Rock on, fine arts majors


The Daily Illini File Photo

An actress rehearses for “Because I am your Queen (A Feminist Fantasia)” at the Illinois Theatre on March 13. Columnist Ellen praises artistic individuals for their creative minds.

By Ellen Barczak, Columnist

I am not artistic. In fact, most people aren’t artistic. Why, then, do we as a society tend to roll our eyes and scoff at those who, having been blessed with the gift of creativity, pursue careers in the arts?

This past summer, I dove deep into the world of Vampire Weekend’s Ezra Koenig, not only with the band’s music but with Koenig’s podcast, “Time Crisis.” I also watched a few too many episodes of Jerry Seinfeld’s “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee.” 

Needless to say, my interest in artistic people has been piqued.

I want to publicly declare my love and support for all you starving artists out there, all you dance, art history and creative writing majors who have a hard time explaining your fields of study to your Aunt Cheryls and Uncle Mikes around the holidays. 

Imagine, for a moment, a life devoid of art. Netflix would never have existed, as many of its shows have been written, animated, filmed, etc. There wouldn’t be any music to listen to, either. John Mulaney? He’d be a manager at a Barnes and Noble. But, wait! Barnes and Noble would only contain technical textbooks. Bummer.

The clothes you’re wearing? They’d be gone, too, replaced by some drab, practical, colorless sack. The dinner you’re thinking of? It would be replaced with a substance meant only for sustenance. Gross.

We need to give a little more love to those we know whose dream is to enrich the world we live in with beautiful, different, unique things; things that, although seemingly “impractical,” provide such joy and flavor to life.

I applaud you who care more about your oil painting than your statistical analysis project, you who have a passion for producing music, choreographing ballets or even crafting the perfect joke.

Majors in the STEM fields are creative and innovative, too, don’t get me wrong. I’d like to live in a world, though, where we value our songwriters and comedians as much as we value those who create fuel-efficient engines.

Someone has to be the next New York Times bestselling author. Someone has to win the Grammy for Best New Artist. Someone has to change the world of fashion. It could be you, my beautiful, brave, bold fine arts major. 

I can’t draw a tree, I can’t play the piano and I most definitely can’t make a ceramic receptacle without holes in it (and I’ve tried). I’m glad to live in a world where others hold skills I can only dream of having. 

Next time someone makes a snarky comment about your “impractical” major, know we’re all just jealous of you. How marvelously delightful it must be for the world to be your art project.

Ellen is a junior in LAS.

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