As most people know, breaking into a career in the arts is challenging, and the cliché of the “starving artist” is, unfortunately, accurate for many creatives trying to establish themselves. Networking and internships are crucial. Stubbornly sticking with your dreams also is beneficial. However, don’t wait until you graduate to start living your dreams.
As a student, do everything you can to practice your art—such as participating in local/regional opportunities or submitting your work to contests. Create vlogs, blogs, portfolios—whatever is relevant to your craft. Learn how to market yourself. Sometimes artists who are just getting their careers started are so focused upon their art that they may not understand or give adequate attention to the business side, so now is a great time for students who want to enter creative careers to learn marketing techniques.
Here are examples of resources that might interest you—
Artists Helping Artists [artistshelpingartistsblog.blogspot.com] is a weekly Art Show on Blogtalk Radio in which the host and guests explore marketing and selling your art and discuss aspects of the business of art.
Springboard for the Arts [www.springboardforthearts.org] focuses upon supporting artists by “connecting [them] with the skills, information, and services they need to make a living and a life.”
In addition, numerous arts foundations exist: Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts, Missouri Arts Council, Arts Midwest, Texas Foundation for the Arts, and New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) are only a few examples. NYFA [www.nyfa.org] provides information for artists throughout the country, including podcasts, “Business of Art Articles,” job postings, a studio space directory, and many other resources.
Be proactive, be assertive, be involved, and be tenacious.