Advice for Students Who Are Interested in the Arts

Young people experience an insane amount of pressure to be successful today. We constantly encourage youngsters to be the superstars of tomorrow. When you are 18 years old, you make one of the most important decisions of your life of where you’re going to go to college. In this way, teachers and counselors tend to push young men and women towards STEM professions. It can be seen as prestigious to study engineering or science and technology-related fields. Even accredited online degree programs in history or literature are traditionally profound studies. However, many students in the country have the desire to pursue more artistic endeavors in painting, acting, fashion, or photography. While these may not be as traditional, there is still great value in pursuing the arts. Artists create new worlds and embrace exciting challenges. Without artists, we wouldn’t have movies, paintings, fashionable clothes, well-designed homes, or innovative products. If you are a student who may be interested in pursuing a career in the arts, don’t be held back by outdated societal standards. Pursue your passion and find your voice through your art. You may be helping yourself in more ways than you realize.

Pursue Your Passion

One of the biggest questions for artists entering college or even the real world is this: Should I give up my craft to get a “real job” or pursue my passion to create? The truth of the matter is that so many artists will have to have a “survival job.” However, if you are truly passionate about an artistic career, be sure that job stays a survival job and doesn’t take over your life. So often students will give up on their creative passion to pursue a subject in college that will guarantee them a lot of money such as business or medicine. Just remember that even business majors end up without work. The job market right now is hard for anyone, but if you’re passionate about and dedicated to your art form, you will be successful. Passion and drive take you a long way in any career field, so don’t give up on what you really love to pursue something that won’t make you excited to wake up every morning. The old saying goes, “if you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life.” By pursuing your passion wholeheartedly, you’ll figure out a way to make a living doing what you love.

Making Your Art a Job

One place where artists can struggle is with taking their passion and making it into an actual career. So treat your art like a profession. Take any job you can, even if you’re in school and someone offers you $50 to sing at their sorority’s benefit event or a club offers you $20 and a pizza to create a poster for them. A job is a job, and building your resume and using your skills is never a waste of time. Constantly hone your craft. Artists are always expanding and growing. You can’t just call yourself a dancer if you’re not stretching everyday, building endurance, and taking classes in your area, perhaps at a dance center in Naperville and Oakbrook Terrace. Artists are never lazy. Because a lot of your job will be going out and finding work for yourself, know that half of your profession is doing just that. You must become your biggest advocate and network with fellow artists, just as your peers in the business world are required to do.

How the Arts Help You Succeed in All Fields

Artists pursue fields that are much more focused in emotion and feeling than facts and figures. They tend to be more curious and empathetic to those around them. This creative thinking aids you in so many ways. Employers have actually reported that they enjoy having artistic people in their workforce for a few different reasons. Because of the collaborative nature of artistic degrees, arts majors make great team members and problem solvers. As someone who constantly has to present work in front of strangers, artist and performers have great public speaking skills and a confidence in front of a room that cannot be taught.

Just remember that your arts degree will never keep you in a box. You may be studying Shakespeare or George Seurat, but the additional critical thinking and explorative skills you gain open up a world of possibilities for your future. Be adaptable, and always be ready for a challenge. Your skill set will give you the ability to work in many areas that will continue to allow you to be a professional artist and make a living.

Art Can Be Whatever You Want it to Be

Another piece of advice for the emerging artist is for you to remember that art is boundless. There is no accepted definition for what makes something artistic. If you’re working on a machine that requires perforated tubing and you found a creative way to incorporate these parts, you’re an industrial artist. The potential for art is endless. Anything from a canvas to a human body to a building or an empty skyline can be a place for you to create.

Let’s take fashion as an example. Every year thousands of magazines and runways require new designers to dictate what everyone should be wearing tomorrow. Fashion is an accessible for of art. From being able to buy a maxi dress with a slit online at a women’s boutique to attending New York fashion week, people have multiple opportunities to appreciate the work of designers. Creating is creating, in any form you might enjoy doing it.

Don’t Get Burnt Out

A key piece of advice for emerging artists is to be aware of creative burnout. Especially if you end up pursuing artistic endeavors professionally, it can be easy to lose the joy you once had for your craft. Consider a secondary hobby that you can explore while your main love continues to deflate your energy. While experiencing creative burnout, getting up to work can feel exhausting and you may find yourself blocked without any new, good ideas appearing. What you were once passionate and excited about not terrifies you, because you doubt you’ll be able to complete any task to a professional level.

Some cures for creative burnout end up being rather simple. Giving yourself a break is a primary one. Your creativity acts like a well, and when it is dried up, you simply cannot get any water from it any longer. Take a break and give yourself time for your well to fill back up again. This can involve attending a performance or going for a walk through the woods. Let other art continue to fill you and inspire you to continue pursuing your own passion.

Another simple solution is rest. Artists have to be so dedicated and constantly be working towards their goals. Operating 100 miles a minute can exhaust a person, so taking some time off may be just what the doctor ordered. Remember your passion and give yourself a breather when you need it. Just because you love something, doesn’t mean you don’t ever need a bit of a respite. In fact, giving yourself time only proves how much love you have for your art and how much dedication you have to produce good art.



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