Careers in art

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Topic Author
JBTX
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Careers in art

Post by JBTX » Mon May 13, 2019 5:01 pm

Daughter is starting college and contemplating study/fields in art. She will be going to a local public state college. She is a talented artist. My first reaction is it isn't a very practical choice, but I honestly don't know. Options include art teacher, art therapist, graphic design, web design etc.

I do think she would enjoy it more than other fields she has contemplated since she has a passion for it. But I am hesitant about the job prospects.

Anybody have any experience with this?

welsie
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Re: Careers in art

Post by welsie » Mon May 13, 2019 5:10 pm

You can make a perfectly good living doing graphic design.

Like all things, it depends what the person does with the degree. There is a big difference in income between a middle school art teacher and someone doing animation for the Toy Story 4. If you just look around on TV, half the commercials are largely graphics, people are paid good money to create those.

KlangFool
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Re: Careers in art

Post by KlangFool » Mon May 13, 2019 5:15 pm

JBTX wrote:
Mon May 13, 2019 5:01 pm
Daughter is starting college and contemplating study/fields in art. She will be going to a local public state college. She is a talented artist. My first reaction is it isn't a very practical choice, but I honestly don't know. Options include art teacher, art therapist, graphic design, web design etc.

I do think she would enjoy it more than other fields she has contemplated since she has a passion for it. But I am hesitant about the job prospects.

Anybody have any experience with this?
JBTX,

I supported my daughter to get a degree in Art because I know she will make a career out of this. She started her art internship during high school. And, she continues exploring various Art career opportunity as she went through college by various internship.

Conversely, I prevented my son from getting a bachelor degree in Physic. He has no idea what and how he is going to make a career out of that.

This is purely my personal opinion. I would not pay for my kid's degree unless they can tell me how they are going to make a career out of that degree.

KlangFool

CascadiaSoonish
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Re: Careers in art

Post by CascadiaSoonish » Mon May 13, 2019 6:01 pm

KlangFool wrote:
Mon May 13, 2019 5:15 pm
I would not pay for my kid's degree unless they can tell me how they are going to make a career out of that degree.
I wholeheartedly disagree. College isn't and shouldn't be just a vocational program. It's an opportunity for kids to learn how to think, how to find their own path, to be exposed to different people and opinions. It should give students flexible skills enabling them to succeed in any number of fields, including those that don't exist yet.

Source: music major who ended up in tech. Analyzing symphonies is a similar thought process to analyzing system architectures -- find the patterns, see how it works, see when the rules must be followed and when they can be bent.

fru-gal
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Re: Careers in art

Post by fru-gal » Mon May 13, 2019 6:07 pm

CascadiaSoonish wrote:
Mon May 13, 2019 6:01 pm
KlangFool wrote:
Mon May 13, 2019 5:15 pm
I would not pay for my kid's degree unless they can tell me how they are going to make a career out of that degree.
I wholeheartedly disagree. College isn't and shouldn't be just a vocational program. It's an opportunity for kids to learn how to think, how to find their own path, to be exposed to different people and opinions. It should give students flexible skills enabling them to succeed in any number of fields, including those that don't exist yet.

Source: music major who ended up in tech. Analyzing symphonies is a similar thought process to analyzing system architectures -- find the patterns, see how it works, see when the rules must be followed and when they can be bent.
Physicist who ended up in IT. If you think of college as just vocational, you might as well send them to auto mechanics training. I am sorry for the son. Imagine losing the chance to learn about something he is passionate about.

123
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Re: Careers in art

Post by 123 » Mon May 13, 2019 6:18 pm

I have a longtime friend whose child majored in an art program at college. While the child was a student she would always express regrets about the child's choice of a major and thought she would never be able to get a job (The friend and I are both business people). The child did an internship with a major consumer products company during college and was hired full-time upon graduation. The child has ended up doing extraordinary well both in terms of salary and career advancement in just the first few years after graduation. I would speculate that she is doing far better than if she had majored in computer science or finance with similar dedication and diligence. Likely she is the 1 out of a 100 art majors that gets to pursue their life's passion and make a great income doing it. So success is possible in any field but there is a certain amount of luck involved as well.
The closest helping hand is at the end of your own arm.

Bacchus01
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Re: Careers in art

Post by Bacchus01 » Mon May 13, 2019 6:25 pm

JBTX wrote:
Mon May 13, 2019 5:01 pm
Daughter is starting college and contemplating study/fields in art. She will be going to a local public state college. She is a talented artist. My first reaction is it isn't a very practical choice, but I honestly don't know. Options include art teacher, art therapist, graphic design, web design etc.

I do think she would enjoy it more than other fields she has contemplated since she has a passion for it. But I am hesitant about the job prospects.

Anybody have any experience with this?
She could get a job at a product design house. Places like P&G, Kohler, Stanley Black and Decker come to mind.

GoldenFinch
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Re: Careers in art

Post by GoldenFinch » Mon May 13, 2019 6:30 pm

The few people I know who majored in art or went to an art institute did well, but not doing what the dreamed of doing. This outcome can happen with any major. College is not the end-all of one’s career destiny.

KlangFool
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Re: Careers in art

Post by KlangFool » Mon May 13, 2019 6:33 pm

fru-gal wrote:
Mon May 13, 2019 6:07 pm

I am sorry for the son. Imagine losing the chance to learn about something he is passionate about.
fru-gal,

He doubles major in Mechanical Engineering and Physic for the first year. He dropped Physic major after the first year. I knew that he is not a Physic type of person. I refused to let him make that kind of mistake with my money.

KlangFool

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Re: Careers in art

Post by LadyGeek » Mon May 13, 2019 6:39 pm

This thread is now in the Personal Finance (Not Investing) forum (career guidance).
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GmanJeff
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Re: Careers in art

Post by GmanJeff » Mon May 13, 2019 6:44 pm

I'd say it depends what she has in mind to do professionally. While I agree with those who say university ought not be exclusively vocational training, it probably is irresponsible to give no thought to how one's studies will translate into some kind of professionally rewarding post-college career. We can all probably think of some areas of study which are unlikely to provide many satisfying career options after four years of time and tuition expense.

