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Thinking about studying Art & Design? - Starting College

The study of art-based subjects is known to broaden the mind, encourage creative thinking and ‘feed the soul’. However, those reasons alone often do little to address the fears that art-based courses are ‘soft subjects’.

The demand for graphic designers, web designers, animation artists, software designers, digital illustrators and app designers is undergoing unprecedented growth. The need for engaging visual representation is paramount and even if digital art isn’t your thing, your traditionally created art offerings can always be digitalised.

Creators of fine art, sculpture, photographs, fashion garments and other handcrafted products previously had to market their designs through galleries and third parties. Nowadays, the artist can sell directly through artist websites and various print-on-demand facilities. Instead of galleries and institutions deciding what is ‘good’ or ‘worthy’, the general public decides and an artist’s work can be thrust into the spotlight via social media.

Contrary to popular belief however, creative subjects are no longer the route to poverty in the working world, they are increasingly an excellent choice for a growing number of students. A surge in demand for illustrators, animators and multi-media artists, particularly those who are additionally ‘tech-savvy’ is projected for 2018. This projection is due to the surge online in visual based advertising.

Art continues to be a sought-after option for students wishing to pursue more traditional creative careers such as painting/fine art, interior design and architecture related professions. The prominence of the internet has seen the emergence of an array of new art based roles. This doesn’t mean that making a living in this field is easy. Competition is tough and success requires skill, dedication, commitment and good business sense. The existence of direct selling artistic portals means the playing field has been levelled and there are opportunities a plenty to be taken.

‘Studying art is proven to improve performance in other subjects’

Art enhances fine motor skills, problem-solving skills, critical thinking skills and hand-to-eye coordination. Research demonstrates that involvement in arts, both visual and performing, is associated with higher levels of attainment in other subjects. No matter what career you choose, anyone with the ability to present, arrange and display materials in an aesthetically pleasing way has a distinct advantage.

Art courses often have a large workload and wide remit – this requires good self discipline. A well studied art course can see you emerge with focus, organisational and time management skills that will be the envy of many a fellow student. Most courses require recording and analysis of visual responses to your surroundings. Art encourages you to view even the mundane things in life, differently. As fluffy as it sounds, art really CAN fill your soul! Communicating with colour, shape and form can awaken the imagination.

If you excel in art, try not to be convinced to take a more ‘useful’ subject unless you want to or are good at it. Let your creative light shine if you have creative ability! The world still needs to view and wonder at artistic things of beauty. Be committed to filling your potential. If you are destined to study art, it will be pretty hard to resist – go for it!

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