Do you need an academic education for an arts or crafts career?
The answer is yes and no. Your choice of major, natural skills and talents, and tool skills guide your decision for academic or informal learning.
Are you an artist, craftsman or craftswoman?
Artist: A human being who designs and makes original works of art using his God-given gifts of creativity, insight, and wisdom. Examples of classical arts include painting, sculpture, and music.
A college degree helps enhance artistic talents, job networking, and exposure to a variety of art categories. Professional art educators, photography, film and theater business, and art director are examples of special careers that need a degree.
Craftsman: This person has craft skills to make crafts that are mass-produced for the public. Examples include cabinet construction, auto parts, and cookware production. Artisans work with a variety of tools.
Read and study textbooks, trade magazines, and videos. Other learning options include online instruction, trade or vocational schools, and on-the-job training. You can do an apprenticeship or internship within a family business or with another business partner. These informal learning spots are ideal for hobbyists, crafters, or experimentation.
Craftsman: A craftsman is an artist and a craftsman. This person creates an object from an imaginative idea, designs it and makes the piece with their hands. The original or unique handicrafts from him are aesthetic and practical. Examples include pottery, leather goods, and jewelry.
Artisans and artists improve their skills by attending specialized arts and crafts schools, colleges or universities. American government statistics show that there are more job opportunities available for those with college or university degrees than for the self-taught.
Another educational option is to learn a specific occupational course that results in a certification. They can award points for taking a certified course and apply them toward future college credit.
Regardless of art or craft education, other skills are needed in order not to become “a starving artist.”
- Advertising, marketing and sales techniques.
- General business knowledge
- bookkeeping and accounting
- Knowledge of tools and experience for your artistic or craft interests.
- Skills: communication, technical, organizational, management
- Visual effects in video games, movies, television and smartphones
- Creation of websites and other media platforms.
- 3D model makers
- cake decorator
- museum curator
- event coordinator
There are thousands of job opportunities for artists and artisans. The list of arts and crafts is long and for this reason it is useful to know your first, second and third choice when selecting a career.
USA.gov, the Occupational Outlook Handbook indicates that 37,000 new jobs are being added in arts and crafts.