Explore Our 2024 Guide to Gap Year Programs!

    Questions to Ask Before Pursuing A Career in the Arts

    Posted March 3, 2022, 1:00 pm by Johnathan Kindall

    Thinking of Pursuing an Arts Career?

    Turning a passion into a lifelong arts career is one of the most rewarding and fulfilling experiences available to young artists. Making a living from something that you love to do is the dream for any young person, and now, with the resources available in the TeenLife Guide to Your Future in Arts, that dream can be made real. Arts careers are more important than ever, and we want to help you feel comfortable chasing your dream. 

    That being said, it’s important to be honest with yourself about the realities of living as a working artist. For many students, the struggles that come with having a professional arts career are more than worth it for the personal and creative fulfillment that their work can bring. But like with all jobs, pursuing a career in the arts brings its own set of unique challenges and difficulties.

    Before committing to a career in the field, students should consider the path from all angles. Here’s 5 questions to ask yourself before you pursue your future in the arts. 

    1. Are You Willing to Be Dedicated to Your Arts Career?

    A high degree of self-motivation and dedication is required for professionals in the art world. If you’re making a living as an artist of any kind, you’ll likely have to learn how to set your own schedule and meet important deadlines.

    Whether you’re a musician with a can’t-miss gig coming up or a writer with a draft soon due, dedication to your work is essential when it comes to being a professional artist. If you find that you’re procrastinating on your artistic work now, ask yourself why that might be and whether or not you’ll have the self-determination to follow through once art is your career. 

    2. Are You Prepared for Art to be More Than Just a Hobby? 

    Simply put: professional artists must sometimes work on their pieces even if they’re not in the mood to create. Are you ready to meet a deadline even if you don’t feel intense artistic inspiration? Are you willing to learn the difference between a finished product and a perfect one? Or, would you prefer for your art to remain something that you only do in your free time?

    These are important questions for any artist. The delicate balance between passion and productivity is something that all professional artists must discover on their own. 

    3. Can You Market Your Work? 

    There are many aspects to a career as a working artist besides the mere creation of art. If you’re working as an artist under the employ of a larger company, this aspect of the job may be taken care of by other departments. However, if your eventual goal is to be self-employed on the basis of your artistic skill, then be sure to ask yourself whether you’re willing to take on the business side of being a professional artist. The most successful professional artists have skills in promoting, selling and marketing their art, in addition to just creating it. Are you willing to learn these skills as well?

    4. Are You Willing to Put Up With Other Difficulties?  

    Like with all businesses, conflict will undoubtedly arise from your career in the arts. Whether it’s a botched audition, a canceled event or a rejection from a major publisher, there’s sure to be some rough patches along the way. Sometimes this comes from people who don’t understand your work or your passion, and sometimes this comes directly from other collaborators. How much are you willing to put up with when it comes to your art? Do you have a thick skin or are you willing to grow one? As all professionals learn eventually, you must be willing to take the good with the bad. 

    5. Are You Ready For the Most Fulfilling Experience of Your Life?

    If you’re able to answer yes to the questions above, then you’re ready to start your future in the arts! Like with all careers, a job in the artistic world comes with a unique set of challenges and struggles. However, if you’re passionate about your work and willing to learn as you go, a career in the arts can will be fulfilling and rewarding. 

    We can’t wait to see what you make! 

    Sign up for Free Tips and Guides direct to Your Inbox
    jonathan kindall headshot

    Johnathan Kindall

    Johnathan Kindall is the Content Editor at TeenLife Media. He attended Boston University’s College of Communications, graduating with a Bachelors of Science in Journalism. Johnathan is dedicated to launching teens into life by providing a number of resources that help teens navigate the world of college, enrichment learning and more.