As it has always been, art is further attracting students in America to enter into the field of craft and architecture. However, research reveals that not all students who major in art enter into this professional field.
In the study ”Artists Report Back” by BFAMFAPhD in 2014, only 10% of the art major students become working artists and only 16% of currently working artists have graduated with degrees in art (as shown in the chart below). If there were to be 2 million art graduate students, only 200,000 are pursuing their dream to become an artist of some sort.
The rest, unfortunately (and also possibly fortunately), have to seek different paths. The author of this study notes that “the fantasy of arts graduates’ future earnings in the arts should be discredited.” A majority of the current artists do not even have bachelor’s degrees in art. Thus, it comes down to question: what does it take to be an artist?
Talent is an obvious necessity. Some people proclaim that it’s almost impossible to be successful as an artist without the gift. In one way, it’s true: who would want to buy a four year old’s drawing? However, what matters more is whether the student really loves art: not just likes art, but loves it so much that they are willing to accept the uncertain future of possible economic instability.
An art teacher, Sally Rush, from West Ranch High School states that “working hard, getting involved in clubs and campus activities, visiting museums and galleries, and doing an internship” will help the students to further pursue art in college. Additionally, she articulates that the students shouldn’t “treat homework projects like homeworks,” but rather enjoy their tasks at hand. Rather than relying on talent, the students should also put an equal amount of hard work into their dreams.