Arts & Humanities: Don't Leave College Without Them

The Changing Role of the Modern Artist

thinker, because figuring out how to curate cohesive pic - tures with your own two hands is a task requiring great foresight on composition. Exploring the dynamics of painting and other forms of art has helped me become more mindful of the feelings evoked by my artwork. I have realized that as an artist, I can make an impact on the world around me. I can be an inspiration to others.

As a full-time Economics student, regardless of how little time I now have to devote toward art, my respect for artists and pride toward being an artist myself has only grown. Over the years, I have noticed how society carries multi- ple definitions of what it means to be an artist. Artists can be perceived as either “cool and creative,” or “likely to be broke,” and lacking the potential to succeed. What fasci- nates me tremendously is how the role and perception of artists has drastically evolved. Isn’t it interesting how artists back in the 18th and 19th centuries were thought of as ‘geniuses,’ and how many people accepted them as “artisans” (Deresiewicz, “The Death of the Artist”)? Patronage for the arts used to be ex- ceptionally common, and engaging with any form of the arts, be it visual or performance, was a sign of having good taste. The ability to hand-craft human feelings and reali- ties, either through drawing, painting, or writing poems, was perceived to be unparalleled and invaluable work.

arts and economics the tints. The shades. And the values

by Abira Naeem

The “Creative” Within the “Concrete”

My middle and high school art journey has now morphed into a college degree in Economics. Yup, that’s right—a degree in Economics. Even as an Economics major today, I still carry within me the identity of a practicing artist. In my studies, my knowledge in art has given me a crea- tive advantage over some of my peers—especially with how easily I can connect abstract economic concepts and graphical illustrations to real-life situations. With an ar- tistic background, I am able to come up with both crea- tive and rational solutions to complex economic issues. I have also been able to channel my creative abilities in my presentation of graphical and numerical work in the field of economics in ways that are both aesthetically pleasing and understandable to others. And, truth be told, my sup- ply and demand curve graphs always do end up looking nicer than those of my peers.

My primary exposure to anything remotely “arts” re- minds me of the scene of my four-year-old self, grab- bing my newly single-mother’s “stress diary” of doodles. She always drew in a pocket-sized, marbled composition notebook when in long call queues, or when she filled out paperwork. It was always little flowers, stars, and paislies. To my three-foot-something self, my mother’s little doodles were enough to inspire me to want to make art—enough to inspire me not just for a couple of days, but for a lifetime. At the time, I was innocent, I was learn- ing, and I was vulnerable. I was an artist in the making.

knowledge on how to create with my own two hands; I had developed stronger observational skills and more perspective on my artistic practices. However, it was in Ms. David’s high school fine arts class where I discov - ered my passion for painting—landscape painting, in particular. I started going outside more routinely with my Nikon to photograph the scenic parts of my neighborhood—the walking paths, the foliage, and the snow. I began recreat- ing images of real-life scenes onto my Artist’s Loft can- vases with meticulous brushstrokes and caution. While painting landscapes that reflected the world around me, I openly embraced the ability to create my own colorful renditions of reality. Truly, whenever I painted, I thought most clearly. I felt nothing but myself, the canvas, the paint, and the moment. Painting has helped me appreciate the little details in my daily life. Observing landscapes allowed me to fo- cus on the overlooked attributes of the scenes around me. Through painting, I have become a more strategic

The Art of Creation and Reflection

The first-ever, official art class I took was in the first grade. I was one of the only kids in my large public school who was given the privilege to take the accelerated track in art. I voluntarily stuck with the arts for twelve years, while most students only completed a mandatory seven years of art classes. On my twelve-year arts journey, I had taken courses in fine arts, studio arts, and even pho - tography. Each art course I took helped me expand my

Abira is an Economics student, who enjoys learning about the world around her, and seeks to inspire oth- ers through writing and art.


Arts & Humanities

Don’t Leave College Without Them


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