While some have suggested that majoring in art can result in a reasonable job in graphic design, I suspect that many who describe themselves as artists have no interest in graphic design at all, and would instead want to pursue other artistic endeavors which may be fun and emoptionally satisfying but probably difficult to translate into a professional income.

Ideally, one's university studies will impart a combination of traditional liberal arts attributes like critical thinking, research and analysis skills, and solid writing abilities which are universally valuable, with learning which can be usefully applied to graduate studies or to a career which calls for some specific knowledge and subject matter expertise.

For many people, hobbies and interests are best left as such and kept distinct from a profession unless the student will be content with limited income opportunities. The "passion" element can often be satisfied by continued pursuit of a hobby as a hobby only, or maybe as a source of incidental income, while one's practical need to support oneself and, potentially, a family, can often be better met by employment which is more remunerative.
Last edited by GmanJeff on Mon May 13, 2019 7:01 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Topic Author
JBTX
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Re: Careers in art

Post by JBTX » Mon May 13, 2019 6:50 pm

Thanks for the replies.

Various observations. I have a friend who is in graphic design close to my age. When discussing with him he hasn't always been enthusiastic about it as a career choice. But he does seem to mostly stay employed. Looking at DOL site it indicates future growth in that field is less than average.

Based upon some of the comments, there are some lucrative opportunities out there, but it sounds like they are with generally specific large companies and I'm guessing you would need to be geographically flexible to land these opportunities.

Are summer internships available to college students or are they very hard to come by?

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fortfun
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Re: Careers in art

Post by fortfun » Mon May 13, 2019 6:55 pm

The richest person I ever saw post on this forum was a professional artist. I think his portfolio was worth 30M, if I remember correctly.

I doubt your daughter will get that rich, but just putting that out there. I think my daughter might major in art also, possibly to become an art teacher. We've talked about the competitive nature of getting an art teaching position. I've mentioned that it would be wise to pick up a minor in special education, or some other in-demand specialty, that could help her get her foot in the door at a school. ELA would be another area to pick up. If your daughter wants to go into teaching art, you might mention this to her, as there may be 100+ art teachers applying for a single position. If she can get her foot in the door as a special ed/ELA teacher, she has a better chance of moving into an art teaching position at that school, or another school.

KlangFool
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Re: Careers in art

Post by KlangFool » Mon May 13, 2019 7:00 pm

JBTX wrote:
Mon May 13, 2019 6:50 pm

Are summer internships available to college students or are they very hard to come by?
JBTX,

VCU ranked nationally #2 in Arts. So, Arts is a major department in VCU and it has many internship programs with employers.

You should ask this question to the University Art program before paying for the degree.

KlangFool

stan1
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Re: Careers in art

Post by stan1 » Mon May 13, 2019 7:03 pm

Has she considered a minor in business or computer science (or an art minor with one of those subjects as her major)? Design plus software or business would help her out.

ddurrett896
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Re: Careers in art

Post by ddurrett896 » Mon May 13, 2019 7:06 pm

Supply and demand.

There is a low demand for art degrees. Major in something else, get a minor in art if you want to follow a passion but don’t bet on it.

retire2022
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Re: Careers in art

Post by retire2022 » Mon May 13, 2019 7:31 pm

JBTX wrote:
Mon May 13, 2019 5:01 pm
Daughter is starting college and contemplating study/fields in art. She will be going to a local public state college. She is a talented artist. My first reaction is it isn't a very practical choice, but I honestly don't know. Options include art teacher, art therapist, graphic design, web design etc.

I do think she would enjoy it more than other fields she has contemplated since she has a passion for it. But I am hesitant about the job prospects.

Anybody have any experience with this?

JBTX

I went to a famous art High School, and failed in 9th grade Algebra. Out of my graduating class of 500 kids only one of them is actually famous now. I attempted to get in to Stuyvesant High School and Brooklyn Tech but my grades were so bad the only choice left was the art school.

Getting in was not easy, I had two weeks to prepared my portfolio and perform a drawing test, I met countless others who attempted but could not get in.

In middle school, during the 70's there were three tier classes, 801 were considered the smart kids, 802 moderate kids and 803 were the dumb kids, guess who fitted in?

Because I was in 803 kids, and did not have reading, writing and arithmetic down I was not put in Art class, I needed art supplies, so I went to the teacher and begged for supplies. Think of Charles Dickens Oliver, Ms Teacher may I have some art supplies please, I would like to apply to High School of Art and Design.

"Sure young man, I will provide these supplies to you, but you are probably not going to get in."

Of course I got in, however my parents were appalled at the idea, just as you wrote I would be penniless and would not amount to anything. I told them "I'm going there you can't stop me!"

My parents were working class immigrants and did not see the value of Art. Did you know Steve Jobs never finished college but was fascinated by the typeface?

My Major was film, in my class was a famous son of Grammy award winner song writer, I've not contacted him recently, but he has an Emmy, and was a silver spoon kid. Another classmate was on the crew of a famous cult movie.

My High School produced lots of famous alumni https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High_Scho ... and_Design

After I graduated I could not break into the business not because I lacked talent, it was I needed social connection and better understanding of the field.

At As went on to City College of New York and majored in Photography and Minor in Art History, I dropped out because I had undiagnosed ADD. Which most creatives have, and had multiple in completes, in 1988 I went back and finished.

My narrative is an earlier time, before internet, Facebook, the point is art can make one wealthy if one has the right schools, get into the Whitney, which my classmate has, and or right situation.

If I were your daughter's uncle, I would be supportive, and get her into smaller liberal arts colleges and or art schools which are in the same field of her interest. Mentors or Patrons are key in the business, but she should focus on her writing and reading of all forms of art.

Btw I was educated about the stock market by a MCarthy Victim labeled as a communist, he was the chairman of the Art Department, for his lesson, my net worth is 2.4 million.

Do you know about Burning-man? it is worth going to, have her make her work.

PM if you have further questions, good luck.
Last edited by retire2022 on Mon May 13, 2019 8:33 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Isabelle77
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Re: Careers in art

Post by Isabelle77 » Mon May 13, 2019 7:45 pm

My husband was a fine arts major, first art and then switched to music. He started working as an intern at record labels, went into television commercial production, creative director, and then marketing. He makes a great living.

