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Arts vs. "solid education"

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posted on Jun, 30 2005 @ 10:25 AM
For those pointing to a dearth of "Artiste" jobs out there as a reason to discount the arts in education: You do realize, right, that the benefits from the artistic disciplines go far beyond being able to "draw good?"

Acting and choral music have a direct benefit in today's service-oriented economy. The ability to have fine control over your voice, to portray moods you may not necessarily feel are not just beneficial, but required for many service jobs.

Music education has been shown to have a direct benefit to such practical applications such as programming and mathematics.

The ability to synthesize information from diverse sources, whether it be a cross-section of 18th Century French authors or the regulations of the local state and federal agencies governing your workplace, is easily taught using literature.

posted on Jun, 30 2005 @ 12:16 PM
Math, science, engineering are all great "arts".
But not everyone can accel or even rate in these things.

Many art majors and artists are horrible at math, and this is a prime reason
they lean toward art, because it is something they can achieve without
extreme suffering and dissapointment.

Everyone of us has our own unique talents, and our own weaknesses.

My wife can wipe the floor with me in math, but can't make anything
look "pretty" in a design sense if her life depended on it.


posted on Jun, 30 2005 @ 12:32 PM
Im a photographer and designer, but am working in creative marketing, which is fun too.
It pays pretty good, but I still make more from selling my work in galleries.
So dont give up your dreams! It is way more important to be happy and love what you do then it is to be rich and miserable
When I was living in New Jersey there were NO design jobs, but Arizona has a good ammount of work available here if any of you designers are looking for work, and want to move

posted on Jun, 30 2005 @ 03:25 PM

Originally posted by joi
When I was living in New Jersey there were NO design jobs, but Arizona has a good ammount of work available here if any of you designers are looking for work, and want to move

Right, the jobs exist where its economical for the jobs to exist.
New Jersey is getting to a point of zero middle class.
Tempe Arizona Rent $450 a month w/ AC, swimming pool, laundry
New Jersey Rent $950 none of the above, and no parking.
I could live like a king on $10 an hour in Arizona, In New Jersey I would be homeless on that.

posted on Jun, 30 2005 @ 04:05 PM
This country has wanted an "educated" middle class. Students who spend their time pondering Keats, Shelly and Joyce are harder to be pushed into working demeaning slave-labor jobs at Wal-Mart.
And thats whats needed now. Low end workers.
oh...and Have a nice day.

There is no enemy anywhere - Lao Tse

posted on Jun, 30 2005 @ 04:54 PM
First off I agree ART (you can include pro athletes as well) does have its place. Now that said I think it is entirely overrated and gets very much out of hand once someone becomes successful.

I see society stagnating as far as the advancement we could be accomplishing right now if priorities were different.

Before I get flamed by all the artists out there let us look at 2 situations.

First, the cave man who discovered fire (earliest engineer) and the cave painter (earliest painter): Which is most important to mankind? My argument is that until the engineer moved us forward into the ‘fire age’ there just wasn’t much recreation time available to do things like the cave painting/ dancing/ singing to begin with. If we compress all of the early developments of early man as Piers Anthony did in one of his novels, you can see that the REAL tools pushing man forward were those developed by the engineer of the time which in turn gave man more time for other pursuits after the issue of pure survival was handled. How long do you think that painter will survive to paint if the survival issue hand not been handled by the engineers????

What does the painter contribute to society as a whole? Recreation- yeah, I’ll give you that one. Passing on ideas? Sure- even maybe an early form of written language? Sure. Important? Written language- you bet ya. As to the others debatable, could the engineer pass on the creation of fire by demonstration? Sure could – many societies have a history past on by oral means until writing was developed.
What the engineers contribute? How about every necessary advancement to the next age of man. Stone, bronze, iron, space- I’d call that significant.

Now, jump millenniums forward and let us compare the cast of FRIENDS, a 30 minute long weekly sitcom, to the engineers working for GM on a new diesel engine getting 40+ mpg. Both collaborations.

What did each do for society? Friends= entertainment for 30 minutes something to talk about at the water cooler at work.
Engineer- something to move goods/people- power industry at reduced fuel cost lower environmental impact and give Friends time to pursue acting .

What kind of education did each suffer through? Both COULD be Masters degrees but engineer almost required whereas actor may have not even have graduated high school. Even is masters degress were obtained by both the engineer had about zero time for a life for 7-8years in college and the artist a 4-6 year party.

What does each make/earn in US dollars? Friends= $1 million per episode~ 1 week of work. Engineer about $125k per YEAR.

