INDIA  :   Education

Career opportunities in the field of Arts

Saturday , 26 December 2015

People are beginning to realise that a decent career can be carved out, if one has natural talent in one of the fields of Art

People may not consciously realise, but each one of us tends to be moved upon seeing some breath-taking architecture, a mesmerizing photograph, a painting, or a timeless sculpture, not to forget a fine drama. To us, the audience, these are invariably, presented in their best forms. But, generally, we fail to comprehend the amount of hard work put in, and the natural talent that goes behind such impactful presentations of Art, in its various forms.

John Ruskin has put it aptly when he says, “Fine Art is that in which the hand, the head, and the heart of man go together.” Anything and everything that is aesthetically appealing, visually delightful, and requires certain skills, can be called as Art.

From the era of Enlightenment in Europe to the musical depths of India, the footprint of Art spans almost to the entire planet. Broadly speaking, it includes various forms like painting, sculpture, sketching, cartooning, dance, music, singing, poetry, ceramics, pottery, photography and the list is endless, for whatever is done with your heart, becomes Art.

Art has, for academic purposes, been divided broadly, into two categories – the performing arts and visual arts, encompassing the wide spectrum of Fine Arts.

Although Art as a career prospect has not yet reached its full potential, a major change in people’s attitude is taking place, with parents acknowledging the importance of nurturing natural talent. The increasing number of institutions and departments springing-up is a testimony to these changing attitudes in society.


After having successfully cleared the 10+2 exam, one can opt for a Bachelor in Fine Arts (BFA) programme, which deals with graphic design, visual communication and advertising.

Admissions can be secured after clearing an aptitude test, consisting of drawing, creative composition in painting, sculpture in clay and graphic design. This is followed by an interview. One may be asked to make a sketch, as well as a free-hand drawing on any medium, or he/she may be asked to perform a dance or sing a song. There is also an awareness section, in which general knowledge is assessed. The final step in the admission process is an interview, during which, the candidate should ideally have a substantial portfolio to present.

Post-graduate aspirants can choose to obtain a Masters in Fine Arts (MFA) degree. There are several colleges in south Indian states like Kerala where MFA is offered.

That apart, students can also go for the shorter versions, like International Programme in Visual Arts, Diploma Programme in Painting, Textile Design and Photograph, Advanced Diploma in Fashion Design, Diploma and Certificate courses in Computer Graphics.


In order to apply for Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts, the candidate must have passed his/her higher secondary education (10+2), successfully. The general duration for UG courses may vary between three to four years.

For someone who is interested in applying for Master’s Courses in Fine Arts, he/she is required to have passed his/her graduation programme in Fine Arts. In most cases, PG courses last for two years.


Specialisation for talented applicants is available in Painting and Drawing, Illustration, Dance, Comics, Printmaking & Imaging, Photography, Conceptual Art, Theatre, Architecture, Sculpture and so on.

Career prospects

From Art studios to software companies, from advertising agencies to publishing houses, a graduate in Fine Arts has a wide range of career options available. Though several professionals opt for self-employment in this field, there is no dearth of good jobs that one can find.

A successful candidate has the option of joining the creative department of an advertising agency, or a magazine, newspaper, or any other publishing house or the art department of a textile industry, which may be looking for artistic talent. Electronic media, films and theatre are desirable options, as they offer, besides, decent remuneration packages, glamourous exposure, as well. One can also go on to become an Art historian, Art dealer, Art therapist or an Art educator.

The option to become a full time painter or sculptor is also available, but not many people are able to pursue it initially, as it involves high investment. Of late, the fashion industry has become one of the most promising fields, for such Artists. Besides, there are many Artisans who freelance and make their living, on the basis of the work they do.

Last but not the least, one can also opt for other fields, like teaching, direction, photography, television industry, product designing & packaging, visual creation, programming titles, analytics, just to name a few.

Top Colleges

Some of the leading colleges/universities offering Fine Arts in India are: Visva-Bharati, Kala Shanti Bhavan, Delhi University; Sir JJ School of Arts, Mumbai; College of Art, Delhi; LS Raheja School of Art, Mumbai; Bharti Vidyapeeth, Kala Mavidyalaya College of Fine Arts, Pune; Kurukshetra University, Haryana; and College of Fine Arts in Mysore.


A fresher in this industry can start his career by earning somewhere between Rs 15,000 to Rs 20,000 per month. They are usually hired as interns or trainees.

Given the fact that print and electronic media is booming, especially the latter, both these industries, not only offer good employment opportunities, but also pay well. One can expect a starting package of about Rs 25,000 per month.

On the other hand, freelance artists can be paid anything from Rs 2,500 to 15,000, depending upon the assignment. Similarly, musicians and dancers are paid on the basis of their individual performances. Most of these professionals, however, make a career by switching finally, to running private classes.

Pulkit Sharma, a student of Music Hons at Delhi University’s Hindu College while speaking with TGI said that, “Music is a form of Art and it has not been easy for me to convince my parents to pursue my interest. However, I have an innate assurance that there are career opportunities in every Art form, if one is willing to devote himself/herself completely to it. I am sure I would make a good life for myself.”