Celebrate Yourself, Celebrate Columbia

Celebrate Yourself, Celebrate Columbia

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When it turns “Chicago-cold,” I get geared up for awards season. At Columbia College Chicago we have many contests and opportunities for people’s work to be recognized. From screenwriting competitions to thesis screenings, there are venues for our community to display our work.

However, I think we need to ratchet it up. Picture this: Bright lights, red carpet, hundreds of adoring fans applauding as I walk into the MPC (Media Production Center), and nonstop commenting about my over-the-top fashion. Yes, people. I’m delusional. Why? It is awards season.

This is a time when professional artists honor themselves and the work that they have done. Columbia is an arts college and we deserve to celebrate dedication to creativity. I think we need to throw humility to the side and congratulate ourselves as artists.

That being said there is no reason to wait for the red carpet. We can honor ourselves as artists any time. Honor yourself when you take a break or are in between projects. It’s helpful to engage in a totally different activity. For example, if your main focus for the last few months has been writing, this is a chance to recognize you’ve done good work and switch things up, do a little drawing or photography. If you are a visual person try to write some poetry. Challenge yourself and exercise a skill set that you don’t usually use. Students should take one interesting elective or seek out academic or professional workshops outside of their comfort zone. Don’t just think of yourself as a one-trick pony. Honor the fact that you are capable of growth.

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Not everything is academic. One of the things I really enjoy doing when I’m not writing or focusing on a film is…waiting for it…bartending. I like the idea of being able to create something and get immediate gratification. But mixing drinks requires patience, creativity, and attention to detail. And the best part it is, if it’s not perfect you get to try again. So by making myself a congratulatory cocktail, I’m honoring myself and exercising creative muscles.

I’m curious how other people honor themselves as artists. Do you throw Oscar parties with your friends? Do you take yourself out to dinner? Do you go to drinks and blow off steam? All of those things great ways to say “I’m an artist.” So next time you raise a glass, let me know.