Art Majors: Blood, Sweat and Tears

By Marah Morrison

When it comes to the necessities for a good grade, an art major can spend a lot money and time on their projects.

Jake Kohler, a graphic design major and junior at Youngstown State University, said his major can be expensive because he has to pay for prints every week for various projects.

“Every week, I probably spend $10 on prints and stuff,” Kohler said. “Adding that up, it can get expensive – and then having the programs I need and the equipment – it can add up real fast.”

Kohler said in addition to the cost, everything art majors need to accomplish can be very time-consuming. He said art majors spend hours upon hours outside of class working on their projects.

“You can’t bull-crap art,” Kohler said. “You honestly have to get in and you have to do it.”

Kohler said when majoring in art, students are either in or they’re out with no in-between. He said art majors are either going to get good grades or they’re not, because they may not have the time.

YSU Graphic design major Kristen Best said students must consider printing charges and software expenses when majoring in art. She said it is not expensive for everyone, because they get creative or do things the hard way.

“Cut your own stuff, mount your own stuff and it saves you money, but it’s just a little harder,” Best said.

Best said she does not doubt for a second she picked the rightmajor, and doesn’t mind spending the money to get a better grade.

“I love it, and I’m just really devoted to it,” Best said. “I like to spend a little more and have the professionals do it for me, and it helps make things look better.”

A senior at YSU and graphic design major Tammy Bigley said the cost can vary from semester to semester depending on what other classes are being taken, such as ceramics or painting.

“When you get to your senior show, you have to print and mount,” Bigley said. “You have all kinds of expenses there, so it can get really costly.

Bigley said it’s $30 for Adobe software, and if art majors are in 3-D printing, they have to buy another program.

If art majors have to work a 40-hour a week job to survive, they are not going to have time for their classes, Bigley said.

YSU senior Haley Holt, who is double majoring in art education and interdisciplinary fine arts, said good paint can be expensive, especially if art majors want their work to look decent or even halfway decent.

“A small bottle of paint can be $30 to $40,” Holt said. “If you want more colors, that can be hundreds of dollars plus the amount to replenish it often.”

Holt said she’s required to take classes not for her focus, like photography, and she’s required to buy her own camera. She said if students want a new camera in good condition, the cheapest they can find is about $500.

“That’s not even my focus, and that’s something that I have to put money toward,” Holt said.

Holt said art majors need to be prepared for the cost, because it’s not easy. If art majors don’t have the income to support it, they should not do it because they won’t be able to pay for it.

Samantha Mitchell, a telecommunications major and film minor at YSU, has been a photographer for about eight or nine years. She said being a photographer can be expensive, especially for a college student.

“A lot of my money goes to bills and rent,” Mitchell said. “To even think about buying a new piece of equipment for photography is out of the question.”

Mitchell said she always saves for the equipment she needs, and said lenses alone are expensive. She said every year technology is updated, and if people want to stay in this field of study, they have to keep up with it.

“Getting into an art degree or a photography degree, the students know that it’s a tough market,” Mitchell said. “Always have a backup plan, never give up and keep doing what you love.”