You may think that you have to make a choice between following your artistic dreams and actually earning a living. However, there are many creative careers that won’t require you to be a starving artist. In fact, The Wall Street Journal reported that students who earn a Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.) degree have “surprisingly high” income levels, job prospects and levels of job satisfaction. Below you’ll find just a few of the career options available to students who pursue a B.F.A.


Of course, studying art for four years is excellent preparation if you want to create your own art for a living. You can use your time in class to develop your technique and experiment with different styles and media. Most students pursuing a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree specialize in one artistic media, from photography to sculpture. While they may take courses in a variety of art and design subjects, they study this one type of art in detail.

Fine artists are the artists who use traditional media to create paintings, sketches, sculptures and prints that adorn art galleries, museums and the homes of private collectors, the Houston Chronicle reported. Craft artists, on the other hand, make artwork for sale at shops and markets. These artists often combine materials such as gems, glass, metal, fabric, wood and clay to create handmade pieces of art, according to the Houston Chronicle. Artists often work for themselves, creating their art in their own studios.

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Art Director

If you want a career with a little more stability, you can consider an art director position. Art directors typically work in the publishing, advertising or movie industries. They develop the visual style of the printed piece or film and oversee the artists who work toward achieving that style. For aspiring art directors, the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree is just the first step toward their career. Most art directors spend at least five years creating their own art as photographer, graphic designer, fine artist or editor before they can advance to a director role.


You can also put your art skills to work developing moving pictures or visual effects for television, movies and video games. An animator or multimedia artist accomplishes these feats by combining different aspects and elements of art. Animators don’t just create one drawing or painting, but instead the series of art that allows for the development of motion pictures and animated special effects.  In today’s world of computer-generated images (CGI), animators need to have skills in creating art on the computer as well as by hand.

Art Gallery or Museum Curator or Assistant

Even if you don’t make a living creating art yourself, your Bachelor of Fine Arts degree can help you find a role working in the art world. Many B.F.A. graduates find employment in art galleries or museums, where they may curate – or carefully select and acquire – works of art to display or sell. Their background in fine art can help them identify quality artwork, organize pieces of art in a meaningful exhibition and sell art at a gallery.

A fine arts degree is more versatile than you might think. With so many possible jobs available to graduates, you no longer need to be afraid to go for your B.F.A. degree. Resourceful artists can often find a way to earn a living while putting their passion to work.

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