|Art is fun, but it is also hard work. Honestly it is the hardest work I have ever done.|
As artists we are constantly being told that “you can’t make money doing that” and “maybe you should get a real job.”
These sayings are misleading and quite honestly become obnoxious. Of course, art can be a hobby and that may be best for some people, but for others, art is a real job that generates a steady income (yes there are also artists that make $30,000 every 4 – 6 months). This article is for those of you who want to be a professional working studio artist, with a steady income, but are not quite there. It also applies to those of you who would like to create part-time, study art in a formal education setting or pursue one of several fields in the humanities.
Process of Becoming A Working Artist
If you are in the process of beginning a professional artist career, you may be interested in working part time while you figure out what exactly you need to do to get you art career/business up-and-running. Which is what I am doing now. Below are some art related and non-art related jobs that could be inspiring but also can help with networking and learning necessary business skills. They could also be long term career options.
Art vs. Non Art-Realted Jobs
There are benefits to both art and non-art related jobs.
|I don’t know how many times I was given this advice.|
Gallery Owner/worker – Even sweeping and mopping in an art gallery is an option. When I was at Works of Wyoming, I had tasks like this many times. Trust me. It was not so bad.
Art Therapist – If you love to work with people this could be a fantastic option for you. This position does typically require a masters degree and a counseling or a psychology background. I had the opportunity to intern with an Art Therapist at residential treatment facility and it was incredible to see how people responded to the arts.
|Though annoying at first, this is a good question to answer. Tell me in the comments below.|
Art Librarian – Many Universities have a library assistant assigned to the Art department. They can help with research for art projects, put on presentations, help you search for galleries and jobs among many other library tasks.
|Yes! You have many career options in the arts.|
Graphic Designer – Most creative people have many of the necessary skills to take on some graphic design work naturally engrained in them. Do keep in mind that graphic design is extremely competitive. My Art degree and second Humanities degree have gotten me more jobs (and money) than my Graphic Design minor.
Camp Counselor or Youth Worker – I have done both of these jobs and there are many opportunities to use your creativity and problem solving skills. Creative people are often sought out for positions like these and they typically have a lot of room for career advancement. There is a good chance you will get to be out doors for both as well. Summer camps need creative staff and many towns/areas have treatment facilities nearby.
|I hope this post has helped to answer this question.|
Volunteer – Again AmeriCoprs can help you financially.
Business person – This applies to the humanities in general, but did you know that people with art degrees make more money in the field of business than those who have business degrees? This was a consistent fact in several college planning books that address many majors and options.
Bank worker – Many jobs just require a degree and really search for creative people.
Grad School – For many of us graduate school does not pay (though there are the lucky few who are able to score some free education). If you are still in the position to do so, take a look at some minors or second major options. Business if great for various paths. A second Humanities major and Graphic Design minor suited me well. Philosophy or a cultural studies are some excellent classes.
Hopefully the next time you are asked what you want to do with art I hope some of these answers will come to mind.