Choosing Art As A Career.part 1

If you are gifted with artistic talents and still attending high school, the decision as to whether to become an artist is always a difficult one.

I was faced with that challenge when I immigrated to the UK in 1962; there was the battle with my father to choose an academic career and my own mental struggles, because I had the choice and the ability to pursue either.

A few years ago a high school young lady came to me for advice, because she was having serious arguments with her father about her future career. She was one of the top academic students in her class but was also a gifted art student, and wanted to study art, against the wishes of her father,

I related my own story to her and my decision to attend Teacher’s college as opposed to Art College. Art College required an extra year of study if you wanted to teach.

My advice to her and her father was to go to University, obtain a degree and if she still wanted to be a full time artist the degree will help pave the way.

There is always time for Art, and Art can be a very diversified.

That young lady graduated from University and is Teaching and still finding time for her art.

Many educators flaunt the idea that children who are not academically inclined should be engaged in arts and crafts or skills that involves physical energy; that concept is a myth; your best artists are also your most gifted academics.
That is not to say you should not engage them in things to do with their hands but might only get work at their level. However I have seen the rare exception.

I once asked a headmistress of a high school to list the best art students, and I assured her they will also be from the top ten academics in each class; She was embarrassed to confess that I was correct.

The developers of artist paints, ceramic glazes and equipment, wood carving tools and equipment, glass blowing equipment etc. would scarcely come from the less academically inclined.

When you are thinking of becoming an artist. Think big, reach for the stars, don’t be satisfied to just make pots.


  1. Well said! It’s definitely a challenge for parents to understand the importance of art as a passion – until this day, majority would still prefer that their children get a degree that is in engineering, business, or medicine.. but not the arts because it is not sustainable income based on their standards.

    I once went down that path.. I had always had a passion for arts, but slowly generated interest in business and computers, so I was conflicted with what course to take in university. Fortunately a course in Multimedia Arts showed up which combined all of those for me, and that made the difference.

    Now, my daughter has been showing the makings of an art savant, and while my wife and I make sure that she won’t disregard her studies, we will never deprive her of practicing her passion for the arts.



    1. our view of an artist is too narrow, the most renowned artists in history were scientists, we need new discoveries in art materials, tools etc only the artist who is capable of research can fulfill that vision.


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