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Should You Pursue a Career in Fine Arts?

Pursue a Fine Arts Career
Should you pursue a fine arts career? Avoiding and managing pitfalls during your ascent as an actor, painter, dancer, playwright, painter, musician.
Pursue a Fine Arts Career
Should you pursue a fine arts career? Avoiding and managing pitfalls during your ascent as an actor, painter, dancer, playwright, painter, musician.

Should you pursue a career in the fine arts for a living? Leading a vocation as an artist, actor, designer can be a dream come true but it does come with making necessary adjustments.  

Becoming a gallery owner or artist yourself, making jewelry or designing fashion, or working in the performing arts can all seem like exciting and glamorous careers, but are they right for you? Only you can decide but consider the points below.

Your Sense of Stability

If you’re someone who craves a stable, predictable life, you’re probably better off as a patron or part-time hobbyist than someone who would thrive in the unpredictable worlds of painting, acting, or other fine arts. Unless you can land a tenure-track job in academia, which is about as difficult as making a living as a working artist, chances are that income will always be unpredictable and as a result, stability will never be guaranteed. 

Your Education

You don’t have to attend college to succeed in the arts, but it can give you a solid education and connections that you might not make otherwise. As a student, you’ll have the opportunity to improve your skills and perhaps even work with some of the accomplished artists in your chosen area. Do your research to find the school and program that’s right for you. In order to pay for your degree, visiting a marketplace that offers comparisons on rates for scholarships, student loans and other financial aid by partnering with top providers can give you an excellent opportunity to choose the best options for your situation.

Dealing with Rejection

When you are trying to find a job after college you will need a high level of perseverance and tenacity. How do you cope with rejection? Do you generally bounce back, or does it cripple you for days or weeks? A career in fine arts often involves being told no, especially in the early years. Not everyone is cut out to cope with this much rejection. Consider whether you have the temperament and the confidence to press forward even when you aren’t getting much encouragement.


This type of career requires a great deal of intrinsic motivation, or motivation that comes from internal rather than external sources. In other words, there may be long periods of time where you aren’t getting much feedback or positive feedback on the work you’re doing. If you’re someone who needs regular praise or predictable results to stay disciplined, you may not want to pursue your particular kind of art as a full-time career.

Juggling Careers

Of course, plenty of artists moonlight in other jobs. That’s why people joke about every waiter in Los Angeles being an out-of-work actor; there’s some truth to it. While actors need jobs they can easily drop if a project comes along, you can pursue something like sculpting or photography in your free time from any type of job that isn’t too demanding. For many people, this compromise is the right option because it provides a steady source of income. You could even double major in a fine arts field and in the area where you plan to work a day job. Consider whether you’d have the energy to work at least 40 hours per week and still do the work that you love.

For some, pursuing a career in the fine arts is worth the sacrifice, and it may be to you as well, but give it careful thought as you explore whether you can make a stable living as an artist and how to avoid and deal with potential pitfalls along the way.