Advertising, creative direction, graphic design, they can all be lucrative careers. Just be the art major that works really hard, a few business classes wouldn't hurt either.

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Watty
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Re: Careers in art

Post by Watty » Mon May 13, 2019 7:56 pm

Something to look into is how likely it is that she would need or want to get an MFA(master of fine arts) at some point. For some positions that may be expected.

She should also consider getting a strong minor or even a double major with a degree in some complementary field. It does not even need to be anything particularly "artsy" since she might be able to get her foot in door because some small company needs both a graphic designer and a bookkeeper.

She may also end up running her own business or freelancing so learning as much as possible about the business side would be good.

nakatomi
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Re: Careers in art

Post by nakatomi » Mon May 13, 2019 8:08 pm

As some posters have pointed out, art careers might not have the predictability or clear onramp as careers in, say, technology or medicine, but can still be incredibly enriching and financially sound. I know of quite a few artists that were pushed into more traditional careers by worried parents, only to see those kids be miserable in their careers and sometimes, rebel.

Better to recognize that your daughter is unique, and help her explore careers in the arts with some practical Boglehead-ish encouragement from you. Graphic/mobile/product/game design and movies/animation are all very established and rewarding fields, and there are likely newer fields that will develop in your daughter's time in the workplace.

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JBTX
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Re: Careers in art

Post by JBTX » Mon May 13, 2019 8:09 pm

fortfun wrote:
Mon May 13, 2019 6:55 pm
The richest person I ever saw post on this forum was a professional artist. I think his portfolio was worth 30M, if I remember correctly.

I doubt your daughter will get that rich, but just putting that out there. I think my daughter might major in art also, possibly to become an art teacher. We've talked about the competitive nature of getting an art teaching position. I've mentioned that it would be wise to pick up a minor in special education, or some other in-demand specialty, that could help her get her foot in the door at a school. ELA would be another area to pick up. If your daughter wants to go into teaching art, you might mention this to her, as there may be 100+ art teachers applying for a single position. If she can get her foot in the door as a special ed/ELA teacher, she has a better chance of moving into an art teaching position at that school, or another school.
Thanks for the info. She is very good with special needs kids. Her younger brother is ASD and she has been around them all of her life. I agree art with a special ed teaching slant could be a good fit for her.

In terms of the 100 art teachers applying for one art teacher position, is it really that bad? If so that is discouraging.

stoptothink
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Re: Careers in art

Post by stoptothink » Mon May 13, 2019 8:10 pm

Just anecdotally, my childhood best friend, my sister, and one of my wife's best friends received art degrees at some universities with top art programs (UCLA, Brown, USC) and then the first two followed it up with graduate degrees. All really have struggled. My friend is now a junior high art teacher after trying to break into doing work for movies/TV for a good 15yrs. My sister has never really made any money in art and is now (with art-related degrees from Brown, Oxford, and NYU) in one of these coding schools. My wife's friend is a secretary for my wife's employer and trying to segue into marketing. They are all 35-40. I'm sure some can make it, but it's not a whole lot different than music, theater, dance; if you don't end up teaching, the chances you are going to utilize that degree in you career are a lot slimmer than most other fields of study. If that was what I was determined to study, I'd hedge my bets and be very cognizant about minimizing education debt.

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Will do good
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Re: Careers in art

Post by Will do good » Mon May 13, 2019 8:14 pm

I majored in graphic design, ended up at a top international ad agency. Later started my own studio and made more money than I ever expected, retired early.

DD also majored in graphic design, now a senior tech interface design consultant helping Fortune 500 clients in the U.S as well as overseas and having a great time. Yes, career in art is challenging but there are some of us that do really well in it.

There is lot of jobs in the graphic art industry, most marketing materials (print, web, packaging, promotion, tv/film etc) is created, designed and produced by someone in the art field.

Good luck.
Last edited by Will do good on Mon May 13, 2019 8:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Topic Author
JBTX
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Re: Careers in art

Post by JBTX » Mon May 13, 2019 8:15 pm

retire2022 wrote:
Mon May 13, 2019 7:31 pm
JBTX wrote:
Mon May 13, 2019 5:01 pm
Daughter is starting college and contemplating study/fields in art. She will be going to a local public state college. She is a talented artist. My first reaction is it isn't a very practical choice, but I honestly don't know. Options include art teacher, art therapist, graphic design, web design etc.

I do think she would enjoy it more than other fields she has contemplated since she has a passion for it. But I am hesitant about the job prospects.

Anybody have any experience with this?

JBTX

I went to a famous art High School, and failed in 9th grade Algebra. Out of my graduating class of 500 kids only one of them is actually famous now. I attempted to get in to Stuyvesant High School and Brooklyn Tech but my grades were so bad the only choice left was the art school.

Getting in was not easy, I had two weeks to prepared my portfolio and perform a drawing test, I met countless others who attempted but could not get in.

In middle school, during the 70's there were three tier classes, 801 were considered the smart kids, 802 moderate kids and 803 were the dumb kids, guess who fitted in?

Because I was in 803 kids, and did not have reading, writing and arithmetic down I was put in Art class, I needed art supplies, so I went to the teacher and begged for supplies. Think of Charles Dickens Oliver, Ms Teacher may I have some art supplies please, I would like to apply to High School of Art and Design.

"Sure young man, I will provide these supplies to you, but you are probably not going to get in."

Of course I got in, however my parents were appalled at the idea, just as you wrote I would be penniless and would not amount to anything. I told them "I'm going there you can't stop me!"

My parents were working class immigrants and did not see the value of Art. Did you know Steve Jobs never finished college but was fascinated by the typeface?

My Major was film, in my class was a famous son of Grammy award winner song writer, I've not contacted him recently, but he has an Emmy, and was a silver spoon kid. Another classmate was on the crew of a famous cult movie.

My High School produced lots of famous alumni https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High_Scho ... and_Design

After I graduated I could not break into the business not because I lacked talent, it was I needed social connection and better understanding of the field.

At went on to City College of New York and majored in Photography and Minor in Art History, I dropped out because I had undiagnosed ADD. Which most creatives have, and had multiple in completes, in 1988 I went back and finished.

My narrative is an earlier time, before internet, Facebook, the point is art can make one wealthy if one has the right schools, get into the Whitney, which my classmate has, and or right situation.

