We’re all familiar with the artist stereotype: a poor, depressed, misunderstood, only-recognized-after-death sort of individual. And perhaps part of it is true — or was, way back when — but now, in this increasingly progressive era, those who pursue art can accomplish so much more. It’s true that becoming a successful artist can be challenging; not just anyone can seize the right opportunities and create pieces that are original and expressive. But even so, there are still many occupations that revolve around art and can lead to a lucrative career.
Remember all those colorful picture books you loved when you were little? You have illustrators to thank for them — and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Illustrators also design publications, cards, and work in many other mediums. Specialized subfields such as scientific/medical illustration, for one, can be used in fields such as biology, where artists create drawings and diagrams of anatomy, surgical procedures, or scientific structures. In addition, they can make exhibits for lawyers in court (diagrams, models, and such).
2. Industrial Design
You see this every day in the sleek design of your phones, computers, cars and so on. This occupation allows the designer free reign of creativity within practical parameters, and often requires knowledge and integration of science. If you’re interested in merging art and technology, this field might be the perfect fit.
3. Multi Media Art/ Animation
Fantasy, sci-fi, action: all these movie genres require some sort of animation or graphic editing. If you enjoy watching movies, creating special effects, and have always wondered what goes on behind the scenes, consider studying animation. This occupation requires an artist to work both by hand and with the help of technology, for movies, video games, commercials, and TV programs.
4. Art Therapy
Love art and always ready lend to a hand? Art therapy might be the job for you — a profession that involves guiding people through a healing process from trauma, illness, or any other disturbed mental state through the expression of art. Not only do they provide help, but they also conduct research on art’s effect on one’s wellbeing. This occupation typically requires knowledge of psychology and human development and the ability to work with a variety of people.
If you’re the kind of person who wants to persuade other people through art, then advertising might be exactly what you’re looking for. The advertising field encompasses a broad range of occupations such as creative directors, graphic artists, media planners, and art directors. These jobs require people to attract consumers through art and employees must be willing to collaborate and design with others. Some artists may also be involved in the creation of storyboards that allow advertising agencies or companies to assess the production of a commercial that they are undertaking.
The careers listed above are not all that are promising; in fact, there are still countless more possibilities out there that combine various other fields. So if you’re passionate about art, don’t be afraid to follow your interest; it may lead you to something you have never before thought possible.
This article originally appeared in the May/June 2015 issue of UNIT-E. It was written by Sophia Zheng, a student at the International School of Beijing.
UNIT-E was founded in the spring of 2010 with the aim of establishing a non-profit, student-run magazine for international students in Beijing. Staffed by current students from a range of international schools, the magazine provides an amalgam of cultural tidbits, fragments of Beijing student life, and a broad spectrum of unique perspectives from a diverse group of young adults.
Photo: cdsessums (flickr)