What kind of future prospects do each receive for that one “job”? Friends =royalties for life every time the episode is aired and every DVD of the season is sold (to the lesser paid engineers). Engineer, nada, GM retains all profits from engine since engineer was employed by them.

Where has societies priorities fallen? I say to entertainment.

Why is it fine for an “artist” to continue receiving income for every time their “intellectual offspring” is sold but and engineer is not? Why is the engineers “intellectual offspring” owned by his employer but and artist retains rights. I suggest artists be put on the same type of compensation plan as that of an engineer. i.e. paid piecemeal or by the hour or on salary. Then the costs of music/tv/movies/etc comes down and focus turns more to where it should be- moving forward instead of sitting on a couch, munching chips and sipping soda turning obese as a society.

Ok, just my rant on the subject. Yes, I am an mechanical engineer BY TRADE but also an artist by pastime. Why? Well, I enjoy both but I think engineering is more important to moving forward as a society and I have much better things to do then watch sitcoms and yell moves to athletes on a colorful box.

posted on Jun, 30 2005 @ 06:08 PM
I feel odd calling myself an artist but I make things with my hands. Paintings, prints, jewelery, guitars, furniture almost anything. I am much more comfortable calling myself a designer/craftsman even though I have a degree in fine art painting. I have never had a real job; always sold what Iv'e made for the past 25 yrs.

But Iv'e noticed a strange conscienceness in America lately. People don't seem to care if it was hand made or mass produced. Fine craftsmanship is not appreciated. Now it seems to boil down to "how much". Folks that used to be patrons of mine now are worrying about how they are going to pay the rent, fuel bill, kids education etc. Disposable income has dried up.

I will always make art, play music; but if youre struck by the muse my advice would be to back up your education with a marketable skill. If your'e not afraid of getting your hands dirty or sweating, the trades offer some real money these days. At least most trade jobs won't be outsourced.

I feel blessed that I have been able to make a good living with my art but i'm afraid those days are over; thanks to the maliase, fear, paranoia and greed that has gripped this once great and creative land. I love this land but the free enterprise system that built this country has been co-opted mainly by the multinational corperations and is driving the little guys out of business. Gone into a mom and pop business lately? When is the last time you went down to the hardware store and spread a little BS with the boys? Progress? Maybe I'm a nostalgic old fool but it just aint like it used to be!

[edit on 30-6-2005 by whaaa]

posted on Jun, 30 2005 @ 06:16 PM
I personally believe that both 'arts' and 'solid education', as you phrased it, are vitally important. However, the way our society is set up, a degree in the 'solid education', such as law, engineering, medicine, trades, business, and other degrees, are more practical and have more earning power.

I think that almost any degree is a valuable thing intellectually, but it is economics that is the problem here. Myself, I considered many degrees before I started university, and I had a list of several at the end that I considered equally interesting to me. With no other factor left to determine which one was best, I went for the one that could make the most money (engineering). I've taken a bunch of history courses as electives (one of the other subjects on my list) because I find it fascinating.

I find that a good solution, because then I get training in both areas (arts and solid education) plus I will have a marketable degree in a year's time, when I'm finished. I'm also considering taking a second degree after I finish, if I'm financially able, where I can take courses without worrying if they are 'practical' or not, because I will have a practical degree to fall back on.

posted on Jun, 30 2005 @ 10:13 PM
I appreciate art, and I believe it a great fault of our modern age, that our culture has lost much creativity. Small numbers of media comglomerates control much of today's cultural output. It is a shame that individuals, and communities are by and large not creating their own art.

However, when you look at the commercial, they are only contributing further to professionalization of art. I believe this is more of the problem. People don't sing their own songs, and make their own paintings as much anymore.

Furthermore, I think the claim that engineering and art can be seperated is a stupid idea. When things are made, they should be able to please the human urges, and be pleasant. This requires "artistic" qualities. Engineers sometimes forget that humans, and not machines are going to use their creations.

