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Art as a career choice?

(78 Posts)
EachandEveryone Mon 12-Aug-19 17:38:23

My dn tutors are pushing her to study art further I’ve enclosed a couple of her drawings. She’s really confused as she wants to make money but doesn’t like computers! She’s also study business and law. Has to start applying soon!

wigglybeezer Mon 12-Aug-19 17:48:30

Speaking as an art school graduate, the only fellow graduates I know who make decent money are those who are also good with computers and have moved into graphics/ animation/ design etc. All heavily computer based. One or two have made a living from fine art by combining it with teaching at college or uni but they were exceptional. Your DNs work looks competent technically but not terribly imaginative, if money is important to her she may be better of pursuing law or business and keeping art as a hobby. Lots of people come back to it in later life when they are sorted career and money wise. Being an impoverished artist is tough these days!

EachandEveryone Mon 12-Aug-19 18:10:12

She was supposed to copy for that part of the course, the detail is fantastic if you can zoom in.

Pipandmum Mon 12-Aug-19 18:19:20

Illustration is a possibility. It’s very difficult to make a living from doing fine art unless you teach as well. She needs to find a way to monetise what she does.
My daughter is likely to go for an art degree eventually but she is thinking along the lines of graphic novels and computer animation.
I did a graphic design degree and worked in publishing, but nothing I spent years doing was used in my job as it became computer based after my degree.
Creativity will mark her out from her peers more than technical ability.

EachandEveryone Mon 12-Aug-19 19:02:45

What she doesnt want is to have to do computers at A level as that ships sailed now but she recognises that she will need to do some graphics. Its hard as her friend has just got a first in textiles and has applied countless jobs with no luck so its putting her off even though she loves art.

EachandEveryone Mon 12-Aug-19 21:25:02

Thats on a blackboard so it mustbe the technical part of the course

wigglybeezer Mon 12-Aug-19 22:35:21

DH and I have worked in various art fields for 30 years, DH has run his own company for years, at the moment focussing on computer animation, he's won several awards but is making the same amount of money as 15 years ago, the budgets for jobs has not gone up at all so he's having to work harder and employ fewer other animators, it's a very tough field and will not be helped by Brexit as animated films and TV shows are invariably euro co- productions.
The page rate for comic artists ( I used to work in this field) has not gone up either, imagine no pay rises for 15 years!
It has made it difficult for us to get decent sized mortgages over the years as income can vary so much.
Not trying to be gloomy, just realistic.

EachandEveryone Tue 13-Aug-19 09:42:27

It’s very difficult isn’t it?

wigglybeezer Tue 13-Aug-19 10:50:39

It is difficult but then so are most careers these days. It helps if you have a certain amount of entrepreneurship as you often have to build a free lance career rather than be employed.

BogglesGoggles Tue 13-Aug-19 10:55:55

What are her social skills like. The days when success in the art world was a result of talent and creativity are long long gone. Now it’s all down to how well connected you are and just how far you are willing to go to get ahead. If she has contacts and no imperative to earn well then why not? But if she isn’t from that kind of background I wouldn’t recommend it.

EachandEveryone Tue 13-Aug-19 15:27:26

Unfortunately she won’t have the money to work for free in London for a year if that’s what you.

TinklyLittleLaugh Tue 13-Aug-19 15:35:09

My DD did graphic design in an attempt to monetise her art skills and creativity and absolutely hated it. Lots of time picking over fine detail on a computer screen apparently. And lots of politicking in creative companies and organisations.

Shplot Tue 13-Aug-19 15:38:21

I went to art college.
If she’s unsure do As Levels in art, law, business and whatever. Drop one she’s not keen on to do a levels and then she’ll have a much better chance at knowing what she wants to do at uni.

BarbedBloom Tue 13-Aug-19 15:39:52

One of my DH's friends from his fine art degree is doing very well in London at the moment and has had several exhibitions. But her art was selling before she did the course so there is the argument that she would have got there anyway. Some of the others are also making enough to live off. The rest of them aren't unfortunately, some have moved into art related careers but most are doing other things.

Your niece can do art in her spare time to find the medium she most enjoys and then work from there. If she is insistent on going this way just advise her to consider what else she could do if the career doesn't work out for her. See if she could do a joint course with something else perhaps?

