Art speaks to us as humans. It allows us to feel emotions poignantly. Art is part of the shared human experience, and that is why many individuals feel a compulsion to create it.
Of course, there are all kinds of art, from painting to music, from sculpting to glass blowing. There’s outsider art and art theory, and then there’s the academic approach where you dissect what makes a particular piece or trend so compelling or revolutionary.
If you feel like art is your life, and you can’t imagine yourself doing anything else, you should think about getting a fine arts degree. In this article, we’ll talk a little bit about why this might be the best career choice for you.
You Can Grow Alongside Others and Make Friends
Some people are eager when they go off to college because they know they’ll have the chance to make some new friends. You very well might make some friendships that will last you for the rest of your life.
As the Sierra Nevada University website notes, you can “get your fine arts degree in a close-knit community of students and faculty making art with passion and intention.” That’s what it’s all about: you want to connect with other individuals, both teachers and your fellow students, who feel as passionate about art as you do.
You want to pick a college where:
- You know the faculty loves to teach
- There’s a diverse but dedicated student body
You can learn about art there, but you can also create it. Ideally, you can do it alongside other students from all walks of life who want to find success within the artistic community.
You Can Learn About New Technologies and Established Methods
One of the things about art that’s so wonderful is that it’s always evolving. The artistic process changes over the years as new schools of thought open up, and fresh pieces capture the public’s imagination. If you go to school to pursue a fine arts degree:
- You can learn about prior artistic movements and what they meant
- You can get some idea of where art is going within your lifetime
If you pursue a fine arts degree, you get to learn classic artistic techniques, but you can also talk about breaking the mold and pursuing new avenues. You can learn what works for you as an artist and to what areas you gravitate.
You Can Learn About All Sorts of Artistic Endeavors
In the right fine arts program, you can learn about a tremendously diverse cross-section of art from around the world. You might want to focus on the Italian Renaissance or traditional Japanese or Spanish art. You might choose to learn about ceramics or sculpting.
You can learn about two-dimensional and three-dimensional art and using computers and newer technology for artistic endeavors. For instance, some artists are using 3D printers now in their creative processes.
You can learn about interdisciplinary or digital arts. You might even choose to pursue a music minor if that interests you.
You’ll Learn to Give and Receive Constructive Criticism
Part of being an artist is talking about others’ work. You can learn how to do that if you study for a fine arts degree.
You can learn how to speak frankly but kindly about other artistic creations. If something doesn’t work for you or you don’t care for it, you can master how to give a measured response that will not tear the creator down.
You will also learn how to actively listen to what others say about your work. You might think everything you create is a masterpiece and ahead of its time, but once you get out in the world and try to make it as an artist, you must be ready for the critics’ stones and daggers.
You can learn empathy, which is one of the critical tools an artist has. You should become stronger because of it and more ready to face the artistic world outside of academia when the time comes.
You’ll Connect with Teachers Who Get You
Hopefully, you will also choose a school that has some renowned, well-respected instructors. Your professors will probably have worked in the artist community outside academia, and they may have tried to make it through selling their work. They can tell you all about what pitfalls to avoid, and they can honestly assess your prospects.
You can ask them all the burning questions you have. They can let you know about ways of making it as an artist that might not necessarily occur to you.
If you’re going to find success as an artist, you don’t always need transcendent talent. There are artist jobs like working in museums or working on TV or movie sets. You don’t have to be the lonely painter working in the middle of the night in an unheated New York apartment while you bus tables during the day.
A talented faculty can tell you what it’s like to make art your career, and based on what they tell you, you may decide whether this is truly what you want to do or whether you’re better off modifying your expectations.
As an artist, you must be around people who understand you, and that’s going to be the other students and faculty at a respected university. As you look at the different options, think about who has graduated from that program and what success they’ve achieved. If you have some modern artistic idols, consider where they went to school and whether you can follow in their footsteps.
You can also look into scholarships and other ways to help cover the cost. Maybe your parents can help you financially if you promise that you’ll dedicate yourself faithfully to this endeavor. It would be great if you could receive your fine arts degree without getting into too much debt.
Once you have it, the world should open up for you, and you’ll be ready to pursue your artistic vision.