If I were your daughter's uncle, I would be supportive, and get her into smaller liberal arts colleges and or art schools which are in the same field of her interest. Mentors or Patrons are key in the business, but she should focus on her writing and reading of all forms of art.

Btw I was educated about the stock market by a MCarthy Victim labeled as a communist, he was the chairman of the Art Department, for his lesson, my net worth is 2.4 million.

Do you know about Burning-man? it is worth going to, have her make her work.

PM if you have further questions, good luck.
Thanks for taking the time to share your story! It is good to know there are success stories out there.

She is going to the local state school which I think has a respectable art program. She has been leaning towards psychology but now reconsidering based upon her interests. It is a little late in the game to be switching schools, plus no idea if this one sticks.

I definitely think a field which emphasizes creativity will suit her better. Rote learning and memorization aren't her strong suit. She is also adhd in addition to some other letter combinations.

KlangFool
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Re: Careers in art

Post by KlangFool » Mon May 13, 2019 8:19 pm

JBTX,

My daughter is resourceful. So, I have no worry as to how she going to make money with her Arts degree. A small sample of her internship/freelancing work since high school.

A) A pottery place making custom mugs.

B) 3D printing shop

C) Taking newly born baby photos (yes, there are people specialized in this). $500 per baby.

D) Update the small business web site (better photo and layout) selling gourmet food.

E) Intern on some animation post-production place.

F) Internship at Virginia Film Office. Doing pre-production work

https://www.film.virginia.org/

Is your daughter this kind of person? Can she handle non-traditional career path? Can she freelance?

KlangFool

KlangFool
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Joined: Sat Oct 11, 2008 12:35 pm

Re: Careers in art

Post by KlangFool » Mon May 13, 2019 8:20 pm

JBTX wrote:
Mon May 13, 2019 8:09 pm
fortfun wrote:
Mon May 13, 2019 6:55 pm
The richest person I ever saw post on this forum was a professional artist. I think his portfolio was worth 30M, if I remember correctly.

I doubt your daughter will get that rich, but just putting that out there. I think my daughter might major in art also, possibly to become an art teacher. We've talked about the competitive nature of getting an art teaching position. I've mentioned that it would be wise to pick up a minor in special education, or some other in-demand specialty, that could help her get her foot in the door at a school. ELA would be another area to pick up. If your daughter wants to go into teaching art, you might mention this to her, as there may be 100+ art teachers applying for a single position. If she can get her foot in the door as a special ed/ELA teacher, she has a better chance of moving into an art teaching position at that school, or another school.
Thanks for the info. She is very good with special needs kids. Her younger brother is ASD and she has been around them all of her life. I agree art with a special ed teaching slant could be a good fit for her.

In terms of the 100 art teachers applying for one art teacher position, is it really that bad? If so that is discouraging.
JBTX,

Do you need a master degree for that?

KlangFool

Topic Author
JBTX
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Re: Careers in art

Post by JBTX » Mon May 13, 2019 8:22 pm

GmanJeff wrote:
Mon May 13, 2019 6:44 pm
I'd say it depends what she has in mind to do professionally. While I agree with those who say university ought not be exclusively vocational training, it probably is irresponsible to give no thought to how one's studies will translate into some kind of professionally rewarding post-college career. We can all probably think of some areas of study which are unlikely to provide many satisfying career options after four years of time and tuition expense.

While some have suggested that majoring in art can result in a reasonable job in graphic design, I suspect that many who describe themselves as artists have no interest in graphic design at all, and would instead want to pursue other artistic endeavors which may be fun and emoptionally satisfying but probably difficult to translate into a professional income.

Ideally, one's university studies will impart a combination of traditional liberal arts attributes like critical thinking, research and analysis skills, and solid writing abilities which are universally valuable, with learning which can be usefully applied to graduate studies or to a career which calls for some specific knowledge and subject matter expertise.

For many people, hobbies and interests are best left as such and kept distinct from a profession unless the student will be content with limited income opportunities. The "passion" element can often be satisfied by continued pursuit of a hobby as a hobby only, or maybe as a source of incidental income, while one's practical need to support oneself and, potentially, a family, can often be better met by employment which is more remunerative.
Your thinking including the last paragraph is what we have generally recommended. But I'm beginning to think that a job just for jobs sake won't work out well for her. Her motivation and productivity is highly correlated with her passion.

I have a friend who's kid got a degree in music production. It will be interesting to see where that leads to.

Topic Author
JBTX
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Re: Careers in art

Post by JBTX » Mon May 13, 2019 8:29 pm

KlangFool wrote:
Mon May 13, 2019 8:19 pm
JBTX,

My daughter is resourceful. So, I have no worry as to how she going to make money with her Arts degree. A small sample of her internship/freelancing work since high school.

A) A pottery place making custom mugs.

B) 3D printing shop

C) Taking newly born baby photos (yes, there are people specialized in this). $500 per baby.

D) Update the small business web site (better photo and layout) selling gourmet food.

E) Intern on some animation post-production place.

F) Internship at Virginia Film Office. Doing pre-production work

https://www.film.virginia.org/

Is your daughter this kind of person? Can she handle non-traditional career path? Can she freelance?

KlangFool
She can be very resourceful. She may have to work on her tenacity.

As to your question about masters for special needs path, I don't know, but we aren't at all against helping to fund a masters if it appears to be a worthwhile path and has a high probability of increasing her long term career prospects.

KlangFool
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Joined: Sat Oct 11, 2008 12:35 pm

Re: Careers in art

Post by KlangFool » Mon May 13, 2019 8:33 pm

JBTX wrote:
Mon May 13, 2019 8:29 pm
KlangFool wrote:
Mon May 13, 2019 8:19 pm
JBTX,

My daughter is resourceful. So, I have no worry as to how she going to make money with her Arts degree. A small sample of her internship/freelancing work since high school.

A) A pottery place making custom mugs.

B) 3D printing shop

C) Taking newly born baby photos (yes, there are people specialized in this). $500 per baby.

D) Update the small business web site (better photo and layout) selling gourmet food.

E) Intern on some animation post-production place.

