It’s always surprising to have someone ask what I plan on doing with my studio art major. Art students tend to choose their major with a specific career path in mind before setting foot in the studio.
Majoring in the studio arts provides students the opportunity to pursue careers in fields ranging from advertising, business or education.
With a teaching major, some artists use teaching as a method to have a day job while being able to also focus on their own artwork. For some artists, going into teaching even gives them the stability of a regular job for the majority of the year while having breaks off to work on their own artwork.
For artists who go into teaching, it also provides them with the opportunity to fulfill their desire to do more than just creating artwork. This is why art education programs, like the one at USD, incorporate the different mediums. It’s so art educators can aim to teach a variety of mediums to their students.
For students who want to go into the fine arts, USD’s studio art program requires students to choose an emphasis from painting, ceramics, sculpture, photography, printmaking or graphic design.
In some cases, graphic design comes off as a “safe choice” in the eyes of some art students for an emphasis because of the job prospects it offers. For graphic designers, they can work for advertising agencies, magazines and newspapers, apparel shops and so on.
The prospect of having a wide variety of job perspectives is a part of the reason why I’ve considered going for a graphic design emphasis. I, like several other students, will graduate with some student debt, so landing a decent job out of college is the end game.
Despite this, I don’t want to be limited to only one method of creating artwork, mainly because graphic designers’ final products are often dictated by what their clients want.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, I would be planning on pursuing a career as a Craft and Fine Artist. In 2016, there were 53,400 people employed as a craft and fine artist. The occupation is projected to grow by 6 percent, or 3,100 people, by 2026.
Even though this is the case in pretty much in any career if you’re an employee, I gravitated towards studio art to be able to create pieces of art that I like.
I grew up around artists in my hometown and I often would see them working a main job while selling their artwork on the side. This is how I see myself selling my artwork, which possibly wouldn’t be considered an occupation at that point.
People who choose to attend college for any studio art are often driven to create artwork from a strong need to. And each student finds a path that works best for them and their goals.