However, I think it is even more egregious that many artists have this stupid belief that art can be totally seperated from reality. Art should be a part of everyday things, and connected with things we use. Good artists should have a solid understanding of mathematics and science. I'm sick of hearing all this nonesense about how all some people can't do math, who use such as an excuse to embolden their ignorance.

posted on Jun, 30 2005 @ 11:14 PM
I think alot of people see arts and think of those sculptures, painters, and starving artist types. But as a person on the inside, and currently taking Graphic Design, I gotta say, that paradigm is far from the truth. Now a days, arts actually have alot of career branches. You'd be surprised how many occupations and oppurtunities there are for people looking to do art. Jewelry making, carpentry, Graphic Design, Advertising, Multimedia layout, Commercial Art, are all examples of very commercial types of art. Every time you turn on a tv, you see artwork, done by people. Who do you think makes those fancy little logos for television stations, or designs that layout for a pharmacuedical commercial. Every box you have in your medicine closet, ever soda bottle, every billboard, every magazine, is all designed by artists, in professional art fields. Theres a common stigma to art and art schools that need not apply anymore, because it isn't just for starving artists anymore.

posted on Jul, 1 2005 @ 09:21 AM
Some previous posts had mentioned not being able to find a job in NJ in the art field. I guess I consider myself fortunate. I have had very little problems finding a graphic design jobs. Every time I decided to change companies, there was a position waiting for me SOMEWHERE...BUT here is the catch as someone previously posted... NETWORKING.

I'm curently a graphic designer for a GPS software company. My experience in this field has taught me that your resume, your quality of work, you as a person, all fall behind the importance of "knowing someone". Working for "Corporate America" sucks. Period. The most difficult thing for any artist to learn is how to function within the confines of the corporate BS. Anyhow...

There are always creative design firms looking for "good people" BUT unfortunately it usually excludes the "fine art artists". When Illustrations/paintings need to be done, they are almost always outsourced to freelance artist (which is a good thing for us freelancers.) Work in commercial design and freelance on the side -- that's the trick.

I am in my early 30's and support a family of five (in NJ$$$ no less). I am not an art director anymore but rather a "designer" because I needed that extra time for freelancing on the side. Unless you are a director, designers $$$ tend cap out somewhere between $50-$70.

What i recommend for struggling artist is to purse commercial art/web design etc. and expect to make a decent wage but allow yorself the extra free time to take on freelance work. It has worked for me beautifully. Most of my clients are of the corporate and small business kind. People with alot of money will pay a lot of money for "art" simply because they can. Case in point: I have guy that knows me through "networking" who wanted a painting done for his office. He wanted it to be an artsy red, black, & white abstract. Told him to give me 1 month (never do work to quick). It took me a weekend & I waited until the month was up and I got paid just over $1k. NOt bad huh? Point is, the work IS out there and there are MANY people that will throw their money at you. Just need to find them. Of all this is under the assumpation that you are GOOD at what you do. I have interviewd MANY designers out of collage, who I wonder what the hell they are teaching??? Not very good at all. Just because you know how to use photoshop does NOT make you a designer... but anyhow

As far as importance of art. I think it's VERY important and will give an example. My son hates school. HATES it. Does ok, but hates it. He wont be going to college and I don’t want to see him work at starbucks for the rest of his life. He likes to draw, and loves music (I have a home recording studio, songwriting is my true passion). It's clear if he is going to have any success, it will have to be in the field of arts/music. SO we nurture him in that direction. He's 11 and knows Photoshop as well as any designer I have interviewd!!

Art is important and should NEVER be given up on if it is your true passion. It may not pay the bills at first, but if you keep at it on the side and get the one "client" who passes your name on... well that’s all you need.


[edit on 1-7-2005 by Serum39]

posted on Jul, 1 2005 @ 02:12 PM
There's some interesting comments in this thread

Firstly, there's nothing wrong with Art degrees, but in my country it's common knowledge it won't really get you anywhere, jobwise.

I guess the real issue is your motivation for doing the course you choose: is it because you want a job, is it because it's a passion, or are you merely joining a trend?

Being part of the "alternative" culture you could say, I know many people doing art degrees for the simple fact they can do "dreamy" "cool sounding" degrees to impress their friends. It sounds cynical, but it's true. (You know, like "Woah man, I'm totally going against society by doing a degree in *insert trendy name here*") Funnily enough, these are always the students that proclaim how loudly they hate "suits" and "office drones", failing to realise who pays tax to subsidise the majority of their fees. Oh, the irony.

There are two kinds of Art based study courses where I am - the technical art side (where submission to the course is based on your actual talent in your chosen field) and the arts based units (Anthropology, psychology, criminology, culture, women's studies etc
which usually require very low entry points (from High School).

I don't think parents are "out to get you" or "brainwash" you into being an office "drone" etc, it's just a fact of life - your lifestyle will be dependant on your economic situation.

The challenge is to find a balance - for instance, find a job that's pretty well paid and stable, and do what you like to do in your spare time, and perhaps earn something from that.

But each to their own, I guess

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