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What Can I Do With a Degree in Fine Arts?

Many people engaged with the arts for solace and stress relief during the pandemic. From virtual museum tours, series binge watching, and live music webcasts to online creative classes, we sought the community and expressive outlet the arts offer. 

Soft skills associated with a fine arts degree, such as creativity, innovation, and collaboration, are as in demand as ever in the workplace according to the American Association of Colleges and Universities.

At Seaver College, the Fine Arts Division spans the arts spectrum with its studio art, art history, music, theatre, screen arts, and multimedia curricula. Undergraduate students have access to renowned and revered faculty in their respective fields. Located in the heart of Malibu, near Los Angeles, California, students get hands-on experience in a hub of one of the nation’s most arts-focused cities. 

Depending on your academic concentration, CareerExplorer suggests the following careers arising from a bachelor’s degree (BA) or master’s degree (MFA) in fine arts. 

Film Director

Storytellers at heart, film directors visualize scripts and bring that vision to life by guiding all the phases of filmmaking from pre- to postproduction. Directors provide input on how scenes unfold, casting, characters’ on-screen presence, the props used, and lighting.

Having the final say on many (if not all) aspects of a film, directors need to manage the stress of making major decisions, working remotely, and long, unpredictable hours; an entire film production can take more than a year. Film directors need to be intuitive, articulate, confident, and assertive.

Museum Curator

Overseeing the research, authentication, acquisition, and exhibition of art collections and historical items is the primary function of a curator. Today’s curators are involved in grant writing, education, public service, fundraising, and publicity as well. This profession is a perfect career for art history majors who understand cultural, political, social, and religious contexts of art.

While most people think of curators as working in museums, you’ll also find them managing historical and preserved sites as well. Curators are conscientious, meticulous, and thoughtful. It is helpful for them to be politically and socially astute. 

Studio Artist

Working with different mediums to create and sell original pieces, a studio artist may paint, sculpt, draw, weave, craft, and more. Conscientious creatives also use their artisanship as a voice for community engagement, social change, and diversity advancement with commissioned pieces. 

Most studio artists are self-employed and exhibit at museums, libraries, private events, and their own studio space as well. To present and promote their work, artists need to be great oral and written communicators. Studio artists tend to be very expressive, imaginative, innovative, and enterprising.

Art Director

Art directors guide the layout, visual style, tone, and imagery of print and web publications, product packaging, film and theatre productions, multimedia advertising, and more. They frequently have held art- and design-related occupations, understanding how to inspire and guide team members through projects. 

Building a professional portfolio is a prerequisite for a career as an art director. Having great visual conceptual skills and strong ideas, they are generally extroverted, energetic, articulate, and assertive. 

Music Producer

One path for music majors leads to producing music. As the visionary for the sound and feel of a recording, producers have a diverse skill set. They must understand studio production very well, and may serve as a recording engineer who handles the soundboard and mixing, or as a composer who writes and directs original music. 

With much finesse, producers pull all music creatives together to produce a song or album from conception to delivery. They tend to be socially engaging, adventurous, expressive, and confident.

Multimedia Animator

Animators create two- and three-dimensional animation, graphics, and visual effects. They create their work with computer software or by writing their own computer code. Others prefer to initially draw or paint by hand, and then convert their work electronically. Multimedia artists also make storyboards, similar to a comic strip, to visualize their deliverables in the design process. 

They work in teams on movie, video game, and TV projects and may specialize in computer-generated images (CGI) for scenery, backgrounds, and characters. While multimedia animators often work from home, you’ll also find them creating in corporate studios. These creatives are often very expressive, intellectual, introspective, and inquisitive.

Theatre Producer

A theatre arts major relishes performing arts and live stage productions. Graduates may go the writing, acting, dancing, or musical route while others focus on stagecraft — the technical disciplines of lighting, sound, stage and costume design. Theatre producers oversee all these team members and more. The contract, negotiations, budget, timelines, venue, and casting all start with producers. 

Strong business management and communication skills help these producers collaborate with cast and crew members to employ their crafts individually and collectively. Theatre producers tend to be motivating, confident, articulate, and adaptable. 

Succeeding in each of the careers above requires foundational knowledge in cultural, historical, scientific, and global studies. A Pepperdine liberal arts degree in fine arts offers this education and more to inform, shape, and evolve the artistic experience.