I’m about to graduate from the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) with a degree in Writing, and my education has been quirky, informative, unique, and just right for me, and here’s why:
1. I’m challenged creatively. Every single day.
I never had to take a lab science. Instead, I bought gouache and acrylic paint and sketch pads for foundation art classes, such as, Color Theory, Drawing, and 3D design. I learned to think in terms of a story in different ways. And though I call myself a writer, I too feel I’m an artist, and my non-Writing classes flexed my artistic abilities.
2. I’ve become both a writer and a designer.
Not only can I write an article, but also I can create a logo, design a magazine spread, enhance a photo, make graphics, and much more. Since I have a visual background as well, I have valuable input when it comes to design and layout and color schemes.
3. I’ve got an instant conversation starter.
When I introduce myself as a writer from an arts college, everyone wants to know why. Surely someone skilled with words should be at a liberal arts university? Narrative and color can’t mix? But they can, and I’m always happy to explain how.
4. People like me to write about them, which means clips.
Art students are always doing something cool, and they want to get the word out. Actors need their play reviewed, photographers want a preview posted about their show, sound designers want their album talked about, the list goes on and on. They have story ideas, and I want to get published. They scratch my back, and I scratch theirs.
5. All my peers understand creating something from nothing.
My friends at traditional universities are regurgitating facts for a final or desperately researching something for a paper. I can’t relate because my major revolves around self-expression, discovering a story, and saying something universal about the human condition. Everyone at art school is an innovator and is putting a piece of themselves into their work for the world to see. I’m not alone, and this is comforting.
6. I’ve had some whacky experiences.
There’s a reason the art student stereotype exists. Because it’s true. And there’s nothing like wearing a horse mask for a short film, buying black trashbags and spray paint for a project, and being asked to pose nude. There are just some things that happen at art school that can’t happen anywhere else. (And maybe one day they’ll go in a memoir.)
7. I now have a deeper appreciation for both writing and art.
I can talk about Khafka and Caravaggio, Shakespeare and the Situationists, The Great Gatsby and the statue of David. I like that I have fluidity between two spheres, and I’m not pigeonholed into one category or the other. I can float between them because both art and writing mean a lot to me; they’re my passions.