It’s pretty likely that 99% of prospective or current Fine Art students have faced the following regret-inducing questions: “But what are you going to do with that degree?!” or “Why don’t you just keep art as a hobby?” So on and so forth.
While we’ve all come to expect these questions, they definitely don’t get any less annoying. Eventually, you start to ask yourself whether you should actually be worrying about your choice of degree.
However, fear not! There are loads of amazing things about studying Fine Art, including the opportunities that arise from doing so.
1. You get to meet so many other ‘oddballs’ like you.
I suppose this is true for any degree as you meet many like-minded people and suddenly feel at home in your little community. However, this is even more satisfying when, like most who study Fine Art, you are used to being the ‘quirky’ one in the friendship group, fighting your corner for that gallery visit on group trips or feeling bad when you realise your friends try their best for you but really aren’t having the time of their lives in the galleries you’re so excited for.
2. And work with all your wonderful peers on pretty much all parts of your course.
Unlike what you may have experienced before, you realise that, apart from a few Art History lectures here and there, your course in itself is largely about socialising and getting to know your peers. From sharing studios with people you may not have got the chance to speak to otherwise to supporting each other in brutal crits, it’s nice to know you’re not alone in the sometimes scary art world.
3. The brutal art school myths aren’t always true.
I’m sure anyone who has been through the application of applying to an art school has been told that your peers and tutors can be brutal. Of course, you’re not always told that you’re the next Picasso and that what you have done is amazing, but the silver lining is that, contrary to the myths, people don’t scream in your face and will actually want to help you. The sooner you realise this, the sooner you will also realise that you can do the same for other people too.
4. You don’t have to be Picasso at all.
That’s right, you don’t have to be the most amazing artistic gift to the world since the Renaissance. Alongside this, you’ll realise that doing a Fine Arts degree doesn’t mean you have to be an artist when you graduate. This may sound odd considering the name of your degree and what it entails; however, art is relevant to so many things, such as design, advertising, and journalism… Pretty much any creative role ever.
5. So essentially, your future holds a wide range of possibilities, which is very exciting.
As stated, an Arts degree can lead to many places. You will also realise that the world isn’t as scary as you may expect just because you won’t have a straightforward career route after graduation like some of your peers. In fact, it can be quite comforting that you aren’t dedicating four years of your life to something that may not work out.
6. There really are some creative jobs out there – yes, it’s true!
Yes, some locations may have fewer opportunities than others, but the more you look, the more you realise that every place holds an opportunity. You just have to think outside of the box, which should come naturally to you since you’re doing a Fine Arts degree anyway!
7. It actually is possible to get some experience without having to do a 10-week internship in a different city.
Lengthy internships exist, of course, and they would obviously boost your CV, but they aren’t ideal if you’re not gonna be paid for your 3-month-long stint. It’s satisfying to know that you can get equally valuable experience in the arts without having to move to a whole other city. Even better, it may be something you can do alongside your studies so you aren’t jeopardising your degree. Many arts organisations love giving people the chance to work with them and get involved. From gallery work, to writing for arts magazines, to helping manage different artistic projects and festivals, there is so much you can do!
8. A lot of your work involves social networking.
We all know how daunting some networking events can be. Getting all dressed up to meet a load of people who are better at everything than you, just hoping they show some interest. It isn’t ideal, but when networking means going to gallery previews and drinking a couple (or six) glasses of wine whilst chatting about a great show, it doesn’t seem all that bad. In fact, it is quite enjoyable.
9. You actually love what you do.
Everyone enjoys their degree, right? But how often is it that you get a great studio space to make and do whatever you want to – within reason – and class it as work? For most who study Fine Art, this is a treat in itself, and even for those who perhaps realise they aren’t as into the task at hand as they thought, there is always a way to adapt the degree to your own interests.
10. Finally, there are a tonne of successful people in the world who studied Arts degrees.
Lady Gaga, Freddie Mercury, David Bowie, Kanye West… Need I carry on?