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Is collage the right place for an artist?

I'm still on the fence about going to collage or getting a job straight out of high school. I feel like i might already posses the skills necessary to get a job.
job college artist art creative career

+25 Karma if successful
From: You
To: Friend
Subject: Career question for you


4 answers

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Gloria’s Answer

Hi Kevin, the one thing that I would want to know about you is what is your artistic talent and what classes have you taken so far? I am an artist and my chosen medium is writing. I have written stories since I could spell my name. Writing is easy for me. However, finding a way to earn a living with writing is a different matter altogether. You have to know what you plan to do with your artistic talent to earn a meaningful living. You do not want to be the starving artist. So adding college into the mix depends on your goals. I actually have a Master's Degree in Instructional and Performance Technology. I got that diploma later in life. I did not complete my Bachelor's degree until my early 30's. I would say that you should work now, whether or not you go to college. Being in the workplace can give you more information about whether you need college or not. I would say it can never hurt to go to college. The exposure you get to new ideas can be a valuable tool in your artistic growth. I actually took acting classes as electives and it changed the way that write dialogue for videos that I create at work. My nephew's artistic talent is in drawing and painting. He also likes computers. He has turned his artistic abilities toward graphic design, using technology to create his art. His visual talent also allows him to create compelling web sites. One of the great things about being an artist in any medium is that growing and changing is part of your skill set. Today you might want to be a graphic designer, tomorrow a mural painter, 20 years from now an art teacher or a photographer. College is a valuable way for you to grow faster. I wish very much that I had completed my college education sooner. I would have gotten some good opportunities sooner.

Good luck with whatever choice to make for college. Always continue to make art.
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Denise’s Answer

There are many things to consider when making this decision, and I am so glad that you took the time to ask. Given that I don't know what kind of artist you are referring to, it might be difficult to narrow my answer. That being said, being artistic is great, as not everyone is. So, let me try to cover a few things to help you in your search:

1) There are many avenues for artists and it will depend on your strengths. So first you have to ask yourself that question. What are my strengths?

2) You have to ask yourself - Can I make money doing exactly what I want to do? and

3) Can I incorporate my strengths into something that I can be happy with (and make money at) while I pursue what I love?

Pursuing a college career that will leave you thousands in debt, but doesn't allow you to utilize your degree to pay off that debt and also survive independently would be self defeating.

But don't give up hope on college yet. Here is a great article on college degrees that may inspire you:

A couple avenues this article doesn't mention is Architecture and Engineering.

This is where your strengths will come in, which will help you in your decision as to what path you should follow. Ultimately the choice is yours, and you can do anything you put your mind to. The best decision is an informed decision.

A few things I would suggest:

1) Look at the forecasting demands of the career path(s) you are most interested in, and

2) College cost versus income ratio for your desired career path(s)

3) Get involved locally with other artists that share your passion and ask them if/how they were able make a living or what made them fail.

4) Check to see if your community or local library offers any STEAM or STEM programs. The libraries in my county offers these programs under STEAM for free; as a way to get students involved in testing out different programs of interest.

I hoped this helped you at least narrow your focus in lieu of a direct answer. That answer can only come from you. Do your homework. Knowledge is power.

Denise recommends the following next steps:

What are my strengths as an artist?
What career paths can I use my artist strengths in that will allow me to make a living?
What sacrifices am I willing to make to accomplish my dreams?
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Robert’s Answer

Are you an Artist?

The one big question that you must answer. What art have you done? Do you have examples? Who do you think is a great artist?

Now that you want to just go off and live off of your art, the question is: What do you do when your work is not selling?

Many have entered the art field and you hear stories of the starving Artist passed around and the many who have failed and the few who became famous.

One thing to remember is, that art is subjective. One person my love your art, while many may not, and this can work the opposite way also.

  • Who in the art field have you studied? Michelangelo, Rembrandt, Vincent van Gogh,
  • Leonardo da Vinci, Matisse, Claude Monet, Salvador Dalí, Pablo Picasso?
  • And I could go on.
  • But you get the idea, I hope. This does not mean that you should become them but to know your contemporaries is very important.
  • Know their work.
  • Know what the golden mean (ratio) is.
<h1>Einstein once said: “You have to learn the rules of the game. And then you have to play better than anyone else.”</h1>

One thing you have that no one else has: Your imagination and your creativity. These two things are yours and yours alone. Do not be the next Leonardo, be you. But study the greats.

Remember: Nothing is free! What are you willing to give to be a great?

One other thing: If you like something, never change it for anyone!

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Robert recommends the following next steps:

Go to:
Go to an art museum and study that art. You can search for Art Museums near you, on the Internet!
Practice, Practice, Practice.
Turn out work, all the time!
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Katie’s Answer

Hi Kevin,

I believe college is the right place for everyone! I understand that you feel that you already have the skills required to be successful and you might be right, but college might open your eyes to something you hadn't even thought of before! College can open the door to whichever career path you choose, and help you expand on the skills you already have as an artist. My experience in college helped me develop my own passion, and beyond that I met so many incredible people who helped me become a better version of myself and are still in my life today.

Whatever you decide to do, bring your whole self and you will be successful! Good luck, Kevin!


Katie recommends the following next steps:

Apply to college! Pick some schools within your state, go to their website, and submit an application.