By Callie Farmer
At a young age I have always known I wanted to do something in the visual arts. Starting my undergraduate career my father, the mechanical engineer who knew nothing of the arts, told me “I don’t know anything about art, but I’ll help you find everything and anything there is about it.” I spent the next fours years of my life learning everything I possibly could about art but also about the successful careers I could pursue.
There are many misconceptions with careers associated with the visual arts. Many people believe that you can only be a poor, hungry artist. The truth to this is that you make money based on the work you put out. To be a successful fine artist the best advice I have is to learn about the area that you are showing your art work in. Learn about the community and the people in it because you and your art are becoming part of that community. You are a business and you are selling an idea, in a way you are selling yourself.
Aside from being a working artist, other careers people lean towards are academia and gallery curating. Teaching is a wonderful realm to go into not to mention rewarding. There are many paths to take to become certified to teach, it all depends on the type of person you are but more importantly the type of teacher you want to be. Many people decide to get the Bachelors of Fine Arts during undergraduate which has a greater emphasis on art courses versus general education courses and then their teaching licenses and courses. When deciding to be a teacher it is important to think about the age group you are wanting to teach, because that will begin to pave the path for your career in teaching art.
Gallery curating is not limited to small privately owned galleries or University galleries, it goes all the way to helping curate museums and businesses. All galleries are different, however for the most part the outline is the same. Curators help to organize and put on gallery openings and work with setting the artwork in the space that benefits both the artwork and the space. Aside from the installation of the work, curators head the public relations for the gallery or museum and for the artist’s show.
Depending on the discipline, different careers paths can open. For example if drawing is the concentration, one could lend their talents to law enforcement and become a sketch artist for the local police department. Drawing can also be a very good tool in the fashion world to understand the anatomy of the human body but also to learn how the clothes could hang on the model.
Colorists are people who help mix new colors for paint companies, cosmetic powerhouses and are even commissioned by interior designers. To be a colorist you need to have your focus in color theory and learn how to physically mix colors with a variety of materials. Understanding how the discipline additives mix and effect the materials and colors is an element of color theory.
When it gets down to it, there are numerous job opportunities for the visual arts in this world. It is all about researching the schools and the courses offered but also researching the various careers offered and how to obtain them.