F) Internship at Virginia Film Office. Doing pre-production work

https://www.film.virginia.org/

Is your daughter this kind of person? Can she handle non-traditional career path? Can she freelance?

KlangFool
She can be very resourceful. She may have to work on her tenacity.

As to your question about masters for special needs path, I don't know, but we aren't at all against helping to fund a masters if it appears to be a worthwhile path and has a high probability of increasing her long term career prospects.
JBTX,

<<She can be very resourceful. She may have to work on her tenacity. >>

My daughter worked too hard. I have to tell her to slack off regularly.

<<As to your question about masters for special needs path,>>

If that is the path, the undergraduate degree in Psychology makes a lot more sense.

KlangFool

Topic Author
JBTX
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Re: Careers in art

Post by JBTX » Mon May 13, 2019 8:36 pm

stoptothink wrote:
Mon May 13, 2019 8:10 pm
Just anecdotally, my childhood best friend, my sister, and one of my wife's best friends received art degrees at some universities with top art programs (UCLA, Brown, USC) and then the first two followed it up with graduate degrees. All really have struggled. My friend is now a junior high art teacher after trying to break into doing work for movies/TV for a good 15yrs. My sister has never really made any money in art and is now (with art-related degrees from Brown, Oxford, and NYU) in one of these coding schools. My wife's friend is a secretary for my wife's employer and trying to segue into marketing. They are all 35-40. I'm sure some can make it, but it's not a whole lot different than music, theater, dance; if you don't end up teaching, the chances you are going to utilize that degree in you career are a lot slimmer than most other fields of study. If that was what I was determined to study, I'd hedge my bets and be very cognizant about minimizing education debt.
This has kind of been my mostly uneducated perception going in. From this thread it is clear that outcomes can vary quite dramatically.

Debt shouldn't be a big problem as long as she is in state public schools.

I think having a backup plan would be helpful, perhaps something relating to special needs/therapy etc.

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JBTX
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Re: Careers in art

Post by JBTX » Mon May 13, 2019 8:40 pm

KlangFool wrote:
Mon May 13, 2019 8:33 pm
JBTX wrote:
Mon May 13, 2019 8:29 pm
KlangFool wrote:
Mon May 13, 2019 8:19 pm
JBTX,

My daughter is resourceful. So, I have no worry as to how she going to make money with her Arts degree. A small sample of her internship/freelancing work since high school.

A) A pottery place making custom mugs.

B) 3D printing shop

C) Taking newly born baby photos (yes, there are people specialized in this). $500 per baby.

D) Update the small business web site (better photo and layout) selling gourmet food.

E) Intern on some animation post-production place.

F) Internship at Virginia Film Office. Doing pre-production work

https://www.film.virginia.org/

Is your daughter this kind of person? Can she handle non-traditional career path? Can she freelance?

KlangFool
She can be very resourceful. She may have to work on her tenacity.

As to your question about masters for special needs path, I don't know, but we aren't at all against helping to fund a masters if it appears to be a worthwhile path and has a high probability of increasing her long term career prospects.
JBTX,

<<She can be very resourceful. She may have to work on her tenacity. >>

My daughter worked too hard. I have to tell her to slack off regularly.

<<As to your question about masters for special needs path,>>

If that is the path, the undergraduate degree in Psychology makes a lot more sense.

KlangFool
If she can go 6 six years and be successful (relatively speaking) and happy vs 4 years in a more marketable but less motivating career path for her then six years is a no brainer. I'm sure it is different for every kid. We have the resources to make that work if it comes to it.

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fortfun
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Re: Careers in art

Post by fortfun » Mon May 13, 2019 8:41 pm

JBTX wrote:
Mon May 13, 2019 8:09 pm
fortfun wrote:
Mon May 13, 2019 6:55 pm
The richest person I ever saw post on this forum was a professional artist. I think his portfolio was worth 30M, if I remember correctly.

I doubt your daughter will get that rich, but just putting that out there. I think my daughter might major in art also, possibly to become an art teacher. We've talked about the competitive nature of getting an art teaching position. I've mentioned that it would be wise to pick up a minor in special education, or some other in-demand specialty, that could help her get her foot in the door at a school. ELA would be another area to pick up. If your daughter wants to go into teaching art, you might mention this to her, as there may be 100+ art teachers applying for a single position. If she can get her foot in the door as a special ed/ELA teacher, she has a better chance of moving into an art teaching position at that school, or another school.
Thanks for the info. She is very good with special needs kids. Her younger brother is ASD and she has been around them all of her life. I agree art with a special ed teaching slant could be a good fit for her.

In terms of the 100 art teachers applying for one art teacher position, is it really that bad? If so that is discouraging.
In a popular district, maybe more than 100. However, that special ed degree would be a guaranteed foot in the door (with a signing bonus) and likely lead to a full time art job in no time. Once the principal and other teachers get to know her, she will get the first vacancy. The other option is to start in a rural district or urban district. She would get a job there very quickly. Again, as she gains experience there, she'd quickly land a job in a suburban district. Of course, she might get lucky and land her dream job right out of college. If she is able to pick her cooperating teacher carefully, during her student teaching, they can sometimes land them a great job due to connections. My cooperating teacher was very highly regarded and with his recommendation, I was able to land a dream job, in my district, right out of college. However, it was in a different subject area but that still shows the influence of a connected cooperating teacher. PM me and I can put you/her in touch with my school's art department leader for some specific advice.

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Re: Careers in art

Post by btenny » Mon May 13, 2019 8:43 pm

One of the most fascinating places I have visited was a Special Effects movie studio in LA. You have seen lots of their movies and movie clips. When I toured they employed about 20 graphics artist and 20 physical artists and builders working on various movies. They build miniature models of buildings and museums and land scapes and then film special effects clips for movies. It was a fascinating place. The physical artists were working everywhere painting stuff and building small models and trees and back drops for pictures. The graphics people were working on big screen computers making a cartoon and next door they were shooting a video game on a sound set. The only down side to this career is it dries up sometimes between movies and no one works. But they make good $$ when they work. And if you are good enough you get a Screen actors Guild card and movie credits and other benefits.

Good Luck.

