As I sit here, having three semesters left until I graduate, I always wonder whether whatever I am doing: language learning and sketching/drawing/illustrating, has practical value in the real world, or how can I develop it’s practical value?
As an adult now, I regret not being able to participate in a lot of arts programs when I was younger, or before the budget cuts have been taking place. Having an artistic perspective allows me to experience life that has meaning; it allows me to produce things that were not possible before through constant practice; it is the process that becomes valuable to me.
I think this is an issue I have always been having with the planning profession; while we have an emphasis on urban design, the actual public sector profession (and sometimes, depending on what work you are doing, in the private sector) has very little room for artistic creativity.
For me, I am slowly developing plans to travel once I graduate from Berkeley (or study abroad) through enhancing my language skills and art skills, with a focus on East Asia (China, Japan, Korea) The process of building up language acquisition skills and artistic craft is my focus for the last two years, as well as developing a marketable, specialized skill (something I’m still figuring out) that I can use for my travels abroad; I am temporarily postponing my entry into the transportation profession, as I feel it needs some level of creativity that I need to personally develop before I head back (in some ways, I feel like I’m following the Janet Hsieh story). I don’t know exactly when I will come back, but I feel that this is an important process I need to pursue.
Back to artistic creativity; I want to use this artistic perspective to apply to my future career. Not coming from an artistic background, I have to develop the craft/structure in order for myself to sell a product, as the design world is very tough.
This also raises up another thing: I have no idea what I will be when I grow up; I see life as a process where you find your passion through building up your knowledge set as you go to get to the point where I have finally discovered my passion because of my skill set; in other words, if I die tonight, next week, or next year, I want to be able to feel comfortable that I spent every day on two things: language learning, and drawing/visualization/illustration, I will be happy.