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Is Art A Worthwhile Profession?

There has been a push over the last decade or two for people to engage in more creative pursuits and to follow their passions. This means different things to different people and some have even managed to have a full time career that is completely divorced from the thing they feel most passionate about. They do that in their spare time as a hobby. This method works for some but for those who feel driven to pursue their one passion and nothing else the question should be asked: is art a worthwhile profession?

Yes, it is

To some the answer is a resounding ‘yes’. Many of the most creative people in the world would feel terrible if they were not pursuing the profession that allows them to fully express themselves. There have been many cases where individuals studied for years to become certified in a field they hated only to turn back to their art as the pressure to do so became to intense. There are also many more avenues through which artists can earn a living wage nowadays. They can have their images reproduced on t-shirts, they can create logos for companies, seek out clients who wish to commission work and hire themselves out to theater companies for the production of set design. This represents only a fraction of the financial opportunities open to the artist who is serious about success.

No, it is not

While there are artists who make a livable wage from their passion, the vast majority do not. This is the reason that the term “starving artist” was coined. For starters, many who feel drawn to produce artwork are just not that good at it. They may love the pieces they produce yet find that no one else does. Secondly, there are many good artists out there so that the market is saturated with people with talent. The key to success may lie in who you know and how well you are marketed more than anything else. Some artists in third world countries may be exceptionally skilled and willing to work for much less than their contemporaries in wealthy countries. It is a hard career and a day job might be advisable.

This argument is one that has two strong sides to it. As with most career choices, the side that is most appealing depends on your individual suitability to one field over another.


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