A passion for publication or promise of profit, art is beautiful



by Kelsey Carter

Welcome to the time of the Hipster, Minimalist, or any other creativity driven, innovative-thirsty college-aged group not yet named. These sexually frustrated, raging contras are dictating the essence of “cool,” ripping their hair out every time they spot any over-played voice hitting the top charts — or making any money at all, really. But can we blame them for being so prestigious? It is not their fault they are socially and culturally mature. Really, we should embrace them, thank them for refusing to open their mouths and shovel in every piece of junk mainstream media has been feeding us since the birth of Yellow Journalism.

Recently on an exam, a college professor asked how­_ media might hurt/effect society, the blank being violent video games, pornography, certain types of music and so on. While contemplating that question, what I came up with is that American society will not be able to handle media in a way that is not degenerative. Society has been conditioned to receive bits of violent, sexual and sensational ‘news’ or ‘information’, and will always come back for more. If there is ever a shift in the way media is produced, we may just stop functioning as a society all together.

For example, just consider local news. How many viewers would continue watching if newscasters quit reporting on the “Heightened awareness at Cameron after VA Tech shooting” or the like? The question is, then, how will knowing that the general American populous is a cesspool of brain matter, letting every bit of crap information infect the area, apply to the arts and the way we produce and consume intellectual property?

My concern, as a self-proclaimed artistically inclined individual and aspiring photographer, is whether or not I direct my workflow in order to appeal to the desperate needs of the culturally starved group of 20-some-year-olds, or if I produce carbon copy images and works of art that I know will be consumed by the large population of mainstream mindless consumers.

I’ve learned the basics — design elements, design principles, shutter speed and aperture — and I’ve become stale. I am by no means a composition queen, but I want to extrapolate some of these ideas and be fresh and innovative like an up and coming photographer should be. From what I have heard, though, if I want to make money I had better stay within the lines of normalcy. Actually, I had better get on a new career path all together.

But that’s just it, isn’t it? We are not striving to become journalists, artists, musicians and photographers for money. We are taking 15 plus credit hours a semester, writing dozens of papers with dozens of revisions and staring at that unholy white 8×11 Photoshop document until either our eyes bleed or we come up with a composition worthy of an art professor’s meager “It’s okay,”  because we are passionate about our work.

That’s right, it is work, so should we really have to choose?

Do I have to compromise my passion for creativity in order to make a living? I would like to think that one day someone will walk right into my adviser’s office and demand to see Kelsey Carter because they’ve got an offer she cannot refuse, and maybe they will come prepared with a $50,000 dollar check for a start to the unnamed position; I’m not holding my breath, though. The reality is, some people get lucky and others get married to doctors and lawyers who can support their artistic endeavors.

I want to appeal to the minds of the Millennial generation, I think I actually like what those erratic, fashion obsessed school mates of mine are scrounging around for. They are seeking newness, and if I’m completely honest that is what I want to be able to do as a photographer — be fresh and constantly create. I think that the majority of society cannot handle media that isn’t what they have seen for the past thirty years; they might literally explode.

I think you all should know I’m a bit of a risk taker. My plan is to create for the love of it. I’m banking on these crazy kids to pay my bills when, in all actuality maybe they just don’t know what “real” art is. So I will live off Pop Tarts and cereal for the next 10 years while I enjoy the hell out of my career.

When I find a way to be both career happy and financially successful, I’ll let you all know how it is done.

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