A great deal of emphasis is placed on gaining a superior education. To be a master of anything pretty much secures a spot in the workplace. But what about the “Masters” of old – the artists, the writers, the performers, the poets, the craftsmen – those who got their degrees from experiencing life? Somehow that just doesn’t cut it today. Now you need a Master’s degree from a notable university, just to get your foot in the door.
An artist like da Vinci would eventually get recognized in today’s world, but without that piece of paper, would he have attained such acclaim? da Vinci was a jack of all trades. He dabbled in engineering, invention, art, anatomy and the other sciences, yet he was also a loner. Born of parents that didn’t want to have children, he felt like an outcast until he was enrolled in an art school. There he became popular and his mind was set free to explore, to investigate, to learn and to master everything he did.
How about you? Are you working on your Masters? I’ve thought about going back to get my degree, but I don’t know if they’d take someone of my age. Maybe I should put it on my bucket list. In any event, I feel the years of my life were filled with exploration, experience, study, and learning through living. Maybe they should hand out diplomas for life experience or, in other words, being a Jack of all trades.
With more than 40 years of experience teaching drama to kids, I’ve not only learned myself, but I was able to pass on and inspire others through it. My husband is the same. His art has brought pleasure to many through the years. He even made a living at it for a while, but when you reach your golden years, all that experience doesn’t amount to a hill of beans without a piece of paper to corroborate.
Maybe we were born too late. Perhaps we should’ve lived in da Vinci’s time, when the arts were appreciated for what they give back to society. Although I really like my automatic washer and dryer and prefer to bake things in an oven that doesn’t require being filled with wood. Today, writers and artists come at a dime a dozen. The fields are saturated with us. Those who survive, do so against all odds. With art available online at ridiculously low prices, there isn’t much call for original works. Writers are up against tremendous obstacles as well. Think of the number of books currently on the market. Think also of how easily they are made available on Kindle or other sources. Demand for another Margaret Mitchell has been swallowed up by a million other authors who expect to corner the market.
What is my point in all this? I guess I feel that life experience has got to be worth something in today’s marketplace. Being part of a partnership of two artists, I can tell you that pickings are often slim. Selling our work happens, but it certainly isn’t enough to sustain us. We don’t particularly want to wait until we die to be discovered. So we plug away at life, with confidence still pushing us forward.
That confidence comes from something we didn’t earn or work for. It comes as a gift from the Creator of the universe. He planted talents into each one of us – to use for His glory and for the enjoyment and edification of others. So maybe we won’t be recognized as master artists in our lifetime, but we have been won by the Great Master and He has an amazing plan for the rest of our lives and eternity.