Advantages of Art Careers

For those interested in art careers, there are many advantages. If you’re interested in fine arts, the jobs may not be as plentiful, but if you have computer skills and a college or art school education, the career possibilities are endless. If you’re serious about art careers and are trying to weigh the benefits versus the disadvantages, here are some things to consider.
For the most part, an art career offers a flexible schedule, especially if you are a freelancer or have your own business. You can work when you want and be picky about which jobs you want. You have the freedom to take time off whenever you wish. Plus, most artists work from their home studio, so they can work at any time of the day, morning or night, weekends and holidays, if they so desire.

Another benefit is that you’re doing something you enjoy. You’re getting paid to pursue your passion, something that you would normally do anyway. Not many people can say that. Many people strive for the big bucks and end up working at a job they hate.

Another advantage of an art career is that it is not your traditional 9-5 job. Art, especially fine art, is usually done when you have a customer request or when inspiration strikes. So although you may not always be working 40-hour weeks, you will be busier at some times than others. Plus, many artists charge per piece, not by the hour, so if you sell enough of your work, you may not have to work full time.

Art careers are also unique in that there is the potential for high earnings. If you have the artistic skill and the ability to market yourself well, there is a chance of making a decent living. Modern fine art goes through fads and stages, and those artists who are in demand can enjoy much success and popularity. Critical acclaim can have an effect on one’s popularity (and subsequently on one’s earnings). Having an art school or college education at a well-known school can connect you with people who are interested in your artwork and can market it for you. If you are interested in computer art and are skilled in video game design, 3-D, or special effects, then you will likely make decent money because there is high demand for these skills.

Types of Art Careers

Another benefit to an art career is the variety. Art is not just limited to drawing and painting. There are different mediums. Art is used and needed in a variety of fields, including graphic design, desktop publishing, marketing, advertising, and video game development. Many artists dabble in several areas of art to maximize their skills and earnings. Graphic design is a relatively easy field in which to start, since almost all companies need something designed for their business.

Another advantage to art is that it is something that can be learned on your own. Although there are art schools and art programs available, you can be self-taught in many aspects without paying big bucks for a master’s degree or Ph.D., as you would in more technical fields such as psychology, medicine, or science. However, to learn on your own, you will need to be disciplined and have the initiative and motivation to practice often, read books, take online tutorials, and study and critique other art.

Disadvantages of Art Careers

Although there are many advantages to art careers, there are some negative aspects that you may want to consider. It’s important to know that even with an art school education, not every artist becomes successful. Because of the economic downturn, many people are being frugal with their purchases and are therefore spending less money on frivolous items, including fine art. So even if an artist was once successful, many things can change that, just like with many other careers.

  • One disadvantage of an art career is the lack of stable income. Yes, there are successful artists, but they are very few and far between. Fine art is an especially difficult area of art in which to make a decent living.
  • The term “starving artist” is not a myth. Especially if you freelance or have your own business, you will need to have excellent artistic skills and the ability to market yourself well in order to succeed.
  • You may have a project one week and nothing else for weeks or months. The work is not that stable.
  • Those who work in stable industries such as advertising, marketing, or video game design have a better chance of receiving a regular paycheck, making a decent living, and having a career for many years to come.

Another disadvantage is that turning your love of art into a career can backfire. Yes, you’re doing something you love, but making art your job can cause artwork to become less spontaneous. When you do art as a hobby, you can do it on your time and on your terms. However, when you work for someone else and have to produce art to accommodate someone else’s needs and schedule, it can stifle your creativity. You’re doing the type of artwork they want you do, when they want you to do it.

Art careers also have another disadvantage in that jobs may not always be plentiful. If you’re interested in computer and technology art and have the skills, then those jobs will be available. However, artists who focus more in the fine art area will find it difficult to find jobs. There is not very high demand for this type of art. Jobs in fine art include artist, painter, and sculptor. There are sometimes jobs available in art museums and galleries as curators and historians, but these jobs are not easy to come by, either. If you strongly feel the need to pursue an art career, you can always teach. Many people are interested in workshops or small classes in which they can learn basic art skills or a specific type of art, such as oil painting or sketching.