If you have a dream of being a successful artist, you may be wondering whether or not it is worth it to take art classes or to get a formal art education. Getting a degree in art is not the right choice for every artist, but it does offer some benefits. Keep reading to learn some of the pros and cons of taking art classes for artists.
Pros of Art Education for Artists
If art is your true passion and you want to make it your career, having a formal education in art may be beneficial. While art history classes may not seem beneficial, expanding your knowledge of your craft is always a good thing.
You never know where you might get your next burst of inspiration! There are also some practical benefits to art education. If you study art in a formal sense, you’ll learn about many different mediums and may even learn to make your own – that opens up many avenues for creativity.
A formal art education will also force you to learn how to create, even when you aren’t feeling creative. You’ll be pushed outside of your comfort zone and forced to learn new things – you’ll also develop basic skills that you can practice and develop with your own fine-tuning. Outside of art education, you may also be required to take classes in communication and critical thinking which can benefit you in your career, not just as an artist but as an employee.
Cons of Art Classes for Artists
The sad truth is that a degree in art isn’t going to guarantee you a job in your field, and it certainly doesn’t guarantee that you’ll be successful as an artist. Many art students graduate with thousands of dollars in debt – debt that they have trouble paying off working a job that utilizes their skills. According to a 2013 report, the median annual salary for students graduating with fine art majors is around $32,000. By mid-career, that median salary only jumps to $54,000.
Another potential downside to getting a fine arts degree is that this kind of degree doesn’t have the same structure or certification process as other majors – particularly science-based degrees. If you later decide to follow another career path, you may have to do your entire formal education over.
If you plan to pursue a career as an artist, you’ll need to develop your skills and build a portfolio before you can even hope to be “discovered”. And most artists have to do all of the legwork themselves to find a gallery to show their work.
There is a reason the term “starving artist” exists. Living the life of an artist is never easy, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t worth pursuing.
If art is your passion in life and it is what you know you want to do, getting an education may be the best choice for you. Just think about the pros and cons before you make your decision to ensure that it is the right choice.