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JBTX
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Re: Careers in art

Post by JBTX » Mon May 13, 2019 8:44 pm

Will do good wrote:
Mon May 13, 2019 8:14 pm
I majored in graphic design, ended up at a top international ad agency. Later started my own studio and made more money than I ever expected, retired early.

DD also majored in graphic design, now a senior tech interface design consultant helping Fortune 500 clients in the U.S as well as overseas and having a great time. Yes, career in art is challenging but there are some of us that do really well in it.

There is lot of jobs in the graphic art industry, most marketing materials (print, web, packaging, promotion, tv/film etc) is created, designed and produced by someone in the art field.

Good luck.
Thanks! Great to hear the success stories.

While the feedback has been great, I'm probably not getting a truly randomized sample here. I doubt many starving artists hang out on Bogleheads!

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Re: Careers in art

Post by JBTX » Mon May 13, 2019 8:54 pm

fortfun wrote:
Mon May 13, 2019 8:41 pm
JBTX wrote:
Mon May 13, 2019 8:09 pm
fortfun wrote:
Mon May 13, 2019 6:55 pm
The richest person I ever saw post on this forum was a professional artist. I think his portfolio was worth 30M, if I remember correctly.

I doubt your daughter will get that rich, but just putting that out there. I think my daughter might major in art also, possibly to become an art teacher. We've talked about the competitive nature of getting an art teaching position. I've mentioned that it would be wise to pick up a minor in special education, or some other in-demand specialty, that could help her get her foot in the door at a school. ELA would be another area to pick up. If your daughter wants to go into teaching art, you might mention this to her, as there may be 100+ art teachers applying for a single position. If she can get her foot in the door as a special ed/ELA teacher, she has a better chance of moving into an art teaching position at that school, or another school.
Thanks for the info. She is very good with special needs kids. Her younger brother is ASD and she has been around them all of her life. I agree art with a special ed teaching slant could be a good fit for her.

In terms of the 100 art teachers applying for one art teacher position, is it really that bad? If so that is discouraging.
In a popular district, maybe more than 100. However, that special ed degree would be a guaranteed foot in the door (with a signing bonus) and likely lead to a full time art job in no time. Once the principal and other teachers get to know her, she will get the first vacancy. The other option is to start in a rural district or urban district. She would get a job there very quickly. Again, as she gains experience there, she'd quickly land a job in a suburban district. Of course, she might get lucky and land her dream job right out of college. If she is able to pick her cooperating teacher carefully, during her student teaching, they can sometimes land them a great job due to connections. My cooperating teacher was very highly regarded and with his recommendation, I was able to land a dream job, in my district, right out of college. However, it was in a different subject area but that still shows the influence of a connected cooperating teacher. PM me and I can put you/her in touch with my school's art department leader for some specific advice.
Thanks again. Excellent feedback!



It will be entirely her decision (within reason) but we do have influence. One concern about being a teacher is I know of a couple of people who went into education, but ultimately bailed on being public school teacher because of factors other than teaching (parents, school administration) and others who seem to like it but don't recommend it because of the money. On the flip side the kids have had many great teachers who seem to be happy and passionate about it.

The special ed degree is good to know. I've always hoped she would go that route. She truly has a gift in that area, along with art. She also took several years of ASL in high school.

I may take you up on your offer! Thanks again.

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Re: Careers in art

Post by JBTX » Mon May 13, 2019 8:57 pm

btenny wrote:
Mon May 13, 2019 8:43 pm
One of the most fascinating places I have visited was a Special Effects movie studio in LA. You have seen lots of their movies and movie clips. When I toured they employed about 20 graphics artist and 20 physical artists and builders working on various movies. They build miniature models of buildings and museums and land scapes and then film special effects clips for movies. It was a fascinating place. The physical artists were working everywhere painting stuff and building small models and trees and back drops for pictures. The graphics people were working on big screen computers making a cartoon and next door they were shooting a video game on a sound set. The only down side to this career is it dries up sometimes between movies and no one works. But they make good $$ when they work. And if you are good enough you get a Screen actors Guild card and movie credits and other benefits.

Good Luck.
I'm sure those are great jobs but I would think they would be very selective.

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JBTX
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Re: Careers in art

Post by JBTX » Mon May 13, 2019 8:57 pm

I haven't been able to reply to everyone but i have read all of the posts, and all of your feedback is appreciated!
Last edited by JBTX on Mon May 13, 2019 9:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

retire2022
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Re: Careers in art

Post by retire2022 » Mon May 13, 2019 9:03 pm

JBTX wrote:
Mon May 13, 2019 8:57 pm
btenny wrote:
Mon May 13, 2019 8:43 pm
One of the most fascinating places I have visited was a Special Effects movie studio in LA. You have seen lots of their movies and movie clips. When I toured they employed about 20 graphics artist and 20 physical artists and builders working on various movies. They build miniature models of buildings and museums and land scapes and then film special effects clips for movies. It was a fascinating place. The physical artists were working everywhere painting stuff and building small models and trees and back drops for pictures. The graphics people were working on big screen computers making a cartoon and next door they were shooting a video game on a sound set. The only down side to this career is it dries up sometimes between movies and no one works. But they make good $$ when they work. And if you are good enough you get a Screen actors Guild card and movie credits and other benefits.

Good Luck.
I'm sure those are great jobs but I would think they would be very selective.
My classmate ran the Film department in the Mid-1980's because the treasuries were due, he suggested the department get invest in movie equipment, years later an acquaintance benefited from the schools' early investment and is Director of Photography on "Law and Order", and knew of my classmate. Who would have thought?

I concur with btenny breaking in is somewhat difficult, once you are in you are a lifer however hours are long, but one is practicing one's craft that is priceless.
Last edited by retire2022 on Mon May 13, 2019 9:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Careers in art

Post by KlangFool » Mon May 13, 2019 9:11 pm

retire2022 wrote:
Mon May 13, 2019 9:03 pm


I concur with btenny breaking in is somewhat difficult, once you are in you are a lifer however hours are long, but one is practicing one's craft that is priceless.
retire2022,

It would be easier if the Arts department has a connection to those employers. My daughter worked on post-production stuff with a place that works with a movie studio.

