How You Can Find an Art Career that Suits You

senior person doing an art piece made of mud

Art is a wonderful and powerful thing. It’s also one of the most difficult businesses to break into, with many career paths to choose from. Figuring out which path is right for you can be daunting. If you’re not sure where to start, take some time to think about your interests and what type of person you are. These will help narrow down your options and give you an idea of whether this field might suit your personality. These tips can also help you with your decision.

1. Determine Your Interests

There is such a wide range of art careers that you may find it difficult to choose at first. To help you decide, look at your interests and see how they match up to a particular field. For example, if you love art history, becoming an art curator might be a good choice for you. If nature is more your style, try landscape painting.

If you’re an outdoorsy person who loves camping, don’t automatically assume that you have to be a gallery owner in an urban setting. You might love being a park ranger or a campground host. Meanwhile, if you love acting, you can appear in commercials, movies, or even do voice-overs. You can also join plays in your local community.

2. Consider What Type of Person You Are

In addition to what you enjoy doing, think about your personality and how you might fit into a specific career. If you work well with your hands and can be very precise, perhaps a career in floristry or welding would be good for you. Or maybe you are more suited to working by yourself at home rather than managing a team.

Think about how being indoors versus being outdoors fits with you. Only you know what type of personality you have and what type of work environment would be most comfortable.

Sometimes figuring out who you are is challenging. If you’re having trouble figuring out what type of person you are, here are some questions to help you:

  • Do I work well with others or by myself?
  • Do I like being around people, or do I like having alone time?
  • Am I social or shy?
  • What types of things make me happy?
  • What types of things make me feel sad?
  • Do I like to be the center of attention, or do I prefer to blend in with the crowd?

You can also take some personality tests to figure out what career options might be best for you.

3. Find a Career that Meets Your Needs

Look at your long-term goals and think about where you see yourself down the road. This will help you figure out what type of career would be best for you. For example, if your goal is to become a freelance illustrator, you might want to consider an internship or apprenticeship with a publishing company. If you know that you love traveling, perhaps travel photography would be right for you.

Alternatively, if teaching is your passion, but you don’t want to work in a traditional school setting, then check out the wide variety of art education blogs and websites available these days. Many of them allow you to become a contributor and share your knowledge with others.

Remember that your career doesn’t have to be tied down to one specific art form. Many artists successfully cross over into different areas of interest, such as carpentry or fashion design. Think about what materials you like using the most and find out where to focus your career around that.

4. Research Your Options

musicians play guitar and saxophone

Don’t be afraid to look into what art fields are available to you. You might be surprised at how many types of careers are related to the arts. For example, even though you may think training in theater, dance, or acting is necessary for working in film and television, it’s not the case. Many people find jobs in these fields without having any formal training. The same applies to those interested in working as a set designer — there are many ways you can become one.

You might also want to consider non-traditional career paths such as teaching art online or running an online art store. You might love working for yourself but find out that freelancing can leave you feeling isolated, or you may be better suited for a job that offers more interaction with others in the field. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about the career you’re considering, even if it’s your current job. Art is subjective, and there are many ways to achieve the same outcome.

There is no “wrong” choice when choosing a career path. You have to be happy with what you do because that happiness translates into the work you put out into the world. Follow your dreams and work hard, and you can find a career that suits you just fine.

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