an Art History class or two at college. English Composition, also. And here, I'd probably spend the money to attend a proper liberal arts school, if you can. Where you will be exposed to teachers and other students who actually enjoy art, music, and literature. Your goal is to be like them, without the phony faux-cultural BS that sometimes masquerades as sophistication. Financially, what's in it for you? The ROI? There's a huge payoff. Being able to talk about art history is an entry point into an association with older upper-class and upper-middle-class people. Folks with money, where social climbing can be a great help to your career. Let’s look at that next.

back to Contents

Next chapter

to Index

Need your help to make this ebook better!