KlangFool

Katietsu
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Re: Careers in art

Post by Katietsu » Mon May 13, 2019 9:11 pm

JBTX wrote:
Mon May 13, 2019 8:22 pm

Her motivation and productivity is highly correlated with her passion.
This is a bit worrisome to me. And would make me lean more towards something like teaching with a more straightforward set of responsibilities and pathways.

I have little artistic talent but am surrounded by those who do.

Those that have made a successful career out of it, realize they need to produce what others will pay them for. And that this is likely to include significant effort on projects that they were not too excited about. One now quite successful sculptor started out working for a company that made custom bronze plaques for cemetery headstones. Another started out with the designs on the product packaging in a hardware store.

Others, though, have decided they would rather have a totally different job, be it physician or math teacher, and just do the art that they want to do as a hobby or side hustle.

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Re: Careers in art

Post by dcw213 » Mon May 13, 2019 9:18 pm

I have to agree with KlangFool on this one. I have seen far too many waste an education that cost six figures plus with no real plan. It’s a tough question and a fine line to decide when to lay down the law on your wishes. Klangfool seemed to hit on the head when he said that he has to be convinced on the specific kid’s mentality and potential approach. Not to say this is based on brains but rather, practicality. It’s not easy to explain but I would give good parents benefit of the doubt to have the ability.

I recall a day when I was 16 or 17 where I had an unusually honest conversation with my father about how I didn’t care about conventional success and how I would be happy bumming around the city working odd jobs and playing music and had no interest in college. He had a way of calmly explaining his views in a non pushy way. I recall expecting him to get all wound up and preachy and I was ready for an argument. I wouldn’t admit it at the time but it influenced me to focus more on school and job prospects. Subtle parenting in hindsight.

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Re: Careers in art

Post by retire2022 » Mon May 13, 2019 9:18 pm

Katietsu wrote:
Mon May 13, 2019 9:11 pm

This is a bit worrisome to me. And would make me lean more towards something like teaching with a more straightforward set of responsibilities and pathways.

I have little artistic talent but am surrounded by those who do.

Those that have made a successful career out of it, realize they need to produce what others will pay them for. And that this is likely to include significant effort on projects that they were not too excited about. One now quite successful sculptor started out working for a company that made custom bronze plaques for cemetery headstones. Another started out with the designs on the product packaging in a hardware store.

Others, though, have decided they would rather have a totally different job, be it physician or math teacher, and just do the art that they want to do as a hobby or side hustle.
I agree there is a risky side for creatives, but we see value in what we do, and with post modernist movement, and the internet it is a lot easy now to break into the field. I plan to return in photography next year once I retire. Having a network of peers helps to reinforce one's endeavors.

I think the op's daughter needs to keep at it, and if I was her family member would go the distance to separate the crafts people illustrators to true artists, it is a long road but can be accomplish.

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Re: Careers in art

Post by retire2022 » Mon May 13, 2019 9:23 pm

dcw213 wrote:
Mon May 13, 2019 9:18 pm
I have to agree with KlangFool on this one. I have seen far too many waste an education that cost six figures plus with no real plan. It’s a tough question and a fine line to decide when to lay down the law on your wishes. Klangfool seemed to hit on the head when he said that he has to be convinced on the specific kid’s mentality and potential approach. Not to say this is based on brains but rather, practicality. It’s not easy to explain but I would give good parents benefit of the doubt to have the ability.

I recall a day when I was 16 or 17 where I had an unusually honest conversation with my father about how I didn’t care about conventional success and how I would be happy bumming around the city working odd jobs and playing music and had no interest in college. He had a way of calmly explaining his views in a non pushy way. I recall expecting him to get all wound up and preachy and I was ready for an argument. I wouldn’t admit it at the time but it influenced me to focus more on school and job prospects. Subtle parenting in hindsight.
Artists don't need more degrees, that is not a qualifier for what amounts to her career, if she decides it is required for a day job I leave it up to Op and her daughter to decide.

Self education, reading and writing are more valuable for a creative than school, I could never complete a 15 week class but are passionate and have long term stamina for something I'm interested in.

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Re: Careers in art

Post by DrGoogle2017 » Mon May 13, 2019 9:55 pm

I didn’t know creative types often have ADD. I have ADD, but not sure I’m truly creative. I do like to do arts as a hobby. I don’t think I would earn anything as an artist. I’m too impatient. Get frustrated easily.

But I have one kid who is in the creative field, let’s say she’s not super successful, not yet, but maybe if she keeps at it, she might be. She has the personality, pretty determined about her art.

Her business partner’s spouse has degree in animation, decent artist, was laid off for a few months now. I did their tax for one year and she was making less than $40k a year. Graduated from UCLA/USC type of school for about 6 years.

But to be really fair about this whole artist thing, both kids, mine and her friend, came from well to do family. They knew they have a fall back. Not sure any random poor kids out there have that choice in real life, as I notice when I go to my art store, everything is so freaking damn expensive, how on earth can a poor starving artist afford these paints. Hence reality.

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Re: Careers in art

Post by fortfun » Mon May 13, 2019 10:13 pm

JBTX wrote:
Mon May 13, 2019 8:54 pm
fortfun wrote:
Mon May 13, 2019 8:41 pm
JBTX wrote:
Mon May 13, 2019 8:09 pm
fortfun wrote:
Mon May 13, 2019 6:55 pm
The richest person I ever saw post on this forum was a professional artist. I think his portfolio was worth 30M, if I remember correctly.

I doubt your daughter will get that rich, but just putting that out there. I think my daughter might major in art also, possibly to become an art teacher. We've talked about the competitive nature of getting an art teaching position. I've mentioned that it would be wise to pick up a minor in special education, or some other in-demand specialty, that could help her get her foot in the door at a school. ELA would be another area to pick up. If your daughter wants to go into teaching art, you might mention this to her, as there may be 100+ art teachers applying for a single position. If she can get her foot in the door as a special ed/ELA teacher, she has a better chance of moving into an art teaching position at that school, or another school.
Thanks for the info. She is very good with special needs kids. Her younger brother is ASD and she has been around them all of her life. I agree art with a special ed teaching slant could be a good fit for her.

