I graduated in 2011 with my Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts with emphasis in Photography from the University of Minnesota, Duluth. About a year before I graduated, I had to write a short paper on why I wanted to major in Fine Art and Photography (see below). I just recently read it again, almost three years later, and felt such an accomplishment that I was able to graduate and get my degree while going through such a hard time in my life. As of right now, I’m a photographer on the side, but i’ve been picking up more and more work lately. In the next year or two, I hope to be photographing people and events on a very regular basis and have that be my main source of income. I’m on the right track. Here is what I wrote:
If someone were to have asked me five years ago what subject I wanted to major in, my answer would have been engineering. But, perhaps by some twist of fate, during my first semester at the local community college I took my first photography class and I fell in love with it. By the end of my freshman year I was sure that I wanted to change my major and focus my studies on Photography, Digital Arts and the Fine Arts.
Art, especially photography, is like therapy for me, it helps me deal with my issues and emotions and lets me communicate my feelings to my audience. I concentrate most of my art on problems that I have gone through and experienced, like depression and the loss of a loved one. My artwork comes from a place of deep-seeded emotion and I create it to make myself feel better and to give me a sense of purpose. The main theme for most of my artwork is youth and the problems they face, whether it is childhood trauma, pregnancy or teen angst. A lot of major issues, like depression and its demons, are not talked about and it is important that adults know what problems plague teenagers. If more parents were aware of the problems their teens were facing, they would be able to help. One of my main goals, when it comes to creating artwork, is bringing these issues to the public’s eye. I want them to see, to get a sense of the problems that face our youth and our society. It is not meant to shock my audience, but to inform them, to make them aware of, in my opinion, important problems facing young adults.
While trying to earn my degree, the biggest hardship I’ve had to deal with was the death of my Dad. My dad was amazingly supportive, he was always the first person I would go to after completing a series of photographs or any other project I was working on. His opinion always mattered the most to me and he always thought the world of my artwork. Before he passed away, my Dad made me promise to finish college and get the degree I deserved. One of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do was stay in school, it is so hard to continue doing what I love so much and trying to keep up with school while facing such a devastating loss. But I will keep my promise and try my hardest because that’s what would make my Dad proud. Even after death, my dad is the biggest influence in my life and the driving force that helps me push forward during the darkest times. Everything that I accomplish, every goal that I meet, I do it for him. Though it may be difficult sometimes, I keep creating art because that’s what my Dad would want me to do, and somewhere, somehow, I know he is proud of me.