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Articles on Art:

Major in Art

Article by Rachelle Wiggins

“If you are God, your work is to create out of nothing. If you are not God, but like God—that is, if you are human—your work is to take what God has made and shape it and use it to make Him look great.”  ~John Piper

Art colors our world--from the graphics on your computer screen to the design on your coffee cup to the sculpture in the gallery to the ad on the billboard. Art, as a college degree, is an interdisciplinary major, meaning that it draws from many academic areas such as history, music, dance, theater, visual arts and writing. Art majors focus on the creation, interpretation and evaluation of works and performances in auditory, kinesthetic and/or visual forms to express ideas and emotions.  A strong art program will enhance understanding of art and cultural history, sharpen aesthetic awareness in everyday life, and hone a wide variety of skills useful in expressing and communicating with an audience.

If you have been artistically gifted, have an eye for detail, are a creative problem solver and enjoy the arts in many forms, then perhaps this major is up your alley.  Some of the other skills and traits helpful for this major include good research skills and an analytical mind able to synthesize learning from various areas in order to create something new and meaningful. While an artist at this level must sometimes work alone for hours on a given project, it is also helpful to be a team player since other endeavors involve collaboration and group settings.  It is great to possess traits of flexibility and resourcefulness, being able to utilize whatever is available to you in the creative process.

No matter what genre you prefer, an art major is a versatile degree that allows you to explore a number of different art forms and mediums. Classes you can expect to take vary greatly depending on your interests and your school’s specific program. While you will most likely take classes about the history of art, Western Art and Modern Art, here are some other categories:

  • Painting
  • Sculpture
  • Drawing
  • Printmaking
  • Photography
  • Digital Arts
  • Graphic Design
  • Water Color
  • Ceramics

Because an art major has such a broad base, the breadth of career options is equally wide and varied. Art majors have found successful careers in fields as far ranging as business, publishing, technology, design, education, advertizing and media. Some of the more traditional art careers such as illustrator, photographer, graphic designer and art teacher interpose with unique careers like art therapist or arts administrator. More competitive fields, that may require advanced or specialized training, include animator, fashion designer and professional artist. Here are some of the fastest growing art careers today:

  • Interior Designer
  • Cartographer
  • Landscape Designer/Architect
  • Set and Exhibit Designer
  • Museum Curator

87% of art major alumni report being gainfully employed and content with their lives. Therefore, if you’re feeling inspired to tap into that creative energy God has fashioned into your genetic make-up, then maybe a career that showcases those gifts is the choice that allows His light to best shine through!

A Future in Art

By Amber Gragert

Chances are that if you’re even considering art as your major, you already know there are more than just creative bones in your body. If you have a creative personality and have a yearning to create expression and cultural awareness and pass on something visually great to future generations, this might just be the major for you.  Majoring in art can lead to a sea of exciting career fields as new job opportunities continue to emerge for art majors. With new technologies developing at record speed, you could find yourself in a world of design, animation, business, technology, education, technique & theory. . . all with an art major.

"Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life."  -Pablo Picasso

Getting your B.A. or B.F.A. means learning to flex creative muscles beyond those used to hold a paint brush. Choosing this major will lead you to learn visual literacy, creative thinking and learn how to express all of that through human relations. There are many facets within an art major - some examples of focuses are: graphic art, paint, design, ceramics, print making and photography. Keep in mind that not all of your classes will be filled with creating masterpieces. There is always at least one art history course you will take with either a B.A. or B.F.A.. Your final ‘exam’ will typically be a public presentation of your work- where you will not only create your work, but also budget for the show, publicize and advertise, curate etc. Like art, it is a hands-on method of learning the business of art and the organizational skills needed as you produce your final show. This is also where you take a deep breath and get a taste for the critiques and criticism that come with public work.

Some common characteristics of art majors are: creators, creative thinkers, originality, risk takers, tenacity, self-motivated, task oriented, attention to detail.

The phrase, “Starving Artist” is used for a reason, but the shackles of that phrase have essentially been broken, thanks to today’s fast paced visual art driven world. Average salaries vary greatly and are a little hard to nail down since there are so many areas of focus with an art major.

Sample Careers:

•  Advertising Artist

•  Animator

•  Architect

•  Cinematographer

•  Graphic Designer

•  Interior Designer

•  Teacher

•  Textile Designer

•  Studio or Private Artist