Visual arts and entertainment is an area that focuses on not only drawing, painting, and design, but also includes classes in digital layout and exhibitions. Visual artists are what most people think of when they hear the term “artist” because these individuals work with the most visible media available to create beautiful and unique pieces that speak to others and add richness to our lives. Visual and entertainment art takes visual art in a very specific direction, often focusing on media concentrations such as performing arts or visual arts management.
Each school that offers a degree in visual and entertainment arts, whether it is a bachelor’s or master’s degree, differs slightly in its curriculum from other schools.
The school you choose will depend largely on the direction in which you want to move with your visual and entertainment arts degree. This means that you will choose a focus area in which you want to work and make a choice of curriculum based on that subject. For example, those who want to work in the film industry will likely choose a school that has a strong focus on the recorded arts, while those who want to work on the stage may find a performing arts focus is more useful to them.
The median income for visual and entertainment artists varies greatly by the type of work they choose. For example, the Bureau of Labor Statistics lists an actor’s median salary at $17.66 per hour, while producers and directors have a median annual salary of $68,440 or $32.90 per hour. The BLS lists the median annual salary for craft and fine artists at $43,470. Clearly, there is great disparity in the amount artists earn, and their earnings are often determined by how much work they are offered, the price they are given for each job, and the public’s demand for their work. Those factors make visual and entertainment art a risky proposition for some, because work is not usually guaranteed and these artists often work independently rather than for a secure company.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, producers and directors can expect to see an 11 percent increase in jobs between 2010 and 2020. Craft and fine artists will see a job growth rate of about five percent, while actors will see job growth of about four percent. Only directors and producers match or exceed the expected job growth rate for all jobs according to Bureau of Labor Statistics projections.
As an aspiring artist, you may not want to think of getting a “regular” job when all you want to do is act or create art in a unique way. However, there are several jobs that allow you to work at your passion while still earning a regular paycheck. For example, becoming a teacher of visual or performing arts allows you steady work with plenty of time off to pursue your own acting or artistic career. You may also want to think about taking computer design courses or some other electives that will give you a “fall back” position to earn a good salary while you search for work in the field.
You should never give up on your dreams. Although visual and entertainment arts represents one of the hardest fields in which to find satisfying and rewarding work, if you continue with persistence it is still very possible to find the dream job you are looking for. In the meantime, a good education will allow you to take supplementary jobs to provide while you continue to pursue a visual and entertainment arts career.