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Do Art Degrees Lead to Starving Artists?

Let's start by getting rid of the word "starving" in front of artist. In the world of contemporary art, there is so much opportunity to use your creativity and thrive! In this blog I'm going to give you a list of careers in art, questions to ask when making decisions about college, and the confidence to encourage your artist to pursue their dream.

Let's start with the #1 problem artists have after graduating:

It is up to the artist to decide what they are going to do with degree, and put themselves on the right path. When I started my research on creative careers, I pulled from my own knowledge, surveyed a group a colleagues and visited the SCAD website (it's an amazing resource!). I realized that it is impossible for me to make an all inclusive list of careers because the options are simply too broad.

As someone who is immersed in the creative world, when parents ask me what their child can do with an art degree, it is hard to answer. I can tell you about my friend who is works in the media department at a university, another friend who loves teaching elementary art, the fascinating art conservationist I once met, or the freelance artist I follow who's studio hits 7 figures each year.

As for myself, I am a freelance artist and co-owner of two art studios. My job titles include Director of Operations, Painter, Instructor, Website Designer, Social Media Manager, Consultant, Live Event Painter, and Amazing Blogger (haha!). I'm not saying you need at many job titles as I have to make it in the art world, one can be plenty!

Before you can decide to pursue a degree in art, you need to know where you want that degree to take you. Start by looking at this list with your artist, and get them to tell you what careers interest them. Search for jobs in that field, look at what it takes to get that career, and ask these questions:

  • What topics will they need to study? What specific degree do they need?

  • Where will they need to study?

  • Where will they have to live to have this career?

  • How much demand is there for this type of job?

  • Will the answers to these questions give them a happy life?

The list I'm sharing with you is a quick reference for careers focusing more on fine art. These are not all the careers that will help your artist flex their creative muscle, but the ones I felt most closely related to a Bachelor's of Fine Art. If you'd like to spend some time with a more in depth look at creative careers, I highly recommended looking at the Savannah College of Art and Design Website. They have done a wonderful job taking an in depth approach to answering this question and proved to be a great resource for me as well!

Ready to dive in? Download the "Creative Careers Snapshot" here:

Creative Careers Snapshot
Download PDF • 104KB

If my list is missing something, feel free to share more careers in the comments! Thanks for reading.


#careerartist #artprofessional #artschool #artist #artistsoninstagram #artistsdontstarve #artdegree #arteducation #artcollege

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