Andy Warhol got a D in Trigonometry when he graduated from Schenley High School, in Pittsburg Pennsylvania, on June 18th, 1945.
He got an AAAA in Art. D is passing. An A is outstanding. Andy got four A’s. He was outstanding, outstanding, outstanding, outstanding.
What if Andy Warhol had spent his life trying to improve his D in Trigonometry and never made art? What if he focused on what he wasn’t good at, and ignored what he was good at? Art?
No, wait. Not just good. He was outstanding, outstanding, outstanding, outstanding.
Andy Warhol’s high school grades are on page eleven in the introduction to Andy Warhol, “Giant” Size, by Phaidon. His grades are right below his high school yearbook photograph — Andrew Warhola, “Andy” Home room Sec 205. As genuine as a fingerprint.
Do you take your natural skills for granted?
It is so easy to take for granted our natural abilities. What comes naturally we don’t value. Life has to be hard. A struggle. So we go to college to improve our D in Trigonometry.
Andy didn’t go to college to improve his D in Trigonometry. He studied Art. He followed his passion. After high school Andy studied Commercial Art at the Carnegie Institute of Technology. When he graduated he moved to New York City and began his carreer as an artist, working as an illustrator, and creating original art.
Embrace your natural abilities
Seeing Andy Warhols high school transcript helped me see the value in working on what we are good at. Or outstanding at. I don’t value my drawing. I just know I love to draw and I hate math. Well, maybe not hate. But I have always felt that my art wasn’t valuable because it wasn’t a struggle for me to create.
I don’t know if my art is outstanding, outstanding, outstanding, outstanding. Or even if it is outstanding. Or even if it is good. Or even if my art makes you want to barf. Or even if you think, “Oh dear. Her cow looks like a sick puppy.”It doesn't matter what anyone thinks about what we create. It is none of their business. Click To Tweet
Embrace your brain. Focus on your strengths and make them better. Forget about the D in Trigonometry. Focus on your strengths and make them better. ( I know I said the same sentence twice.) Let me say it one more time. Focus on your strengths and make them better.
Often I don’t value my desire to draw. I don’t value my natural joy in drawing and painting. I think I got a C in Trigonometry in high school. Not a D, but I have always felt bad about my lack of ability to do math well.
If you absolutely love math, then study math, improve your grade. I don’t understand the math brain. Or why anyone would like to add numbers together when they could be mixing colors. But, then, you shouldn’t care what I think. Love who you are. And become more of you.
“Don’t think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it’s good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.”
― Andy Warhol
Value who you are. Value your desires. And, you do have strengths. You might just not know what they are.
What are your strengths?
Do you know what your strengths are? Even Harry Potter thought he didn’t have any strengths.
“Play to your strengths.”
“I haven’t got any,” said Harry, before he could stop himself.
“Excuse me,” growled Moody, “you’ve got strengths if I say you’ve got them. Think now. What are you best at?”
― J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
And, as Moody asked Harry Potter, “What are you best at?” I ask you, “What are you best at?”
Find out what you are best at, and then get better at it. Or find out where your heart is, and then keep following your heart. Forget the D and play to your strength. The part of you that is you. ( If you are not sure, ask a friend. Ask Moody.)May you live your life as genuine as a fingerprint. There is only one you. Be you. Click To Tweet
And, back to the guestion. What if Andy Warhol had spent his life trying to improve his D in Trigonometry and never made art?
What do you think? Please let me know in the comments. I would love to talk with you.