8 Reasons Why You Should Study Art


1. Art helps build creativity, which leads to success

Creativity is something that is necessary to thrive in almost any job market. If you are in sales, you constantly need to come up with new pitches for customers. If you are a teacher, you need to plan lessons that will both motivate and educate students. Even Danielle Ofri, a professor at NYU School of Medicine, says that you need to be creative in the medical world, because most of the time there is more to treating patients then just the “standardized” treatments. The more creative you are, the more likely you will get noticed, especially in the work world.

2. Art is a resume builder

Practically any design software you learn, workshop you attend, or lesson you take can be translated fabulously onto a resumé, CV (curriculum vitae), or LinkedIn page. There’s a lot of design software that involves art, but not necessarily advertised as an art-specific program. For example, ArcGIS, by ESRI, is a spatial data collecting and analysis software, which at first glance doesn’t sound very artsy at all. However once you start to create your own maps in the program, you realize you need fairly decent understanding of color theory, formatting, and design skills to produce a map that will both accurately present your information, and be aesthetically appealing to your audience.

Other things that can be added to your resumé include large art projects completed either with a team or individually. Art projects often require a lot of research, and you can present your findings through your finished piece or an artist’s lecture. LinkedIn has a great feature in which you can list your strong skills, and your fellow connections can endorse these skills. If you work with a group of people, you can draw attention to the fact that you are a team player or have great leadership skills.

3. Art teaches you to look at multiple perspectives

If you’ve ever taken an Intro to Studio Art or Intro to Drawing course you know that there is always that still life assignment you need to complete. Maybe its drawing fruit, or a bunch of random objects, either way it’s something that is right in front of you and you just have to replicate it on paper. What’s so neat about this is that everyone is sitting in different parts of the room, so their view of the objects won’t be the same as yours. At the end of the assignment, everyone has a different image on their canvas (i.e. some people had object A completely drawn while others just had a small piece of object A drawn). It’s important to remember that there are more perspectives than just your own, and art can teach you that.

New perspectives can be as groundbreaking as Duchamp’s “Fountain,” or as subtle as looking up instead of down. One day during a critique in Ceramics class, one of my professors said, “what if we do this?” and took my piece and flipped it over (not like a rawrrr table flip but just turned it on its side). It looked like a completely new piece. Art can teach us that there is always more than one interpretation of things, and we should always remember to look at things from a new angle (Yes, that was a Big Hero 6 reference).

4. Art makes an impact

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. From Banksy’s graffiti wall in Palestine, to the NYC Lowline Underground Garden designs, art can have a huge impact on the world, environmentally, socially and culturally. There are so many issues going on in the world, and sometimes it’s so hard to keep track of everything you hear. Over the centuries, art has been a powerful vehicle for people to have their political statements heard.

Art can also act as a call to action for many. For example, the “Pinwheels for Peace Project,” started in 2005, is a project in which students are educated about issues and make pinwheels as a symbol of understanding, expression and unity. There are a number of other organizations that will donate money towards a specific cause when people submit related artwork.

5. Art involves learning key business and marketing skills

Whether its freelance or a start – up, when you say that you’re in the art industry, it’s like saying you have your hands in thirty different industries. When you want to create a website to display your art, it’s good to know some basic coding (so you can go beyond the limitations of a template site). If you want to become a partner on YouTube, you need to learn how to monetize and monitor your videos through plugins like Google Analytics and Adsense.

Want to promote your art? Time to brush up on your social media marketing skills business tools such as Facebook Blueprint. Half of the time, I’m making art, and the other half I’m either updating my social media feeds or watching a marketing video lesson. Heather D. Bhanhari and Jonathan Melber remind us in their book ART/WORK that the art world is wide and vast, and there are so many different kinds of paths within art that you can pursue, some of them don’t even involve you making any art!

6. Art can improve networking skills

Networking is a huge part of maneuvering through the job market. When you study art, you’ll be given assignments that, more times than not, require you to step outside of your comfort zone. To save money, you might find yourself shopping at thrift stores or junkyards. You’ll have to convince people that your project or idea is meaningful enough for them to provide you with their goods or services. It’s these key skills you learn by completing your project that will help you stand out during a social networking event.

When you study art, you are inevitably studying a bit of art history as well. As with any subject, the more you learn about a topic the more you can talk about it. Got a mocktail or cocktail reception coming up? No problem! You have the ability to initiate and execute a substantial conversation that will leave employers wanting more. You know how to make deals that satisfy both parties, and you also have the research and knowledge to back what you are saying.

7. Art can help you build a house

I’m not kidding about this one. Art really can help you build an actually house; you have the architectural designs, which can give you some artistic freedom to create a more sculptural house. Then, once the planning and building are complete, you need do some exterior and interior designing to add the final touches, and voilà you have a house.

But in addition to building a literal house, art can also help you to build a home. Art brings people together in unexpected ways. Whether you are a couple of friends coming together to decorate your graduation caps, or a marketing team creating a logo for your start-up. Different perspectives and creative minds coming together can foster a foundation that is pretty similar to a home base. It’s safe enough to take risks, and old enough to try something new.

8. Art can lead to love

I mean hey, artists are pretty attractive if I do say so myself. But what I mean by this is more about self-love and building self-confidence. We live in a very negative world, and at times there might be moments in your life when you might feel upset, shamed, bullied, or not acknowledged. It’s during these times when art can really help to inspire and captivate people. Whatever your medium, you can take it, and you can own it. Paint that blank canvas, build that sculpture, go big or go miniature, sketch the heck out of that daily drawing. By drawing new things, or exploring new mediums, you are really learning more about you, and how unique and creative you can be!

At the end of the day, be it art or another medium, it’s important to do what you love, because YOU love it. And by doing things that you like to do, you’ll get good at doing it.

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Resources Used:
http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/03/14/how-creative-is-your-doctor/?_r=0&register=facebook
http://www.pinwheelsforpeace.com/Pinwheels_for_Peace/the_project.html
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