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Topic: Whats your experience of an art career rewarding or really hard?? please help!!  (Read 847 times)
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« on: May 27, 2008 08:13:34 AM »

I didnt know where to post this so feel free to move it if its in the wrong place.

Firstly i should tell you a wee bit about me. Im 19 and just applied to art college. I didnt get in and its knocked my confidence to say the least particuarly as they ticked poor on most things on this ticklist they gave me. I know i shouldnt let this get me down and its likely il apply next year although recently Ive been thinking is this the right choice?

Basically id really like to know peoples experience of having a career in art. Do you often struggle with money? Is it extremely hard work but very rewarding? Do people maybe have a career outside of art and have a bussiness on the side?

I would be extremely grateful for any advice cos I just dont know what to do anymore im not a stupid person and I know i could go to university but art is what im great at or at least I thought i was  Cry
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« Reply #1 on: May 28, 2008 01:05:50 PM »

Eh, why not here?

Let me tell you a little bit about me.   I'm a 25-year-old interior designer.  I got my BFA in Interior Design at a four year college, in the school of Architecture & Design.  It's not exactly what most people think of when it comes to the fine arts, but it allows me to be both artistic, and gainfully employed.  My curriculum (and career) were/are based heavily on commercial architecture, so it's both very hard work, and also rewarding.  I do different, interesting (IMO) things every day.  Most of the people I know who studied design (architecture, interior, industrial, and fashion) are in pretty similar positions.  The rest of the fine arts students I know are more hit or miss.  Most of them, if they pursued an artistic career, were able to find apprenticeships that they didn't necessarily need a degree for, or went into graphic design, marketing, stage design (tricky to get into), or something similar.  The professional artists I know (and have occasionally worked for...including painters, sculptors, and photographers) didn't start out that way.  Most of them had (or have) another career besides.  Several teach (art or something else, English usually), others work for museums, others work retail or in business, and art is completely separate.  If you do decide to pursue a Fine Arts degree, I highly recommend either double-majoring, or minoring in business, or getting your teaching certification.  The business degree is not only a fallback, but it also teaches you how to market and sell your own work.  And teaching art is just fantastic.  It lets you be artistic, and to share that with others.

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« Reply #2 on: May 30, 2008 06:40:46 PM »

i am of the personal belief that what makse something rewarding is how it makes you feel, not necessarily how other people percieve it (especially things like art and music)

if you truly love art, but need to be gainfully employed, or at least break-evenly employed, you should get a regular 9-5 and make your masterpiece on your free time

if you have the soul of an artist that doesnt need food all the time to feel happy, then be a starving artist (they all start out like that, no one is rich when they start)

personally, i would choose the latter if i was on my own...but its hard to say for sure, i have been nigh close to homeless before, and i am not sure i could go back to that place....but i know i couldnt stop creating things, because its not in me

so, i would say being a financially successful (traditional) artist is very hard, BUT there are other creative jobs you can get (graphic designer, interior and exterior design, mural painting...)

i think im back....9 months almost to the day but i miss art, and i missed you guys!
« Reply #3 on: June 02, 2008 08:07:51 AM »

I have a BFA in Studio Art, Sculpture. I'm a stay at home mom. If we relied on my income to live we'd be under a bridge.
That said, more about me:
I hate politics, I'm not a member of an at some previous or current time shunned/repressed/ostracized social or racial group, I'm happily married, I rather like my life = I don't have enough angst to be successful in the gallery circut.  I have seen some absolute garbage highly touted and shown that was successful because of the issues it was about.
If you are good at schmoozing with people to get things you want, by all means persue a gallery career. If that school didn't like you some other school will.
If you really like making things, figure out what industry could best use your skills & major in that. [Once upon a time I considered costuming as a degree. At the time one had to live in NYC or LA to actually do that as a career, the internet has changed this]

In addition I need to say this: you applied to one school? That's pretty much asking for disapointment. Art schools have a lot of variety and specialized personality. Rhode Island School of Design has several famous book illustrators in it's alumni. Other schools are known for other kinds of artists they produce.

Specialized schools are great if they 1) have programs geared toward a specific career (like Interior Design) OR 2) you are independantly wealthy and money isn't something you need to think about.

I went to a full university, with a great Art school, a great Business school, the best teachers college in the state, and an exceptional Physical Therapy department. 4 year universities & colleges afford you the opportunity to change your mind without changing schools, try out or simply take a few courses off-major as well as meet people who have differing interests from yourself.

One of the smartest things I did in college was take a class titled "Personal Finance". It was the introduction for people planning on a Personal Financial Counselor certification in the School of Business, it covered insurance, investments & long term planning & budgeting. First day of class we were all introducing ourselves and when I said "Art major" they all looked at me like I'd grown another head. I proceeded to explain that I expected to work for myself most of my life, I needed to know this stuff, the proff smiled. I barely passed (should have audited because I suck at math) but I learned a ton that I have used in my life every year since. My husband has a degree in finance, but when we bought our house I negotiated the insurance. Wink I haven't made a single penny off my photography classes, metals, or Art history....
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