So, I’m about to graduate art school with my BA. I don’t really advertise that on here, people say it makes me a target for weird spam and whatnot. But in just a few weeks, I’ll be walking away with a BA in photography.
After much contemplation, both verbally and inwardly, here are my thoughts to share with the new, incoming students:
Several months ago, one professor had me call up a former student, Chase. This guy probably has no idea what a timely encouragement he was to me. I’ve still never met the guy… I’ll have to buy him a beer sometime. The piece of advice he gave me that I clung to, and really embraced was “Get out of the city as often as possible. Go on road trips, without a map, with no real destination in mind. Meet people off the beaten path. Most students want to make great photos, but they are not willing to get out and meet people. Be different.”
Living in Colorado, when people leave Denver, they go up to the mountains to photograph snowboarding and summer sports. Yes, we do live in the healthiest state in the country, and we love our sports here. Nothing wrong with that. But at art school… well, everyone’s portfolios end up looking pretty similar.
Something else I’ve learned, more on my own by trial and error, is determination. Not taking “no” for an answer. If you have an idea, a dream, or just something you want, go get it. No one is going to get it for you. No one is going to open all the doors and pave the way for you. Work will not fall into your lap. It won’t. Period. Go get it. Get out there, meet people. Network. Listen. Be truly interested in other people’s lives. And kick down some doors.
I’m known for reading about 8 books simultaneously, and the past months have been no exception. Perhaps I ought to write a few book review blogs… maybe another time. Of all the books I’ve been reading, one quote has stood out, called Love Does.
“I used to think God guided us by opening and closing doors. Now I know that God wants us to kick down some doors.” —Bob Goff, Love Does.
If you want something, stop making excuses, and go get it. Don’t take no for an answer, go find another route until it becomes a reality.
The one other piece of advice I have for all new students is to read some Dale Carnegie. Seriously. I’m thinking my friends and classmates might be getting sick of hearing me quote him after all these months, but his tactics are completely transforming the way I relate to people. How to Win Friends and Influence People is probably the best book any business person, student, or really just anyone can read. Go find it. It’s been a bestseller since the 30’s for a reason.
Okay. There’s my soapbox. But really, it is passing on advice that I’ve received. I am so grateful for these bits that I’ve picked up! Thank you Chase, Bob, and Dale.