Art A Career or A Way Of Living?

Posted by Edu4sure team


Every student faces the question of what next by the time he or she reaches class 10th. Parents and teachers start asking them about their interest in various subjects and accordingly to decide a stream, and then, to decide the graduation course!

A confused 15-year old is faced with the choice of three streams – Humanities, science and Commerce, and the only career guidance he has is the opinion of his parents, his teacher’s judgement based on his marks and the comments and experiences of his relatives and neighbors.

I Dream My Paining, And Then I Paint My Dream.

  Now the question is, is that much help sufficient for a child to base the foundation of his entire career and life?  Here I would like to quote Ayn Rand.

“Why do they always teach us that it’s easy and evil to do what we want and that we need the discipline to restrain ourselves? It’s the hardest thing in the world – to do what we want. And it takes the greatest kind of courage. I mean, what we really want.”

There are two kinds of children according to me, the ones who have inbuilt talent for something and the others, who do not show interest in any particular subject but go with the flow. 

For the first types it is very easy to see what career path they may take in future because of extraordinary talent in a particular subject, may it be music, dance, sports or mathematics. Parents and counselors should keep a keen eye and help the talents of such children flourish by helping them take extra guidance.

The second types sail through the academics and have to choose their future according to their marks and liking of the subjects.

Now, I would like to share a bit about my journey and career choice as it was not very popular one in the 80ies period. From what I have been told by my mother and father, that I was already doodling with the pens and pencils by the age of two. My favorite play was filling up diary after diary with comic strips of the imaginary stories that I would build. An interest in reading and narrating stories was imbibed by my grandfather by an early age and he encouraged my talent by taking me to the ‘on spot painting’ competitions and to watch theater. So the natural talent in creativity was being strengthened by observing the world of art, dance, and music.

So, as you all may think, she obviously falls under the first category and the career choice will be obviously Fine arts. Yes, it should be so, but in our country, we have a set pattern of an education system. All have to go through the similar curriculum and score marks. I was very good at studies till the class of two or three. But, afterward, as I ponder over it now, I was soon losing interest in certain subjects like mathematics and chemistry. Art in those days was treated as an extra subject. So, till my 12th standard. I struggled through the subjects which had nothing to do with what I wanted as a future career. There were certain topics which interested me immensely like Astronomy, Botany, History, and Geography. So, the area of interest wasn’t falling into the typical skeleton that was created by our education system. Here, I would quote Maya Angelou.

“I’ve learned that making a “living” is not the same thing as “making a life”.

So, after numerous family round table conferences (I belong to the family of lawyers, judges, Doctors and engineers) it was decided that I should prepare to be an artist and hence started preparing for my entrance exams under the guidance of eminent painters Rameshwar and Shobha Broota.

I would like to point here, that even if one has immense natural talent in a certain field. One must undergo training under experienced teachers as they can polish up and teach technicalities and tricks they have learned over the years. So, if any of you out there, think they have great natural talent in singing, painting or acting… you still must undergo the training.

So, I got admission in the Government College of Art, Chandigarh and was first in the merit list. I chose painting as my field of study and joined foundation course. The first year is same for all students where they learn basic techniques and styles before graduating to respective streams like Painting, Graphics, Sculpture and Commercial Arts. This is a four-year degree course called B.F.A. (Bachelor of Fine Arts).

Art is an abstract concept. One should be creative and be able to think out of the box. Visual memory, eye-hand coordination, sense of proportion and perspective, these are a few of the things that one needs to know and practice before stepping into the world of Fine Art. Alfred North Whitehead quotes:

“Art is the imposing of a pattern on experience, and our aesthetic enjoyment is recognition of the pattern.”

Where can studying art or design take you? What kinds of careers exist for those who study creative subjects?

