Fine Arts

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Articles on Fine Arts:
   Fine Arts Major...A Closer Look
   Explore a Career in Fine Arts

Fine Arts Major...A Closer Look

By Misty Sneddon

For most human beings, the need to create is as basic and important as the need to eat or breathe. Art helps us to feel more fully human as we try to express to others what is unique, true, and mysterious about our individual experiences and perspective. Fine Arts come in many different forms: acting, painting, singing, drawing, dancing, sculpting, and playing musical instruments. The Fine Arts stimulates our senses and emotions in ways that few other experiences can.

If you are curious about pursuing a degree in Fine Arts, you probably know that degrees are offered in music, dance, and drama. From visual to performing arts, you are most likely aware of your artistic strengths as well as media you don’t care for as much. A successful Fine Arts major will love the arts, creativity, and constructive criticism. Considering a degree in this field of study is a big step. While good grades in academic classes usually give students more flexibility in considering future options, Fine Arts is one area where things aren’t always black and white, particularly when it comes to employment. What an artist needs to focus on is perfecting an audition or portfolio. The more appealing it is to others, the more likely the artist or performer is to get a job or commission. However, a degree in Fine Arts is not easy. Like all creative avenues, it requires excessive time and effort. In fact, a fine arts major can expect to spend just as much time, if not more, studying and creating than students studying more conventional majors. Fine Arts students can expect to take the following types of courses, depending upon the concentration pursued: stage management, musical theater, theater, acting, dance, television production, film production, animation, visual effects, interior design, creative writing, dramatic writing, visual arts, graphic design, print making, ceramics, sculpture, photography and metalworking.

While the first two years of college education usually focus on traditional classes such as composition, math, literature, public speaking and physical education, the classes you register for in junior and senior year will depend upon the concentration chosen. Not only will you gain knowledge of Fine Arts, you will graduate with other critical skills needed for career success, skills such as time management, critical thinking, communication, writing, organization and entrepreneurship. Upon graduating, or even while still in school, many students find internships. Having firsthand experience helps get one’s foot in the door for a solid career. Sometimes internships will be applied to college credits in order to graduate, and other times they are paid. Unpaid internships are also available and provide excellent job training.

Most students earn a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree but often will continue education and obtain a Master’s. In this field, many students find a double major suits them well. An example would be a double major in Fine Arts as well as History, Business or Communication. This broadens the student’s ability to find a career upon graduating.

What does one do with a degree in Fine Arts? Contrary to popular belief, not all artists are starving. Many artists are freelance, meaning they work for themselves. Usually a company or person will contract them for a specific project. Once they are finished, they are off looking for another “job.” Such artists promote their own work through various ways, such as using Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn accounts. Social networks allow excellent opportunities for artists to connect with potential contractors. Many have their own websites where they showcase their work. The reality of working as a freelancer means, however, that artists often take secondary jobs to supplement their income. Those who do work in the creative industry tend to have higher levels of fulfillment with their careers.

Possible career options for those with a degree in Fine Arts:

• Art Teacher
• Theater Teacher
• Dance Instructor
• Voice Coach
• Musical Instrument Instructor
• Composer
• Commercial Photographer
• Illustrator
• Animator
• Film Director
• Television Producer
• News Anchor
• Fashion Designer
• Ad Agency Artist
• Broadway Performer
• Art Critic/Writer
• Video artist
• Event Planner
• Website Designer
• Curator
• Fine Art Salesperson
• Art Gallery Owner
• Theater Owner
• Wardrobe Staff