About a month into college, I began to write for the arts section of our newspaper. I didn’t feel adjusted yet, but I felt a need to do something. I love to write, but I’ll tell you a secret. I loathe journalism. I do not believe facts need embellishment. If I had my wish, the news would come in bulleted lists; you would read the facts and know them without confusion. Everyone would have a first-hand opinion. Yet, I’m quickly realizing that, despite my hesitation, I need to keep writing this paper. It has professional expectations. Whether I like it or not, I am writing about it. But what’s more important, I meet people in ways I never would on my own.
This past week, I interviewed a recent Art History graduate that was having trouble finding footing in New York City. He believed that what he had to say was important, and was qualified for the jobs he was applying to, but wasn’t successful finding an entry-level position. “It’s like you’re sending applications out into the void,” he told me. “And when you reach out to people, it’s like, no, this entry-level job is for someone who’s been working for three years.” An incredibly talented, incredibly qualified person.
I think in his position, there are two main options that could be chosen. He could decide that art was something he could no longer afford, or he could keep trying. He, and a friend (also a recent graduate from my school) decided to take matters into their own hands. They created a Kickstarter profile, raised money for a pop-up art gallery, and are currently finalizing decisions for a show they will curate and exhibit in January. I talked to one of their former professors about their decisions, what she thought made them successful. Her belief is that, just as important as their entrepreneurial spirit and talent, is their personal relationships. Her advice went something like this. “Don’t be competitive…like people, because those personal relationships are what’s going to lead to opportunities later and collaborative energy, right?” And when you allow yourself to think this way, to work and create for the sake of your own happiness and enjoy the people you meet, it’s easier. Try it.