5 answers

How do I pursue my passion in the arts as a career?

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I'm an art student who's willing to put in the hard work to get where I want to be, where I want to be is able to live off of my art. #art #artist #college #fine-art

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5 answers

Angela D.’s Answer

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Hi Leilu…good question! Check out Maddie S.’s (Exeter, New Hampshire) similar question and the advice returned. My response is below. Best of luck in your endeavors, Dr. B

Hi Maddie! Great question! Have you thought about exploring setting up a site on Etsy or others to sell your art? Asking one of the vendors who specializes in your type of work how to proceed? These folks are often generous with their advice and suggestions. My daughter-in-law makes a great living at it with her art. She goes to art shows too and not only sells out, but takes orders as well. My girl is self-taught and very artistic. Holiday seasons are especially busy. Now, having said that, you can always go to college or a technical school and hone your skills, network, and succeed. Be brave and true to yourself! Best, Dr. B
Hi Dr. Blaver, I found your response helpful to both Leilu's and Maddie's question. I have been a freelance artist for a few years now and have an Etsy shop set up. Setting up this site has helped me expand my network so I agree that it would be a great path to look into. Best Wishes, -Rosa Rosa Lopez
Good for your, Rosa! Wishing you success, Dr. B Angela D. Blaver, Ph.D.
Thank you much Dr. B! Best Wishes, -Rosa Rosa Lopez
An update...my daughter-in-law is busier than ever due to this unique climate...so I'm wishing you the same success! =) Angela D. Blaver, Ph.D.
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Ellen’s Answer

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Hi Leilu

There are lots of ways to pursue your passion for art. You could treat your art as hobby, and make money doing something else. On the opposite end, you could investigate careers that would allow you to pursue your art and make a living.

The good news is that there are lots a careers that involve art skills. I've answered similar questions on Career Village, so you might look up those responses. But you need to start investigating careers. I'll give you some ideas, but I strongly suggest you also talk to your art teachers or other students or academic advisors. Here are a few areas you could check out on the internet to get started:

Graphic designers ( design things like books, magazines, business logos), industrial/technical designers ( design things like cellphones, furniture, cars) , fashion designers (design clothing), interior designers (design the inside of houses and businesses), art teachers (all levels) , museum careers (curators, conservators), jewelry designers, fine art painters, photographers, sculptors, illustrators, website designers, and theatre arts. There are many more.

Whatever art field you choose, be ready to: work hard, be humble, be flexible, keep on improving your skills, take advice from more experienced artists, and be patient, finding an art job takes time. While you are still a student, check out internships to gain some inside experience.

I used my passion for art as an art teacher. I loved my job, and I got to talk about art 5 days a week for 8 hours a day to young artists. To find out more information about teaching art, google the the National Art Association website.

Best wishes. I hope this helps.

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Gloria’s Answer

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You have been given a lot of information by others that is very valuable. I just wanted to add the experience of some fellows artists and my own. Your challenge is that the traditional way people think about art is changing. There are very few paintings or books that are written that people buy. Art is now more often woven into something else rather than standing alone. I would ask you to consider how you can use technology to support your creativity. My nephew is an artist and he conveys that art through graphic design and web development. I am a writer at heart. I use that talent in my current job as an Instructional Designer. I write using web-based training programs and videos to convey my message. My work helps people become better at what they do for a living. I write every day. Maybe not the books in a bookstore that I imagined, but i am creative and I value my writing more than ever. I hope that you can find a way to use your art to make your life and the lives of others better. Just know that the search may take a little time.

Good luck.
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Natasha’s Answer

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As a burgeoning, then emerging artist, you might want to consider the steps required to get to where you want to be in terms of project chunks or gradual milestones.

Where you want to be might take 15 years, 25 years, 35 years: your timeframe will influence the steps that you take to get there. If getting there means living off your art career, how much does getting there cost? Who are the people in the art industry that are already there? How did they get there? Can you find interviews, articles and books about them? What was their strategy? Did they succeed early or were late bloomers? Do they think that "getting there" means the same thing that You do? What are their metrics of success? Is that what you want too?

Those artists who got there and are earning from the fruit of their labor, do they same background as you? Do they have some lessons in life that you can use during the course of your career?

Where do you envision making it in the art world? Will your location matter? East coast? West coast? Europe? Asia?
Your hometown, in your homestate?

There is a lot of art related resources out there. There are lots of emerging artists that are doing well through varied approaches. You will have to do lots of research to understand your Who (as in who are those successful inspirations? living or dead), What (as in what did they do to get there), When (as in when do you expect to reach that same level of success), Where (such as in there an ideal place that will nurture your aspirations), How (such as how will get you making enough money; will have to have a corporate job before making the leap, will you move to LA, NY or London, will you become an artist and an art dealer, do you find natural to meet new people, do even like art events, will you embrace the business side of being an artist, how will you sell your art) and Why (if not art, why is it that nothing else would, why are you willing to go through journey).

I am giving you more questions to think about than answers. Do lots of research, reach out via Instagram or Twitter to people who are surrounded by art, perhaps find a mentor in the form of a gallery owner, visit the great art temples of the world, befriend gallery or production assistants (& genuinely care about who they are). Start building your art portfolio (and Instagram following) well before graduation.

Good Luck and Stay Well,
Natasha
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Najah’s Answer

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If you're passionate about your art, then yes! It can sometimes take a while for starting artists to find their voice and get the business side of things off the ground, but if you stay persistent you will be able to live off of your art.
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