4 answers

Should I major in Entrpreneurship?

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I want to sell make wall art for homes, but I don’t if I should major in visual arts or Entrepreneurship. #major #women-in-business #business #entrepreneurship #college #art #visual-arts

Can you major in one and minor in the other? If the visual arts piece comes natural to you, then you may want to consider entrepreneurship so that you can hone in on the business side of what you want to do. Rita Hodgson
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4 answers

Eric’s Answer

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Here's the honest answer, you are choosing the wrong approach to what you want to do as your field. You do not want to make wall art for homes, you want to make art and design and be an independent business owner. That's the real thing you want to do. Narrowing your scope to 'home wall art' is narrowing your incredible gifts.


You either have the entrepreneurial spirit or you don't, and I venture to say you absolutely have it based on the question alone, however if you are an artist, well you have creative talent too! The landscape of the creative world is huge and between being an entrepreneur and an artist, well why limit yourself to wall art... that's just one profit center you're capable of.


Now, the answer to the question, Yes. Major in both a business track and an arts track, preferably a Graphic Design track with a minor in Studio arts. Then while you're doing that join your local Small Business Development Center and take advantage of all the low cost and free training they offer. Build your portfolio of art and design that serve across the visual communications industry and along the way you'll not only produce fine wall art, but art for everything from concert posters to packaging to fabric patterns to advertising and all the art that fits in between.


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Ellen’s Answer

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Hi Alexandria


Good question, but I want to clarify....when you say "wall art' are you talking about 2-D paintings or drawings or prints etc. that are hung on a wall, or are you talking about murals that are painted directly on a wall? Both would be considered to be in the "fine art" category (as opposed to graphic design) and both require art ability, commitment, skills, lots of hard work in your art education, and patience and energy in selling your work. I have to say that for fine artists, they often have to have a "day job" to keep themselves going while they develop their art, so belief and commitment to your art is very important. As for entrepreneurship, you mean being a business person and majoring in business, as in someone who works for him or herself?


It would be great to have both art and business skills as an artist, as artists who work in the fine art area are in effect entrepreneurs, in that they work for themselves. They sell their art and have to keep books and keep track of their expenses and so on. Currently, I am selling my prints at craft shows, and I'm finding that I do need some business skills in dealing with my expenses, collecting taxes and so on. As a fine art person, it is challenging for me! However some artists sell their work through galleries, and the galleries take care of most of the business aspect, freeing the artist to concentrate on their artwork. The thing is, getting into a gallery come be competitive, and it can take several years before you find one to represent you.


If you have art talent and skills, and a strong commitment to make it as a fine artist, then I would go with that in school. If you go to a college, you can always minor in business, or take some business courses during the summer. Having a business background might help you get a "day job", which will support you while you develop your fine art.


If you like art but maybe are not ready to make the commitment to a career as a fine artist, and you are more interested in business, then I would major in business, but take art classes as a minor or during the summer. Blending art and business is not as crazy as it sounds. Gallery owners and their staff need to be business savvy; museums have business people on their staffs; non-profit art centers and community galleries need business people too; any kind of organization where art is being taught, made, or sold needs someone on staff with business knowledge.


You might find your own way to combine your love of making art and being an entrepreneur, maybe come up with something no one has ever heard of. (!) I think the key is to stay flexible at this point in pursuing your interests. Talk to your current art teachers about your career choices and see what advice they give you too. If you live in or near a city where there are any community art centers, design studios, galleries or even high-end gift shops, talk to the directors/owners for some information about their experiences and how they handle the art and business side of their careers. I'm sure any of them would be happy to talk to a budding young entrepreneur/artist about their experiences.


Best wishes!


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Abby’s Answer

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Okay first off, I love your dream! So cool that you want to use your talents to create and build your own business. A lot of employers will value that, but remember to follow your vision!


The first thought I have at this question is that you need to come at it from a structured point of view. Have you created a pros and cons list yet? Its good to lay out all your thoughts on paper so you can see what matters to you. Write down the questions you have about each major and potential risks/benefits.


Next, I think of the story of Andrew Kortina, one of the founders of Venmo. He started at UPenn as a CS major and quickly realized he could learn to code on his own time, but wanted the benefits of being surrounded by brilliant minds, a perk unique to higher education. I think you face the same kind of issue. You can learn the ins and outs of small business from working, but you may not always be surrounded by artists and professors who challenge you the way other artists at your university will.


In my experience, the best way to become and entrepreneur is to become an entrepreneur. No degree will make you one, but hard work, persistence, and asking the right questions will.


Good Luck!

Abby recommends the following next steps:

  • Make a pros and cons list
  • Write down your questions and the risks/benefits of each option
  • Start interning or working for startups in your area
  • Start your company! No need to wait for a degree to do so!
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Camille’s Answer

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I think entrepreneurship is a great subject to choose for studies, especially if you are not 100% sure if you have a specialization in Finance, marketing or other subject. First of all, because I believe it is complete, you are going to learn every aspect you should focus on when building a company (legal, finance, marketing, how to launch you product, the go to market strategy, the investment plan). I learnt entrepreneurship before building my own company and it tought me so much. I think it is a great subject to choose even though you are not sure you want to be an entrepreneur because it will teach you how to apprehend a project, presentation, market study or anything.

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