You are passionate about visual art and eager to develop both your artistic skills and your creativity. Your college journey could play a huge role in preparing you for a career you love — or simply building the joy of artistry into your everyday life.
While there are many viable paths toward working or living artistically, a Bachelor of Arts degree represents one of the most accessible and reliable ways to reach your most ambitious goals. Keep reading to discover the value of this degree — and the impressive variety of career opportunities it can deliver.
Why Should I Get an Arts Degree?
An art degree provides well-rounded preparation for a wonderful future, personally and professionally speaking. This comprehensive degree builds a strong foundation in art history, drawing, design, and even computer imaging. General education builds on this breadth, encouraging you to apply your expanding creativity in subjects such as written composition, history, and even science and math.
Beyond this, there's no discounting the simple reality that an art degree can be downright fun to pursue. Yes, the coursework is challenging, but it's also highly rewarding. There is something truly satisfying about improving your artistic skills and joining a community of similarly passionate and creative students. We've highlighted several other considerations to keep in mind as you prepare to seek an arts degree.
Hone Your Artistic Skills
You are proud of all you've accomplished thus far as an aspiring artist — but you're also eager to take your work to the next level. An art degree can give you a definite edge, exposing you to a variety of intriguing techniques and concepts. Just as importantly, you will enjoy numerous opportunities to put your newfound knowledge into action as you explore your creative vision.
Psychomotor skills — movement-oriented tasks with a cognitive element — are a clear area of focus, developed through multiple drawing courses and electives in painting, sculpture, and even lithography. You will emerge with a vast artistic skill set and the inspiration to use it in unique and meaningful ways.
Learn How to Enrich Art Through Exhibitions and Gallery
Art exhibitions have long been critical for personal branding and marketing, while also allowing for better public access to — and understanding of — contemporary and cultural concepts. There's more to exhibition than simply placing a painting on a wall, however. Through targeted coursework and real-world activities, you will discover how exhibitions and gallery events can be amplified while also enjoying the exciting ability to contribute to many aesthetic environments.
Develop a Variety of Media Types
All artists can benefit from expanding their horizons. Art programs encourage you to move beyond your comfort zone and experiment with different genres and mediums. Through playing with these concepts, you may discover a newfound passion for styles or techniques that you would otherwise have never thought to explore. Even if you ultimately stick with your preferred medium, you will benefit from building a richer and more nuanced understanding of art in all its forms.
Finding Balance Between Your Art and Future Career
Not all students who study art in college go on to work in the fine arts. While many career fields call for exceptional creativity and communication skills, there is absolutely nothing wrong with enjoying artistic pursuits separate from career endeavors. Either way, the ultimate goal of any art degree program is to develop well-rounded individuals who can find balance, joy, and passion in all areas of life.
Find Your Passion
Passion-driven artists find their work compelling and deeply rewarding, even when they face significant personal and professional challenges. It may take time to stumble upon this central passion, but the search is more than worthwhile. Upon finding and exploring your niche in college, you should be well-equipped to continue placing this front and center as you move into professional projects.
Explore All Career Options
Many students enter art-oriented degree programs with the primary intention of working as artists — but this is just one of many exciting career opportunities available to art graduates. Some are surprised to discover that they find other, related career fields even more personally satisfying. Be open to pursuing a variety of career paths, even if they don't entirely align with your original vision. Job shadowing, mentorships, and volunteering are all excellent options for understanding the breadth of the modern artistic field.
Build Your Portfolio
A well-rounded, yet distinct portfolio is key to finding work in the artistic world. The sooner you start contributing to your portfolio, the better. Ideally, it will feature a variety of impressive pieces by the time you graduate, although you should continue to contribute to and adjust your portfolio far into the future. By getting a head start, however, you will find it easier to develop your portfolio at a reasonable pace, adding to it only when you strike genuine inspiration or are truly proud of your work.
Network Within Your Artistic Community
Networking is critical in every field — including the visual arts. College provides many valuable opportunities for building impactful relationships with similarly passionate students and professionals. These relationships can be meaningful, keeping you emotionally and professionally sustained even when the going gets tough.
What Are Potential Careers With an Arts Degree?
Versatile by nature, an arts degree can grant you a vast skill set, including both soft and technical skills that will be of value in nearly any career path you ultimately pursue. Compelling arts degree jobs worth considering include the following:
Creative minds are among the most likely to succeed in the demanding world of entrepreneurism. Artists are well-represented in leadership positions, as exemplified by the famous Andy Warhol quote: "Being good in business is the most fascinating kind of art." Art graduates are uniquely adaptable and culturally competent, so they are well-poised to handle the many challenges of the modern business world.
Responsible for shaping the overarching designs of magazines, product packaging, and even video productions, art directors determine how complex concepts can best be represented — and they help a variety of artistic professionals contribute to this vision. They often act as liaisons between clients, executives, and graphic designers, ensuring that all parties are satisfied throughout the duration of the artistic process.
As we've discussed, your art curriculum will expose you to many mediums, so you will be fully prepared to create a diverse array of visually impactful works. These may go beyond tangible pieces to include digital designs. This unique blend of skills is highly valued in areas such as film, computer animation, and video game design. As a multimedia artist, your everyday work may involve developing storyboards, editing animations, or installing special effects.
As an interdisciplinary practice that combines the power of visual art with the written word, graphic design aims to convey information to viewers. This practice draws on many important artistic elements and techniques, but with the primary purpose of communicating important concepts — often as part of branding or marketing efforts. These digital art careers span many industries, with art graduates often finding work at design firms or in marketing departments. Others prefer the flexibility of consulting or freelancing.
Every student can benefit from exposure to the arts. As an educator, you can introduce them to the power of artistic expression — skills they can draw on far in the future, regardless of their personal career ambitions. Art educators work in several environments, including not only K-12 education, but also, in museums, libraries, or even as private tutors.
Many art majors ultimately enjoy exciting and lucrative careers in marketing, which calls for exceptional creativity and communication skills. Content creators often boast a strong background in art and design, with some even going on to work as marketing specialists or marketing managers. Revealing the value of artistic thinking in this rapidly changing field, marketing and entrepreneurial expert George Deeb explains that, "as much as we would like to turn our marketing efforts into a science, it is still very much an art."
Among the most compelling of today's many electronic art careers, gaming is a rapidly growing niche that can benefit greatly from the unique perspectives of artistic professionals. Your work could be critical to producing eye-catching visuals and animation for the top games of tomorrow. There is strong demand for artists to contribute to the design process for video, PC, and even mobile games. Jobs of interest to art students include animation and 3D modeling.
Your Arts Degree With University of the Cumberlands
Ready to take the next step on your artistic journey? A Bachelor of Arts degree will help you pursue your passion while also ensuring that you build a variety of in-demand skills. You will emerge with a strong creative vision and confidence in your ability to make a difference through the enduring power of art.
Pull your passion into a strong career. Cumberlands is here to support your artistic creativity and college degree. Learn more today!