Interestingly, becoming an architect, fine artist, sculptor or gallery assistant or curator is a study for those who study Art or Design, there are many other careers available for those who are able to envision, design and create beautiful things. Whether one loves photography, graphic or digital design, painting or any other art related specialty, career options are limited only by your imagination. Art education propels people towards creative and unexpected destinations – many of which have not even been discovered or invented yet. I will quote from an article in New York Times titled “Need a job? Invent it”:

“…knowledge is available on every Internet-connected device, what you know matters far less than what you can do with what you know. The capacity to innovate – the ability to solve problems creatively or bring new possibilities to life – and skills like critical thinking, communication are far more important than academic knowledge.”

Although I am pursuing my professional career as an artist using traditional art materials and techniques but by the end of this blog will share a lot of interesting and innovative careers people are engaged with. I also, keep experimenting with different techniques and materials and have finally found my own unique style in the field of painting. 

I did the first year of foundation course at the Government Art College and then left on a scholarship to study at V. Surikov Moscow State Academy Art Institute in Russia. I have done a seven-year course of M.F.A with specialization in oil painting. Studying abroad was a totally new experience. Russian and European Art schools are very orthodox and teach the old masters craft. Technical knowledge and different styles of art are taught. Realism is taught with basic and fundamental knowledge of how to create one’s own canvases to recreating masterpieces from the museums. Art skills are taught along with the thorough study of anatomy, life drawing, clay modeling, computers and various other techniques including photography. The discipline I was taught under believes that Art is a way of living. One should not take it as a career but a mission. Art is a very vast subject. An artist has to be well read, knowledgeable about not only his country but the whole world. He must observe various cultures, traditions and their way of dressing. He shouldn’t be biased as Art itself is above right and wrong. There’s nothing as a ‘bad’ art. So, as I often quote that “an artist should be like a mirror to the society”. It’s his job to convey true feelings and mood of the timeline he belongs to.

I chose to dedicatedly paint for myself and exhibit and sell online and through art galleries as conventional artists do. I started exhibiting and taking part in international art camps and got to learn a lot about different techniques and styles of painting. One of the works was selected to adorn the walls of Krasnoyarsk Museum of Contemporary Art, Siberia. Recently I was awarded a senior fellowship by the Ministry of Culture, Government of India. I have found a new vocation besides painting by writing a book about Socio- economic and cultural impact on the world and art.

So, this is about my journey in art and everyone finds his or her own unique path and musings on the way. I would like to mention a few of the interesting career paths one could pursue and may awaken one’s imagination and remind that the world needs (and appreciates) those with artistic skills. With an art degree and skills in hand one could be a Movie set/Costume/Special effects Designer, Upcycled jewellery designer, Web-based curator, Game designer, Firebowl sculptor, Upcycled Furniture designer, Digital Portrait artist, Magazine Art Director, Graphic designer, Photographer, Graphic novelist, Rock painter, Personalised Sticker designer, Handmade Stamp maker, T-shirt designer, Printmaker, Collage artist, Film Concept artist, Cake decorators, soft toy makers, illustrators, Wedding Invitation makers….I can go on and on…there’s no limit to one’s imagination and caliber.

It is clear that the journey to a creative career is not always clear cut. A Fine art degree is not always necessary. Related degrees (Graphic Design, Animation, Computer Science, Web Design, Architecture, Marketing, and Business) and skill-based courses – among many others – may also lead to successful outcome. I will conclude by a wonderful quote by Chris Jami:

“Every job from the heart is, ultimately, of equal value. The nurse injects the syringe; the writer slides the pen; the farmer plows the dirt; the comedian draws the laughter. Monetary income is the perfect receiver of a man’s true worth.”

The Article is Shared by Harsh Inder Loomba who lives "Art". You can find more of her work at 



Let us know if you want to inspire people by sharing your experience at partner@edu4sure.com 

About Author


A professional Artist and a research scholar. Passionate about music, reading and travelling. Preservation of fl aura and fauna is a deep concern.

Fill Up the details

Work With Us