Wednesday, April 7, 2010

100k of angst for sale at your neighborhood Art College

Just read a Wall Street Journal article about how parents aren't able to pay for their children to go to school any more because of the recession. I could rant about how parents aren't supposed to help their children get through school, but I'm not going to because I realize that my parents have helped me a ton, even though it wasn't financial.

What I am going to rant about is how many of the children i.e. students interviewed for the article are artists, photographers, or writers. That got me thinking, is it really worth it to go to school to be an artist? I don't know, but if it's anything like getting a Ph.d in history (which I briefly considered) there are no jobs and you love what you do, but then you also have to love living with your parents and eating Ramen noddles. Besides who needs college to be an artist, Rembrandt did not go to college and he painted some fine pieces. Add a six figure college loan to the mix and you've got enough artistic angst to compete with the best artists out there, maybe that's the plan. These kids had such posh and coddled lives before they went to college that they knew they'd need more angst to hack it as an artist so they took on a crushing debt load with no forseeable way to pay it off.

Of course I know law students who do the same thing, they go to third tier law schools, take on 100k in student loans, and then they never pay it off because, frankly, lawyers don't make the kind of money people think they make unless their name ends in Kennedy, especially if they go to a law school with more than 5 words in its name. This makes no sense because the life of a lawyer is so angst filled anyway that there's no need for more angst. In fact lawyers could probably make more money selling extra angst to artists than they can practicing law.

Any insights from angst filled artists?

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