Reflections of an Art Major: The experience is rewarding, but it isn’t for everyone


Mia Montevirgin

Emma Malabanan at her station during the art show.

Emma Malabanan, Editor-in-Chief

Becoming a Senior Art Major is a four-year journey for most of us, and it is not necessarily a walk in the park. As an art major, I do not regret my experience, but I would not recommend it to everyone.
I decided to earn an art distinction on my diploma when I graduate, otherwise known as becoming a Senior Art Major. There are two options: a three credit art major or a five credit major: for the three credit distinction, you have to take three credits worth of art classes and five credits for the other.
While it may seem like these students are exceptional at making art, it is much more than that. It’s only worth it if you have a passion for it. I’m not talking about doing it for the rest of your life–I’m going into biochemistry–but rather a love, appreciation, and perseverance to fight through the constant “artist’s block” that we all have experienced.
Most students head into high school knowing that art is something they want to pursue: I was not one of these students. I took my first art class sophomore year, and I somehow convinced myself I wanted to be an art conservationist and work in a museum. So I set my schedule on a path where I could fit five credits worth of art classes and take all the other classes I wanted to take, too. It was a fun idea, but even as my plans for the future changed, I was committed to sticking through with the goal of being an art major.
During the pandemic, it has been to difficult to sustain the motivation and love that I once had for art pre-COVID-19. One driving factor for most students is having their own display at the art show. I know it was for me. I have vivid memories of looking up to these student artists, admiring their exhibits and wanting to have my own one day. (Spoiler: I ended up having my own.) However, due to Covid, there was a huge bump in the road: the art show went digital. We were all worried that that’s how it would stay. (Another spoiler: this year the art show was done traditionally, in person and with our own exhibits.)
This journey was long and hard, but I made many memories and met some people that I consider family now; however, this experience is not meant for everyone.
In Senior Art Seminar, a class that a senior art major is required to take, there are people make it clear that their hearts aren’t in it. Those are the kinds of people to which I would not recommend this experience. You need to care about the work that you’re creating in order to go through with this process. If you carry on with all of these courses and eventually become an art major and truly don’t care about it, then you’re just wasting your time and the time of others, because the dedication the teachers in the art wing put into these students is incalculable.
This experience taught me that it was okay not to go into art as a profession, and that it was fine to just continue it as a hobby, because I don’t need to be an artist for a living to love it.