In terms of the 100 art teachers applying for one art teacher position, is it really that bad? If so that is discouraging.
In a popular district, maybe more than 100. However, that special ed degree would be a guaranteed foot in the door (with a signing bonus) and likely lead to a full time art job in no time. Once the principal and other teachers get to know her, she will get the first vacancy. The other option is to start in a rural district or urban district. She would get a job there very quickly. Again, as she gains experience there, she'd quickly land a job in a suburban district. Of course, she might get lucky and land her dream job right out of college. If she is able to pick her cooperating teacher carefully, during her student teaching, they can sometimes land them a great job due to connections. My cooperating teacher was very highly regarded and with his recommendation, I was able to land a dream job, in my district, right out of college. However, it was in a different subject area but that still shows the influence of a connected cooperating teacher. PM me and I can put you/her in touch with my school's art department leader for some specific advice.
Thanks again. Excellent feedback!



It will be entirely her decision (within reason) but we do have influence. One concern about being a teacher is I know of a couple of people who went into education, but ultimately bailed on being public school teacher because of factors other than teaching (parents, school administration) and others who seem to like it but don't recommend it because of the money. On the flip side the kids have had many great teachers who seem to be happy and passionate about it.

The special ed degree is good to know. I've always hoped she would go that route. She truly has a gift in that area, along with art. She also took several years of ASL in high school.

I may take you up on your offer! Thanks again.
If it makes any difference, DW and I will retire at 50 and 51. I have a good pension, DW does not and made less than me throughout her career. However, thanks to this forum, we've been able to save enough in our retirement accounts to have a decent retirement. Summers off has been a wonderful bonus. We've been able to do some wonderful traveling with our kids--not sure if that's in your daughter's plans someday. Overall, I'd say it has been a rewarding career. But as a NYT article recently stated, you should not look for your dream job, you must create it. I believe this is true of my happiest teacher friends. Best of luck to your daughter, I'm sure she'll do great no matter what she chooses.

btenny
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Re: Careers in art

Post by btenny » Mon May 13, 2019 10:25 pm

After my tour of that movie studio and a talk with one of the assistant producers it was clear that you have to get into that business when you are very young, like 16 to 24. If you go to college you better be talented and get a degree from a good film school. Otherwise it is all about your skill and connections and actual jobs you have done. They know good artists are drawing stuff by 16. So the studios want those guys and gals to come and learn the movie business first hand. They also know those young kids will work crazy hours for 3 months and then not leave if they are layed off for 3 months until the next project. So they do not pay well to start and use people. Oh and there is all kinds of nepotism where the job you get is driven by who you know....

Enjoy.

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Re: Careers in art

Post by ohai » Mon May 13, 2019 10:59 pm

dcw213 wrote:
Mon May 13, 2019 9:18 pm
I have to agree with KlangFool on this one. I have seen far too many waste an education that cost six figures plus with no real plan.
It depends. If you study engineering in college with no career plan, you will still get a job. It could be in engineering, consulting, finance, programming, or whatever. Graduating with a practical degree but no career plan is better than studying a less employable subject but with a clear career ambition. Studying physics with no plan, to me, seems better than studying art with a clear ambition. The workforce simply demands people with certain skills, like math and programming, and not other skills.

OP, I don't think it's wrong for daughter to follow her interests. However, do everyone a favor and get her to hedge her choice with another field, like double major in business or Art, or do something practical with a minor in Art. She will not "enjoy" the field if she is struggling for income later. Also, her plan might change later. Imagine if everyone's whole lives were based on their knowledge and opinions from when they were 18. That's what she is proposing to do.

DrGoogle2017
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Re: Careers in art

Post by DrGoogle2017 » Mon May 13, 2019 11:49 pm

My kid thought an MBA at a decent top 15 schools is a step down, I have offered to pay for 2 years MBA at such institution, but she turned me down. She maybe right, her friend is doing an MBA at top 15 and is thinking of quitting. She was a math major for undergraduate.
So I say let them follow their passion, but they must be aware there’s a term starving artist for a reason. Few can be super successful, but not the average.

cogito
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Re: Careers in art

Post by cogito » Tue May 14, 2019 1:05 am

A "Career in Art" is so vague as to be almost meaningless. As above posters have described, work in art is a broad spectrum, ranging from the stereotypical starving fine artist, to a freelancing illustrator, to someone working at Facebook.

I work as an artist in the video game industry, and make a healthy mid six-figure tech salary that has allowed us to have healthy, boglehead level savings rates. Other students I attended art school with went on to be happy broke painters, or Dreamworks animators, or video editors in Hollywood, or caricature artists at Busch Garden... etc etc. I tend to believe that art school, like most schooling, gives you what you put into it, and that may or may not have anything to do with a stable, financially rewarding career.

It's worth having a very serious conversation with your daughter about what she expects or desires to achieve as a career through art school, at least to understand where on the spectrum her mind is at. If she is prepared to work like crazy for 12 hours a day for 4 years, learning dozens of cutting edge software programs, and marketing herself online with a portfolio that is always being filled with new work... then she will do very well with millions of dollars in earning potential in a very exciting industry. If that's not in her DNA, there are still other lucrative options, but they take serious work, regardless of talent. If she, like many college students, is perhaps a little rudderless and unmotivated, and hopes to enjoy herself and be creative for several years while she figures it out... well then that's not terrible either, but may have a few less positive outcomes than your typical non-art university experience. Career art is very competitive, and takes at least a year or two of serious and concentrated output to make something out of it. I tend to think that a good marker of this would be: Does she currently have serious passion for art now, and spend most of her free time making art, and studying art? If the answer is no, there is a reasonable chance that her habits will not change at an art school. If the answer is yes, she may be one of the lucky ones who can have a long and satisfying career doing something in life that she truly loves to do... and very little in ones work and life can be more rewarding than that.

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Re: Careers in art

Post by Earl Lemongrab » Tue May 14, 2019 4:40 pm

KlangFool wrote:
Mon May 13, 2019 5:15 pm
Conversely, I prevented my son from getting a bachelor degree in Physic.
"Physics". I got my BS in 1980, and after a semester in grad school I was recruited as an Electronics Engineer at MegaCorp. I finished my MS at night. BUT times change. Then, there was a serious shortage of engineers, especially for defense contracts. The market might not be the same.
This week's fortune cookie: "Your financial life will be secure and beneficial." So I got that going for me, which is nice.

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