What is art? The answer depends on who you ask. Art is a painting or a sculpture. Art is whatever you want it to be. Art is whatever the artists says it is. Or, according to one of the world’s most famous artists, Andy Warhol, art is

“whatever you can get away with”.

Either way, what all these ideas about art have in common is that the boundaries of it are far from clear cut, and when it comes to a career in art, things are no different.

Like music or writing, art is one of those passions that people sometimes get criticised for pursuing as a career. It’s often seen as self-indulgent, over-ambitious, or even a bit foolish, but that’s not necessarily the case. Sure, if you’re only interested in a career in art which involves selling your paintings for thousands of pounds, and refuse to consider any other options, then your ambition is admirable, but your odds of success are slim. However, if you’re studying art because you’re passionate about it and want to find a career that allows you to use this passion professionally, then there are more possibilities out there than a lot of people think.

First of all, you’ll need to explore all the avenues of art that are out there. Further and Higher Education Colleges are a good place to start, because courses such as Diplomas in Art and Design introduce students to all sides of art, then allow them to explore the aspects that interest them most and make the most of their talents. It lets you narrow down your interests, because if you start the course with a passion for art, you might end it knowing that your passion lies more specifically with painting, with graphic design, or with printmaking.

From here you might start to realise that you’re suited to a career in illustration, architecture, art therapy, graphic design, curating – and, yes, if you’re good enough, maybe even a career as fine artist, painting for a living! Then you can take the next step towards these career paths, either by gaining some relevant work experience or continuing you education with a more focused course.

There’s no doubt about it, as far a career paths go, art has its complications. It’s not a quick journey, and talent and ability will always be a factor. But if you’re passionate enough, this shouldn’t put you off. Studying your passion isn’t a limitation, it’s an opportunity to find out how you can use it to your advantage, and when it comes to art, studying it will only make you more aware of the options that are out there. So if you’re a creative person, passionate about art, don’t rule it out. Use that creativity to think outside the box and discover all the possibilities that are open to you.

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