This one’s for our prospective students:
This past weekend, Marywood students had some extra time off due to the Easter holiday; instead of just the usual Saturday and Sunday, classes were not in session on Thursday, Friday, or the following Monday! (Catholic school sure has its perks.) But for me, the time off consisted of little rest and lots of running around, for it afforded me some time to do some much needed networking in the hopes of obtaining a job in my field this summer!
At this point in time, it’s pretty common knowledge – the job market is steep – and as a prospective college student, it was all I heard. For every family gathering or adult social function I attended, there were ten different occasions upon which I had to offer up what I was considering studying, followed immediately by grunts, a stern forewarning that art would never afford me a stable career, and much finger wagging. And I get it. The arts are competitive. There are lots of individuals vying for a very select amount of teaching positions. There are only so many established and reputable artists ready to take on apprentices or assistants, and the concentration of hopefuls is outrageous. And forget about actually “making it.” The difficulty of becoming a successful entrepreneur intent on making a living selling handicrafts on a scale of one to ten is about an eleven point two.
But people do it every day… And So. Can. I.
Now, you’re probably saying, “Wow! Way to sell it, Emma. I’m not doing this anymore.” But the joke’s on you, because that means less aforementioned competition for me! Just kidding. It’s important that we as aspiring artists consider exactly what it is we are up against. It may take dedication getting there, going to school and many sleepless nights, actively immersing one’s self in the operation of the studio, thirst for familiarity with the work of other artists, cultivating one’s own coherent style, resume development, and lots and lots and lots of networking. It may take even more to put it into professional practice, a willingness to go where there is work, big ticket investments in equipment, more long hours in the studio, traveling to venues to sell your wares on weekends, crafting yourself online, and lots and lots and lots of networking.
Therefore, it takes a certain kind of person, with a certain kind of passion, and a certain kind of drive.
There will be days when one feels like Sisyphus pushing his rock yet again when trudging to the studio. There will be days when the work becomes work, tedious and monotonous, no longer a hobby. Just the other day, nothing I did for three hours was even remotely salvageable, and I was so frustrated throwing, I wanted to throw the clay at the wall (haha get it). But resistance is futile, and overcoming resistance has rewards that satisfy tenfold.
Like getting a job in the field…
Which I did! I’ll tell you more about it next week.
In the meantime, don’t forget, “Yes, I can.” and you will. It is now your new daily affirmation. Say it with conviction. Thanks for the read!
What can you do with your degree in Art or Design?
There are lots of ways to use your Art degree professionally.
Download Marywood’s free Art Careers Poster (PDF)
Marywood Art Careers Poster