Most parents of creatives want their children to achieve success in whatever field they choose, successful art careers included. If you have an inspired child, here’s how to lend guidance and support as they pursue making a living with an arts degree.
Know a Degree Doesn’t Guarantee a Living
In STEM-related vocations, a degree is enough to get one’s foot in the door of a lucrative career. In the arts, a degree alone won’t guarantee a job. In addition to earning a degree, those in the arts should consider working behind the scenes to build a portfolio, gain experience and bolster skills.
The Path to Successful Art Careers
Elizabeth Venturini, President and CEO of College Career Results, tells Parentology there are several ways students and their parents can begin to prepare for a career in the arts, even before higher education comes into the picture.
“[For students interested in traditional art], attend National Portfolio Day, an event hosted by The National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD),” she recommends. “This event provides a great opportunity for students to meet with representatives from NASAD-accredited universities and gain feedback on their artwork. Aspiring artists can also learn more about art programs and get answers to questions about professional careers in the arts.”
If your child is musically inclined, Venturini suggests getting an honest opinion of their talent before investing a ton of money preparing for auditions. “Seek out a couple of music instructors connected with a local university and ask for their opinion,” she advises, “[and] have your them perform in local talent competitions. See how they stand up against their peers, particularly when performing in front of an audience.”
Venturini implores parents to encourage kids pursuing music to learn music theory and how to improvise, both of which are essential in the music industry.
Students who want to go into film need to prepare early, too. Most film schools and companies want to see the progression of a candidate’s work before making a decision, so a long-term portfolio is necessary.
Building an online presence to showcase talent is also key. Encourage your child to add internships and paid positions to the mix to provide invaluable to build a resume and gain connections.
There’s Art in Everything
Sending your child to school for an art degree may seem futile in today’s technology-driven world, making parents question: is there still room for careers in the arts? Ron Auerbach, a career coach and educator, assures there will always be a place for the arts.
“There’s tremendous value to both the arts and the humanities,” Auerbach tells Parentology, “and majoring in these is not utterly useless as some mistakenly believe. In fact, there are lots of valuable skills incorporated into these degrees that allow for a wide range of opportunities and money-making chances.”
Auerbach continues, offering some examples, “Those who design vehicles use the arts in their designs. Those who study sculpting can apply their training and knowledge to other occupations, like architecture. And those who draw and paint can translate their skills to the web and graphic design.”
Something Auerbach says parents should remember, and remind their children as well in their pursuit of an arts career, “The humanities and the arts are both very important.”
Successful Art Careers: Sources
Elizabeth Venturini, president and CEO of College Career Results
Ron Auerbach, MBA, career coach and educator