Growin’ Up – a blog about life after Smith by Lauren Kaelin ’10 : NJ Trans

September 9, 2010

I’ve always been a painter, I guess. Someone who painted. An artist, maybe. Like, if I had gotten into Cooper Union, I would have gone. And I wonder where I’d be now? What dreams I’d be pursuing?

But artist is not really a label I feel comfortable with anymore. I haven’t really painted in months.

Somewhere along the way I sat in an Art History class. And well, that’s a different story. All through college I continued to take studio classes, but it more often than not took a back seat to my more “academic”pursuits. This isn’t my point, and I wouldn’t say I regret any of that.

On the train into NYC today, on my way to a job interview, I was talking to my friend Jake about continuing to create art outside of the school environment. We agreed, it’s easy to be creative at school. When you’ll be graded; when you have to present to a room of your peers. Whether it’s the competition, the praise, or the environment– it’s easier. Jake and I were talking about that, dressed in business causal headed to our respective interviews.

Jake’s a photographer. And was venting on the way to his job interview about how this prospective job was never what he imagined himself doing. How it’ll just take time away from his photography.

We all gotta eat, I guess.

My brother is currently going back to school for his MFA in photography and his work has never been better. He’s able to support himself, pay the rent as a digital tech. working freelance. But this balance that he’s created, one that Jake maybe envies, is only temporary. At some point, my brother will have to choose.

I’m wondering if I already choose. And if I wanted to, could I take that back? Go to art school.

Is that what separates the artists? Holding off on that evitable move toward the consistent paycheck… I don’t know, but I admire people who maintain the balance.


Why is there an Auntie Anne’s in Penn Station– who would ever wanna eat an iced pretzel underground?


One Response to “Growin’ Up – a blog about life after Smith by Lauren Kaelin ’10 : NJ Trans”

  1. Making art full-time out of the academic setting takes an immense amount of self-discipline. I remember how eager I was in school with all the competition but after graduating I had to challenge myself.

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