By Alex Ingram
The golden age is finally upon us. Or at least for many of us who never thought we'd get to drink from the golden chalice. And oddly enough it was ushered on by the likes of folks like Justin Bieber and some guy by the funny name of Barack Obama.
Let me explain.
Let's hop in the Spaceship of the Imagination, a vessel of magic and wonder brought to us by beloved scientist Carl Sagan. In this spaceship we can transcend the very fabric of space and time. In our fictional vessel lets us travel back to a fictional scenario taking place in Motown the year is 1969. The first year the Jackson 5 took stage on the Ed Sullivan show. Who would have thought that in segregated America would a quintuplet of little black boys would trounce upon the late night stage and serenade Americas households. On the other side of our tall tale we have another family to meet. Let's call them the Jeffersons. With a lead singer who can out sing out and yes even out dance little Michael (I did say this was fiction right?) Well the Jeffersons didn't have a relentless father like Joe Jackson and because their act was so similar the record studio chose to pass on the Jeffersons. And so did the rest of the studio heads. Our lead Jefferson lived a respectable life despite such a folly, performed regularly at his local church choir but never received the glory of celebrity or a chance to rival the king of pop.
Fast forward to 2006. A little munchkin sings usher songs in his room and consistently posts to the Internet. This generates what is known to become a following and before you know it record companies are approaching him. Usher wants to sign him. Ellen Degeneres wants to hang out with him! And how is this success followed. Why by renting out the staples center for Disney superstar Selena Gomez and a net worth of 200 million dollars.
Now how does this relate to your degree. Yes your college degree - the parchment by which you practice law and you become a lawyer. Practice medicine and you become and Doctor. And you with an art degree. You practice art and you become... An artist. Yes an artist! A term that starving is often unaccompanied with. How could that degree where you learned to score paper, act, and miss your friends band posters help you.
Well let me tell you. That degree helped make you think different. While your friends stressed out his to memorize the age old foundations of business, you were busy questioning corporations. And analyzing them. And thinking how you could make them better.
You were busy tinkering, trying something new. experimenting in everything. Developing new interests, becoming bored of them, and reexamine them. Learning about yourself, learning about others who are just like you, and finding peace in the fact that yes you think differently than your peers, you do not believe everything at face value, and that everything can be improved.
In fact you may even find that those principles may very well be at the core of who you are.
Today there are a whole slew of folks that are bypassing the system and rules and power that be much like Bieber. They are tapping into the community at large showcasing their talents on a stage increasingly becoming far greater than the power of your television, or radio, or depending how old you are when you reading this .. your newspaper. With it they are able to turn the no of an acting job for small screen commercial and turn it into a spoof on Vine. They are able to create a viewership that rivals the old standbys for a generation of new citizens of the world.
So to conclude this long post I'm oddly writing in an Apple Store as a Mac technician installs El Capitan to my ancient MacBook Pro, I leave you with this nugget.
Your art degree is like a golden ticket. You are able to see through the falsehoods the world hands you, give you technological prowess to promote yourself and give you the hard skills may of your account exec and admin friends may never receive.
I encourage you to embrace the term artist and consider its interchangeability with the term entrepreneur. We both have a set of skills, looking to improve something, and will work as hard as it takes to make our idea come to fruition.
Now it's up to you to think determine. Do I want to be a starving artist or do I want to change the world.
Food for thought.