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Home School of Communications, Media, Arts and Design Blog 2016 May 03 Three tips to success in the world of visual art

Three tips to success in the world of visual art

picture of Centennial College student sculptures of an gorilla head and the Hulk

If you're a visual artist in Toronto considering pursuing your passion as a career, you may hear horror stories about starving artists, and find yourself daunted. It doesn't have to be that way, though. With a little determination and the right education, you can get yourself a creative, rewarding career drawing, designing, 3D modelling, making videos, or producing anything else visual or creative. Centennial College's Art and Design Fundamentals program is an excellent place to begin, where you're taught traditional, digital and multimedia artistic skills by professional, practicing artists and designers.

Here's what you need to know to succeed in the artistic world:

1. Your Time is Worth Money

Internships aren't a dirty word, and are an excellent source of experience. However, you don't have to be a starving artist. The art you produce has value, and is worth compensation.

Writer Maisie Skidmore discusses the ups and downs of unpaid work with several artistic professionals, and comes to the conclusion that free work can be undervalued, leading to a culture where unpaid artistic work is the norm. It also advises that if you're not getting paid, you must ask yourself what you're getting out of the deal.

In the case of Centennial College's programs, students participate in client-based community projects, as well as collaborations with creative students from other Centennial College Media programs at the Story Arts Centre. What you're getting out of it is education. You'll be participating in these projects in a safe space, with room to make mistakes, learn and grow. As to how to get that paid employment, the program provides you with a specific resource that's the key to entering the career field.

2. Your portfolio is worth a lot

The Guardian shares that succeeding in the artistic world comes down to the strength of your portfolio. Art isn't about the grades you get, it's about the body of work you can produce. It's way to show that you don't just have artistic skills, you also have a creative mind to go with them. Luckily, the goal of Art and Design Foundation Studies is specifically to have students create a portfolio of artwork, whether it's to enter the industry directly, or pursue further specialized education.

3. Networking is essential

Another key to succeeding as a professional artist: Who you know. Tim Cynova wrote about career tips for budding artists and specifically names networking as a key component to career development. This refers to knowing people within the field you want to enter, being recognized by them and learning about opportunities, experiences and jobs from them.

Your network begins at Centennial College, where Art and Design Foundation's small class sizes allow you to build a working relationship with both your teachers and fellow students. Your teachers are industry professionals themselves, and your fellow students will be the next generation of professionals, thus letting you begin expanding outwards into the world of arts careers.

By Anthony Geremia