Corinne’s Senior Column: starving artist


Social Media Editor, Corinne McDevitt, discusses her dreams and how the current environment on campus does not support the arts,

Corinne McDevitt, Social Media Manager

As a child I was warned off the life of a starving artist. “Art doesn’t pay. You cannot live off of dreams alone.” That hardly stopped me. The Corinne of my youth had dreams of great stories, artistic endeavors and sharing them with the world. 

As I prepare to graduate, without a job, I find that the state of my employment is not my main worry. I am more worried for my integrity. I am so afraid I’ll lose myself in the pursuit of security and money that I will let down the little girl inside me who still dreams. I fear I will fall victim to what I have been taught.

I am so grateful for my education and the many opportunities I have been blessed with. Without the sacrifices and support of parents, family and friends, I could not write this. It is because of my education that I am knowledgeable enough to critique it. 

The truth of my liberal arts experience is this: I have not been well rounded or nurtured with wisdom and art. I have been shaved down roughly, made into a square. A cog for a machine of money. I might have had an education flush with the wonders of the humanities, lessons not of knowledge, but of understanding, but that is not the instruction I received. Education is not a perfect thing, but I owe it to the students of the future, myself and all who have seen me to this point in my life to push for a better system where everyone is able to come to the conclusions I have reached. That is not to say I didn’t have teachers that inspired and enriched me. I have been lucky enough to learn under so many amazing educators, whose lessons will remain with me for life. I write for them as well, so that they may be supported in their work and encouraged to hear that students are listening.

The warning still remains, but I have come to understand the term “starving artist” to mean something else entirely. 

An artist, a true artist, is always starving. Not for food, shelter or money, but for what lies beyond. Artists starve for more. They never settle and they are never satisfied. The hunger to create is an endless force, which cannot be fulfilled. The dreamer inside of me is a phoenix, no matter how often she is burned she rises anew. 

We create because we are created. Art is a beautiful collaboration shared into existence. We were not formed from dust to slave for green paper, we were formed to form. I do not believe that God would have created me a dreamer for it to be wrong. It is my faith and trust in Him that allows me to remain strong in my convictions. As I enter the next pages of my life I hope I remember that. I pray that I can stay true to myself, that I can honestly call myself an artist.

To the world: You may starve my body, but you’ll never have my soul.