There is a popular opinion that a career in an artistic field is a gamble. If you are an art student or an individual seeking a creative career, you must know that this view is far from reality. However, with all the stereotyping going on around you, it can be tough for young people to know ‘what to expect’ from their chosen artistic career.
To help you focus on your goals and ignore the common myths and misconceptions, here are some honest facts about life, work and leisure in a creative industry.
1. A number of artists work freelance. According to a study by Arts Council, about 41% of workers in the creative industry are self-employed. You will enjoy a varied and interesting career though you may also suffer periods of unemployment in between jobs, in some cases.
2. Artists typically promote their own work. These days, many artists flaunt their talent in social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter etc. They may also have their own websites. A strong presence online will help your career. It shows employers how motivated and how digitally literate you are.
3. Freelance artists are mostly budget-conscious. Self-employment also means you are without the support of maternity benefits, pensions and holiday pays. Therefore, an artist must be well-organized financially prior to having children and be prepared for illness.
4. Artists like to socialize. These days, networking is the new and most effective method of job hunting. There are lesser miseries and more booze in networking, for a job seeker. You may be trying to enhance your career or hunting for commissions, networking lets you mingle with professionals in your industry and offers you more exposure and opportunities.
5. Forming collectives to exhibit your work can be fun and useful. According to Kate Rowland of After School Club, forming collectives is a great way to improve motivation. It enables artists to make use of each other’s skills, help one another, use more resources and form a creative support system.
6. A first-class graded candidate may not always be a prolific artist. Even though some employers may appreciate your education grades, it is important to have a portfolio of your work. A great portfolio speaks louder than your high educational grades. This is especially true in an artist’s career.
7. Many artists supplement their earnings with dual jobs. This gives them the much-required financial stability and security. They do not necessarily have to give up their passion for arts. There are many ‘double jobbers’ with an artistic career.
8. Several artists like to take internships prior to starting their career. After working with a company, an artist will be well-prepared with the required industrial skills to improve employability.
9. Job opportunities for artists are increasing. At present there are as many as 1.9 million individuals working in the creative field. The government estimates the figure to add up by 1.3 million by 2016, in the private sector alone.
10. Unlike many other jobs, a position in the creative sector offers high level of job satisfaction. Therefore, this industry is very competitive and most openings are sought after.
See also: Careers That Encourage Creativity
If you have been passionate about working in any creative field, then the above ideas could be rewarding. To sum up, you may have to put your heart and soul to find success in a creative industry; however, seeking an artist’s career is definitely not a gamble.