16 Jul 2008

A career in fine arts

(Nalini S Malaviya)

There have been a considerable number of mails requesting for various kinds of information on a career in fine arts. This has come from students at the threshold of selecting a profession and also from professionals looking at making a career switch. Then, there are a few homemakers who have been pursuing art as a hobby and would now like to take it up as a full time profession.
For the first category, I would suggest that students interested in a career in art should decide only after consulting a professional counsellor, who will help them evaluate their aptitude and suitability in this field. A career in fine arts may appear to be filled with glamour and glitz to those from the outside, thanks to the million dollar sales. And, now that artists are appearing regularly on the page 3 circuits there is a lot of visibility as well. But, as a profession, fine arts is like any other career. Remember, there is a huge number of artists who struggle to make even ends meet, and to establish oneself can be a long and tedious journey. Creativity and talent are just some of the prerequisites needed to be successful as an artist. A career counsellor can provide all the necessary details regarding institutes and colleges and also on the diverse sub-categories that one can opt for.


For professionals who want to work as artists, they should consider the financial implications before making any drastic move. But before that, they must be sure if they have the capabilities to make it as a fine artist.
I would like to point out that it is always difficult, especially initially, for self taught artists and painters to be taken seriously by critics and collectors. Incidentally, MF Husain, Arpana Caur and Badrinarayan are some of the self-taught artists who have found tremendous success. Women artists who have a background in fine arts may find it easier to get acceptance. Especially, homemakers who have a degree in fine arts may fine it fairly straightforward to get into mainstream, whereas it might be a little difficult for the occasional hobby painters.

All said and done, one should make a career choice for the right reasons. It is so much more satisfying when one does something because one enjoys it.
However, do remember that art by itself is an extremely therapeutic outlet. Whether one pursues it as a career or not, one should definitely try to paint or sculpt and it will surely be a great stress buster.

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