Things I Learned in Art School: There Is No "Right" Answer

Pond Central Park.jpg

Pond Central Park, photo by Janie Hanson.

I've always been interested in art, but when I was young, math and science were really where I thrived. Those classes made sense to me: solve a problem, find the right answer, get a gold star. 

It was hard to shake that mentality when I got to my college art classes. I would work on a piece and ask my professors, "Is this good? Does this look done?" and they would ask me right back, "Well, does it look done to you?" I realized that there was no single formula for being correct. No gold stars — I had to decide for myself whether each piece satisfied my standards. 

That lesson came back to me when I began working in the wind farm industry after college, doing project development in John Deere's wind energy division (now Exelon). We evaluated many potential wind farm sites across the country, and had to decide which projects to pursue. If I had thought that there was only one "right" site for us to invest time, money, and resources in, I would have been frozen, unable to make a decision. Understanding that there was no single right answer helped me move forward and choose projects decisively. 

Get the eBook for reflection prompts on how you can apply this idea to your own work, and for the rest of the 10 things I learned in art school that might get missed in business school!