Confessions of a Liberal Arts Major: "My Parents Wanted a Doctor"
In the original Star Trek television series, a running gag occurs between Captain Kirk and Dr. McCoy in various episodes. Inevitably, McCoy would be asked his opinion about something outside his expertise.
He would become exasperated and proclaim, "I'm a doctor, not an engineer!" McCoy's line would vary according to the circumstances, but it was clear that he considered himself narrowly focused on his career as a doctor and nothing else.
Choosing liberal arts as a major or career is sort of like playing the role of Dr. McCoy, except in reverse. We say to our family, "I'm a graphic designer, not a doctor!" Or, you could fill in that last part with the liberal arts profession of your choice. Parents often beam when saying, "My son/daughter, the doctor!" But rarely do you hear, "My daughter, the graphic artist!"
Selecting a profession in the liberal arts can be a steep hill to climb especially when your family wants you to take on a career that is considered more traditional such as medicine, law, business, or engineering.
However, those who work in design, graphics, media, print, and imaging are as professional in nature as any other career. These important professions provide the visual infrastructure for the entertainment, medical, legal, business, and media industries.
Graphic designers, fashion designers, graphic artists, photographers, web designers, and others in the liberal arts are the cornerstones for what people hear, see, wear, or read. We reach and influence everyone in some way.
So the next time you are asked why you decided to become an illustrator, interior decorator, animation artist, etc., you can say proudly, "I'm a (fill in the blank), not a doctor!"