“It’s one of my theories that when people give you advice, they’re really just talking to themselves in the past.” -Austin Kleon, Steal Like an Artist
Dear twenty year old self:
Hi, hope you’re having a good day. Looks like your classes are going pretty well. (Don’t worry, sculpture isn’t my thing, either). I will say you need to go to bed earlier, so you aren’t so tired in the mornings. Those early classes are kicking your butt.
I just wanted to tell you that I think overall you’ve done some nice work. Something to keep in mind during critiques: It’s just their opinion. The other kids in class are at the same level as you. And most of them are probably going to end up working in education or some kind of sales job anyway. Do your thing. Keep working hard. Don’t worry so much.
While you’re at it, get to know your teachers. Ask some questions. Go to some art openings. Get involved in the art scene. Those other things you’re into can wait. SHOW YOUR WORK. Keep learning, stay humble, but own it. Stop caring what they think.
Switching from Art Ed to Art History was a pretty good call, I guess, but I know you really wanted to do Drawing and Painting. Well, we know that’s not justifiable to you-know-who, but you’ll get there eventually. It’s going to be an interesting journey for you. You’re going to have to go through a lot of stuff to get there. Don’t give up. And by the time you figure it out, you’ll actually have something meaningful to say.
So keep up the good work. When you’re in the Art Building, take a deep breath and remember that smell — oil paint and potential. And thank that janitor that lets you paint all night there when you’ve got the painting due tomorrow.