6 Times Being an Art Major Worked

Don't give up on your dream of being an artist

“What’s your major?”


“Really? What are you going to do with that in the real world?”

Does this conversation sound familiar? With the current economy and employers obviously favoring certain hard skills (tech skills *cough cough), it’s easy to think that majoring in Art was a huge mistake.

Well, I’m here to tell you it’s not.

It turns out that majoring in Art can take you in a lot of different directions. We’ve talked to quite a few Art Majors who are now happily employed after college and we’ve compiled them all into a list just for you!

1. From Fine Arts to Feng Shui

Name: Alex Yacavone

Major: Painting

Job Title: Design Assistant at a high-end furniture design company in Los Angeles

Job Description: Alex sets the scene for vendors so that they can see the furniture designer’s total vision. She draws renderings of different mirrors and furniture objects and uses the composition skills she gained through her painting major. She also helps the graphic designer whenever there is extra work to be done.

You can read more about Alex and her job search here.

2. Now That’s a Graphic Design!

Name: Mary Goodwin

Major: Graphic Design and Religion’s Influence on Art

Job Title: Web Designer for a corporation, Freelance Designer

Job Description: Mary designs web content for a corporation that owns three women’s fashion brands. She also works as a freelance designer doing print work, packaging, web, and marketing design. She has her own website which can be found here.

To read more about Mary and her Johnston Center for Integrative Studies experience (where she designed her own major), click here.

3. Ducking Around

Name:  Shandi Chester

Major: Fine Arts

Job Title: Restorer in the art department at AMRestore

Job Description: Shandi cleans and restores the items in a person’s home after a fire or flood. This can consist of anything from cleaning, matting, and framing prints and photographs to polishing wooden ducks! She also estimates new jobs, documents and catalogs the work she and the other restorers are doing, and sometimes even goes out to homes to pack up artwork to bring back to her department.

Curious about Shandi, her job, and the ducks? You can read more here.

4. Shooting Hoops With a Camera?

Name: Mike Rodriguez

Major: Radio / Television / Film

Job Title: Control Manager and Senior Producer for the Golden State Warriors

Job Description: On game days, Mike makes sure that everything in the control room is working properly, loads assists, and works with the crew to set up all of the cameras. Then he’ll run tests and plan the show for the day. He also works on filming footage that will be shown during the games.

Think this is the BEST career? Check out Mike’s career journey and get more details on what his job is really like here.

5. Shmoops We Made Videos Again

Name: Laura Lindauer

Major: Film and Digital Media

Job Title: Video Editor at Shmoop, Freelance Video Producer and Editor

Job Description: With Shmoop, Laura reads a script and comes up with visuals to express the ideas laid out in that script. Then she works in Photoshop and AfterEffects to create these animations. As a freelancer, she works with companies to create web content for their audience.

You can read more about Laura’s funky fun videos here.

6. Designing Propaganda?

Name: Lindsey Selden

Major: Graphic Design

Job Title: Designer at Planet Propaganda

Job Description: Lindsey originally majored in sociology and went back for her BFA in graphic design from the Academy of Art. Then, she started working at Planet Propaganda as an unpaid intern. After she negotiated her transition to full-time employee, she worked with clients to create and build their brands.

Want to hear more about Lindsey, her life in Berlin, and what she suggests for interns who want to transition into full-time employees? Check out the full interview here.

So, the next time you’re starting to feel some doubt about choosing Art as your major, remember that there are plenty of opportunities out there—some of them may be a direct application of the skills you’ve picked up in school and some of them may involve a bigger shift. You just have to learn how to leverage your skills and make use of that degree out in the “real world”!

Homework time! A few of the art majors listed above recommend supplementing your major with basic coding skills. See if you can take some computer science courses in between those life drawing or sculpting classes.

Also, make sure you know how to leverage your skills. Alex talks about how her composition skills transfer over to creating comprehensive and aesthetically pleasing images for both the furniture designer and the vendors. These are things to think about and include on your résumé or during your interview.

It’s also important for anyone majoring in the arts to have a good portfolio. Guest blogger Alex Cherin talks about his experience creating one and what you should know about the process.


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