Visual Arts

Are you passionate about drawing, painting or sculpture? Does the process of creating art and expressing yourself in visual media fascinate and excite you? A degree in Visual Arts can lead you to a thrilling career and life as an artist. Throughout your studies, you will be exposed to classroom courses in art history, theory and criticism alongside intensive studio experiences in drawing, print media, photography, time-based media, painting and sculpture. You can even get a taste of what being a professional visual artist is truly like by showcasing your work in group and personal exhibitions in galleries on campus.

Career Options in Visual Arts

This list is not exhaustive but it provides a solid idea of what fellow graduates have gone on to do and what potential careers a Visual Arts degree can offer. Some options are more directly associated with specific areas of Visual Arts than others.

  • Architect
  • Archivist
  • Art Consultant
  • Art Editor
  • Art Gallery Director
  • Artist
  • Cartoonist
  • Cinematographer
  • Courtroom Sketch Artist
  • Critic
  • Curator
  • Engraver
  • Exhibit Designer
  • Fashion Designer
  • Furniture Designer
  • Gallery Director
  • Graphic Designer
  • Historian
  • Illustrator
  • Interior Decorator
  • Jewelry Designer
  • Journalist
  • Landscape Designer
  • Medical Illustrator
  • Multimedia Consultant
  • Museum Director
  • Non-profit Administrator
  • Painter
  • Performer
  • Photographer
  • Product Designer
  • Sculptor
  • Set Designer
  • Special Effects Consultant
  • Tattoo Artist
  • Teacher

Some of these career choices may require additional education or preparation in the form of graduate studies, experiential education or professional formative courses and exams. For a more in-depth description of some of the careers mentioned above visit Career Cruising (login information can be found on the home page of the Career Centre's online system) or the National Occupational Classification website.

Skills Developed through a Visual Arts Degree

A background in Visual Arts ensures that you develop the skills and mindset to tackle many different professional challenges.

Core Visual Arts Skills

  • Well rounded drawing and sketching abilities as well as an introduction to sculpture and selected media
  • Exposure to hands-on studio settings and the confidence to create
  • Knowledge of the theory, the history and the practice of visual arts
  • The ability to design visual projects, create them and present them to peers
  • A good understanding of contemporary design software and modern visual arts techniques

Communication, Data Gathering and Organizational Skills

  • The ability to present your thoughts clearly and intelligently in written statements and written opinion pieces
  • Deduction of information from various sources and the ability to concentrate on relevant resources
  • The ability to organize, understand and analyze sources of information and to apply novel forms of technology or new information to different professional settings and tasks
  • The ability to explain complex ideas clearly to others and to apply complex theoretical concepts to everyday practice and professional dilemmas
  • The skills to collect various types of information, assess them, analyze and incorporate potential linkages from different fields, put them into writing and efficiently convey your message and the goal of your work

Management and Teamwork

  • The ability to interpret and analyze information presented by peers and efficiently and constructively support or challenge their proposals, theories, ideas and reports in order to achieve a project's intended end result
  • Skills enabling you to work effectively in group situations, partaking in decision-making, leading and contributing in various capacities to the ultimate success of the team and task
  • The ability to debate, persuade, mediate and present your thoughts and opinions to others, as well as the capacity to recognize and incorporate other potential solutions or applications to given problems
  • The capability to identify priorities and proper courses of action, to plan the execution of tasks and to determine and delegate responsibilities to group members to most effectively carry out projects

Professional Associations and Organizations

Knowing an industry and how to excel in it after receiving a degree are key elements of future success. University study sets up the building blocks you will need to develop and enhance your understanding and knowledge in your career. Being part of a professional organization or network and gaining further insight through training are excellent ways of increasing your knowledge of the field.