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Illustration- Minor in Theater Arts
Syracuse NY

Art or Engineering: Which is Harder?

(May 14 2009) Written by: Clarissa Baston in Coursework, Majors & Minors

Recently in one of my classes this week, we started talking about one of the great debates here at RIT.  Which is harder? Art or engineering?  I don't really know what sparked the conversation, but I was taken back to my freshmen days.  I would do the majority of my projects on the floor of my dorm room and kept the door open just in case i needed that extra room to move around.  So people would pass by and take a quick peek, then go on their way.  But then there would be a few people who wanted a closer look and comment on how us art kids have it easy.  I remember my roommate, who was a graphic design major, and I would get so offended and start listing off the reasons why what we do was nowhere near "easy." 

Now, I am not saying that art or design is harder than engineering.  Art is difficult for different reasons. There are no right answers in any of your work.  There are no equations or formulas to memorize.  Ultimately, your grade is based on what someone else thinks.  I'm not trying to discourage any art people, but that's the way it is.  And I think the classes that I have taken, especially freshmen year, really makes you realize what you're really getting into.  It's scary sometimes, but to be successful in the art world, you have to know these things and have really thick skin. 

The professors are there to push you to be better and be more open minded about the world around you.  My 2D Design/Drawing professor was my worst enemy.  She constantly put my on the spot and called me out on all my mistakes!  I felt like quitting so many times, but by the end of that year, she actually helped me see that I do have what it takes to make it, but I just need to put in the work and the effort.  When I realized that, I knew that she wasn't really out to get me and I still keep in touch with her today :)

You can't be lazy in the art field because there will always be someone better than you, working harder, and getting ahead.  Things are constanly changing and it is really REALLY competitive out in the "real world."  And RIT tries their damnest to prepare you for everything you could possibly experience.

I can't really speak for all engineering majors, but from what I hear it is just as challenging.  My brain could not hold half the information that engineering majors have to know.  It's insane!  I mean I was good at math and science in high school, but sheesh...you will not be seeing me in an engineering class anytime soon.

In all honestly, if you really like what you do...then it doesn't seem as bad as I probably made you guys think.  So don't panic.  Breath.  If it feels like you're going to have a panic attack...just remember to give everything a chance and if you feel like it doesn't fit...nothing is set in stone :)

Comments (3)

  • Lorrie Hendron

    Lorrie Hendron

    14 May 2009 at 15:18 |
    :) Clarissa, You've given me a new insight into the Arts as a major. I hope your considering a minor in Communications :) You are very articulate in your persuasion.
  • Amanda Lasicki

    Amanda Lasicki

    14 May 2009 at 18:09 |
    I remember freshman year, my roommate and I were in the hall working on projects. We started ranting about wanting homework that came from books and had right and wrong answers. I finally got some of those classes...still just as stressful.
  • Clarissa Baston

    Clarissa Baston

    15 May 2009 at 08:43 |
    Thanks Lorrie!

    I used to wish that there was some sort of book about how to make your professor like your art work...unfortunately, that book will only exist in my dreams :)

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