Getting Started With an Art Degree
People who have talent and passion can often break into the field of art without a bachelor’s degree. However, a degree offers more career opportunities and can help them secure jobs with higher salaries.
Many students say they never considered studying anything else but art. Some even drop out of school to pursue their dreams.
Choosing a Major
In the world of art, there are many different careers that can be pursued. Some artists work as freelancers, pursuing projects on their own or as part of larger teams. Others find long-term employment in a particular area, such as art education or arts management. Others choose to go on and pursue an advanced degree in a particular field of study, such as an MFA.
Ultimately, the career you pursue will depend on your talent, experience and determination. While a diploma from a prestigious art school can give you a leg up in the art industry, it is not a guarantee of success.
Having said that, a degree in art will also teach you soft skills that can be applied to a variety of different professions. These include working to deadlines, researching and gathering information, working in a team and marketing your own work. These skills are valued in any career, not least because the art world is notoriously competitive and unpredictable.
Whether you’re interested in painting or sculpture, an art degree program offers a wide range of classes. Getting started with your studies is one of the most important things you can do to prepare for the future and build a strong foundation in your chosen field.
Once you have a good grasp of what your area of focus will be, it’s important to pick specialized classes that allow you to expand on your skills and develop your artistic voice. Taking these extra courses helps you graduate from college with all the necessary skills to launch a career in your field of choice.
Many artists are self-employed and can make a living from their work by selling paintings, drawing and other pieces at art shows, galleries and online. A fine arts degree also gives you the opportunity to develop entrepreneurial skills that can help with marketing, managing a business and gaining clients. This is especially useful if you are planning to start your own studio.
Embracing the Artistic Process
While some art experts – including historians and museum or gallery curators – have a strict understanding of what constitutes fine art, the general consensus is that if a piece of visual art inspires and provokes emotion or thoughtfulness in its viewer it is considered to be fine art. Fine art is often viewed as being superior to craft and applied art, which are seen as more utilitarian.
Fine artists also typically enjoy greater social status and notoriety than their commercial and decorative counterparts, as evidenced by the acclaim of the Old Masters from the Renaissance to the 1800s and the recognition of modern and contemporary fine artist genres such as Impressionism and Expressionism.
Graduates from fine arts programs have the ability to pursue a variety of career paths. As well as pursuing their own artistic work, they may find positions in art-related professions such as galleries and museums or go on to postgraduate study in areas like teaching or art therapy.
Developing a Niche
Finding a niche is essential for artists who want to succeed in the art market. It can be tricky to do this, but it’s important to focus on the characteristics that make your work unique. For example, you may be drawn to specific subject matter like childhood memories or religious feelings. You might also be intrigued by certain human features or places you love exploring. Identifying these characteristics can help you find an audience who shares your interests and values, which is the key to selling your art.
Developing your niche is an advanced step in the artistic process, so don’t be discouraged if it doesn’t come to fruition right away. It’s important to continue to experiment with different styles and mediums. Just be careful not to jump too quickly into marketing your art, as this can damage your reputation and credibility. Instead, take your time to build trust with your audience before moving on to new projects.