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Creativity Has Its Price

Why being in a creative major is actually really underestimated

by Published: Apr 23, 2014

Nothing grinds my gears more than when I tell someone I am a Graphic Design major and they reply with, “looks like you took the easy way out.”

I may not be at Ferris for Pharmacy or Optometry, which are looked at as very difficult degrees, but I put in just as many hours, and maybe even more, when it comes to school work.

Yes, medical students and engineers have millions of terms to memorize and math problems galore. I give them and anyone props for putting themselves out there and going to school. College is hard, and I am simply stating that degrees which are looked down upon as “easy” really require a lot.

For example, let me break down one project for you as a graphic design student, and then you can decide if it’s the “easy way out.”

First, behind every great design is a lot of research. Probably even more research than an English major’s final term paper. You find a reason behind everything you do and this can take you several hours before even starting a project.

Second, you spend about 4 to 5 hours with great precision drawing thumbnails for any and all of your ideas. You then go show your professor, who will probably rip apart half of your ideas and will most likely make you redo half of them. Then it’s back to square one with another 4 to 5 hours of drawing thumbnails.

Next, you are finally able to jump on your computer and you run with your best three ideas and try variation after variation of things that might work (color, type choices, etc.). Once this process is done, you can bet that another 3 to 4 hours has passed.

Now pick your best design and refine it until you are brain dead and can’t think of anything else possibly wrong with it.

Now you’re close to the last step, and this takes days because you are never truly done with any design you make.

Then you have to go drag your butt to the copy center, wait in a long line of other stressed-out design students for about an hour, and finally get your project printed and turned in.

You may be thinking it’s not too bad– drawing sounds fun. It’s a lot of work, but it’s enjoyable.

Yes this is true; I love every minute of what I do, but that whole process is usually done in a week’s time, on top of about three other projects in your other design classes plus all of your normal school work. So take everything I just described and multiply it by three, and that is how busy we design students are every single week.

Now, to be clear, I am not complaining here. I love my degree to pieces, and I am not trying to knock down any other degrees here at Ferris.

It is just that I can’t even count the number of times I have heard a nursing student scoff when a person states that they are a student at the College of Business.

I am trying to bring some light to the fact that being in fields that are usually called “easy” can actually be pretty hard. This goes for a lot of business degrees.

I know plenty of students in advertising, marketing, journalism and yes, even MIMA, who put a lot of hard work and hours into their classes.

Pretty much the entire point of this mini rant is to have you think before the next time you call someone else’s program easy.

You have no idea what a person goes through in his/her degree and the level of difficulty of the course work may be. Their piles of homework are often just as high as yours at the end of the week.

Let me tell you from first hand experience– there is more to my degree than just making pretty pictures. I think if someone just sat through a week of my classes, they would clearly see that.

Creative programs are underestimated, and that is all.

 
 
  • Tom Garbe

    I couldn’t agree more. Let’s not forget us TDMP (Television and Digital Media Production) students. I cant tell you how many “all nighters” I have pulled. That is not due to procrastination but a heavy work load. I had someone tell me that students in creative majors are selfish. There are so many opportunities for us to give back and help others creatively. It all comes down to what direction you decide to take your career, who you are and your values. We may not be saving lives but don’t underestimate what we do for people.

    I can’t imagine a world of just stuffy doctors rooms, bad tempers and white coats.