BarbedBloom Tue 13-Aug-19 15:41:40

Just realised it is A Levels, apparently I can't read. In that case she can still take art, just pick some other conventional subjects alongside

TinklyLittleLaugh Tue 13-Aug-19 15:49:34

A levels my DD2 did Art, English, History and Politics. Dithered about doing Art at Uni, got an A for AS, but ultimately dropped it and is now doing an ancient/art history degree with a view to doing Law conversion after.

Easy enough to keep your options open.

TinklyLittleLaugh Tue 13-Aug-19 15:51:56

Oh and DD1’s flatmate was basically the only person on her well respected fabric designing degree to get a job in the industry and she’s very poorly paid.

JimmyPanda Tue 13-Aug-19 16:03:01

I graduated from a textile design course as a mature student, and have successfully launched my own business and work freelance too. If she looks for the right course, she can do it. There's a very high percentage of graduates from my course who are now working in a creative job. I actually chose it because of how focussed it was on actually making you employable at the end of it. We had loads of opportunities to work with big companies such as H&M and Hallmark (most of the design team at H&M come from the same course I did!) and so much help with practical skills for presenting yourself/your work etc. The majority of my course mates are either working in their own independent businesses, working in a design office for high street and designer brands or a handful are teaching (either on a degree/college course or specialised workshops). She needs to do her research and find something which suits her needs.

Toodeloo Tue 13-Aug-19 17:45:13

Is drawing all she does? Or does she paint/collage/textiles/other?

I don’t want to be mean, but art is highly subjective and from the pics you posted she’s just not there yet.
I’d recommend keeping it as a hobby, whilst looking for a different “career”. maybe selling the odd bit online or looking for commissions and honing her craft over the next 10 years or so.
Life experience and confidence in oneself make a huge difference when it comes to art.

I have been selling successfully for many years now (fine art, abstract expressionistic multi media pieces) and often take home more from my art than from the “day job”. But - I didn’t get there straight away either and I don’t believe it’ll last indefinitely so I am glad for my steadily paying regular job. Art involves a lot of heartache, broken dreams, set backs and even more learning about yourself, it is hard, more emotional and personal than anything else I can think of.

Kez200 Tue 13-Aug-19 18:34:59

My daughter completed an art degree. She obtained work in the industry, which she loved, but wasnt particularly highly paid. However it was well over minimum wage, so not poor either. She got the original work due to her ideas rather than work itself

Shes moved jobs now but for personal reasons.

Her graduate peers all work on the edge of the industry, rather than directly. They are all doing well, in that they earn better than NMW and haven't had problems finding full time work. But few are actually working in direct "art" production.

EachandEveryone Tue 13-Aug-19 19:01:56

She’s only into the first year of her A level so what I showed was just a small part of it and her teachers are really pushing her to go to art school. She works with textiles etc as well but isn’t interested in fashion design. I wonder what this kind of course is like

DinosApple Tue 13-Aug-19 19:23:40

I know it's not art art, but my uncle did a Fine Art degree, then an MA. He works as an exhibition manager in a gallery. His job is extremely full on with days off rare when exhibitions are being planned and in progress. But his job is interesting, he gets to travel the world, meet the artists the gallery works with, as well as day to day practical things. The art the gallery exhibits is varied and all modern.
Obviously he had to work his way there but that's another area that could be opened up.

JimmyPanda Tue 13-Aug-19 19:35:38

My textile design degree didn't have much to do with fashion unless you actively chose to design for fashion. I do more interiors, accessories and art prints. You can go in to loads of stuff such as designing wall coverings, materials type stuff, wallpapers, greetings cards etc. Maybe take her to some open days and see? I'm sure there's a specific UCAS fair for arts courses.

JimmyPanda Tue 13-Aug-19 19:41:49

Also be aware that if she's coming from A levels, she might be required to do art foundation (which would 100% be worth doing anyway because it's wonderful) before being accepted on to an art degree. It totally depends on course/university so she may not need it but keep it in mind.

user1474894224 Tue 13-Aug-19 21:16:06

We work for so many years that everyone should do a job they love. Tell her to study what she loves (art and business or law together make perfect sense). She can then find a further education route she wants to do. Finally working out a job that utilises her skills and passions.

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