Top 5 Gatekeeping Strategies for Art Majors


One of the most appealing parts of being an art major is that you can be a pretentious asshole fashionably. Why else spend an entire college tuition and four years learning how to sketch? Assholery is professionally but implicitly taught, meaning that as a student you may have to read between the lines. This guide is carefully curated and designed in order to teach you the art of asshollery quickly and thoroughly so you can say “you wouldn’t get it” with confidence.

1. Take your friends to a disturbing indie art exhibit

Art has meaning. You don’t need to know what that meaning is, you just have to pretend you do. Tell your friends that you heard about a super underground, can’t-miss show. When they ask through who, say a super exclusive forum for artists… remember to use the key words “you’ve probably never heard of it”. Next, shame your friends for being uncultured while simultaneously begging for them to come.

Some suggestions of shows include stolen Chuck E. Cheese animatronics dressed as first ladies, live video feed of every rotator cuff surgery currently happening in the world, interpretive dance to the Curiosity Rover singing “Happy” while secluded on Mars, among a myriad of other things. It is important to make sure it is psychologically distressing. Your friends will marvel at your pure artistic superiority and originality.

2. “You wouldn’t get it”

Has your friend ever caught you off guard by asking you about the meaning behind a work of art? Instead of coming up with an eloquent answer, simply say “you wouldn’t get it”. It is a much better and safer alternative to admitting that you don’t know. Never ever admit to anybody that you don’t know, or a man dressed as Pablo Picasso himself will find you and snatch your art degree straight out of your hands.

3. Selling out

Make sure to constantly mention that while you may be a starving artist for the rest of time, at least you’re not selling out. This is particularly effective with econ majors, but can be applied to nearly everyone doing anything that isn’t art. I mean, what else could someone possibly be passionate about?

4. Smoking is okay!

It is important to be anti-capitalist, but it is totally okay to support big tobacco. Remember “there is no ethical consumption under capitalism” so you do not need to be conscious of your purchases.

As an art major, you’ve unlocked the ability to smoke fashionably. Not in your grandpa’s once-white-now-yellow-walls and nicotine addiction kind of way but in a mysterious “oh my gosh who are they?” type of way. You now have the ability to smoke so glamorously that you might as well be on the observation deck of the Eiffel tower looking down at all of those below you. You’ve earned this, even if you can’t earn money, after all.

5. Go to an elementary school art show and roast the shit out of every piece you see

Kindergarteners are stupid. Do you know why they’re stupid? Because they don’t have an art degree. Make sure to scope out every elementary school within 100 miles and mark their art shows on your calendar. Upon arrival, critique every piece of work that you see. Tear the little fuckers’ self-esteem to shreds. “Your noodle art looks like the aftermath of my eating pasta when I had the flu.” “Oh you drew your mom with glasses? Tell her to take them off before coming here so she doesn’t completely lose faith in you.” “Wow that’s such a nice misshapen blob-oh, it’s your house? Do you live in an amoeba? You don’t know what an amoeba is? Dumbass.”

Doing this is a great way to improve your self-confidence and make your art skills look better by comparison. It is important to tear down future artists so you can remain unique and different.


We sincerely hope that this guide informs you on all that you need to know in order to be a successful art major and an even more successful gatekeeper. Remember, when in doubt, all you need to do is say “you wouldn’t get it.”