To the Artist not Attending College

so this is more of a letter to a dear friend of mine than it is anything else. we're both artists. we're both taking the road that quite a few of our friends aren't: the one that doesn't involve college. but this is also a letter to you. you aren't alone in this. you aren't the only artist not attending college. so here's what i've learned, and what i want to let my bestest friend ever—and you—know.

Dear Katie (or you),

Let me tell you right now that this is the way I view you: with great respect. To brave this world, our culture, with your talents as your only credibility is a scary thing.

Yet here you are, your feet planted firmly in God's promises. Your heart is set on taking the beauty you make and turning it right around toward him. Without a degree.

What I want you to know, to exhale with your words of passion and love, is that your art is worth it. Through whatever struggles you may have, remember to persevere and grow. My fellow artist, do not fall so low as to give up.

But do stoop low.

Reach for the ones grappling for the beauty you can give them. Sit with them, laugh with them, love them. Show this world the exploding beauty of your soul. The one God has graced you with, envisioning the life you'll lead. Even if you're not perfect, you're an absolute masterpiece.

He has plans for you, dear artist. In his hands, your creations will go far.

You are strong, especially with him guiding you. For whatever reason you've decided not to go to school, it was right. You know yourself best. And as long as you're following God with a wild faith and a committed heart, you're heading down the right path. The good path.

So pursue your art. Take what God has placed in front of you and dance with it. Paint, write, photograph, sketch, sing, designwhatever you're doing to seize the broken world of the arts and give it a living redemption.

Remember to stay on this good path. Not having the structure of college can be perilous to your creativity. Keep yourself on track by not focusing on the money or the glamour in life. Stay humble in your lifestyle. Trust in God and make him and creating for him your priorities. The rest will come, sometimes in shocking forms.

Find artists to create with. While you may not have a tight-knit community of art students like you would at college, that doesn't mean you have to do this alone. Get involved in a local art community and stay involved. Every artist needs support, accountability, and love. Don't deny yourself of that.

Imagine life as a storm, and God is your shelter, keeping you safe so you can continue your work. So keep going. Never quit stumbling, making mistakes, redoing, and finally, finally giving birth to a masterpiece as beautiful as you are.

Take the tools God has given you, whether it be a rough past or a crazy-amazing talent at spoken word poetry. Go for it. Take things a step farther and conquer those old fears of yours. Start shooting weddings, taking commissions, selling your work.

God made you an artist for a reason—because he knows you have the ability to make his earth more beautiful. Never, ever doubt that.

Just take your life, flowering with art, one step at a time. It's okay if you mess up—you're human, after all. Just remember to cling to the one who's worth it, and you'll make it far.

Be proud of yourself. You're taking the road less traveled by not attending college. While there are many wonderful things about college, it really isn't for everyone, and can be a rather expensive route for an artist. But that doesn't mean you aren't worth every single bit that a college student is.

You're beautiful. You're creative. You and your art are p r i c e l e s s. You've got a heart full of art and ideas and projects and an undying love for the one who put all that there. Learn to harness that and use it for the best. Study yourself. Study your art. Study your God. Then put those things together and make even better art.

Here's to you. Your life is still just beginning—now go, take what you've learned, and create for your God.

Love always,


  1. AH. Rebekah, don't you know it. I'm not even planning to go to college so this was inspiring. All glory be to God! He is made known through my weaknesses. Let everything I do bring praise and glory to him. oh man. <3

    1. I'm glad it's inspiring! Amen! Yes, mine too, thankfully. :)

  2. "Show this world the exploding beauty of your soul." Thank you for those, and all the other beautiful words in this letter. <3


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