5 Reasons for Choosing Visual Art as a School Subject: Rise above the mediocre with expert advise from Artist Lillian Gray.

art is having something to say and having the means to say it

Why choose Visual Art as a subject? 

Creativity is a wild mind and a disciplined eye. 

Visual Art is having something to say and having the means to say it. It is about being able to reason about the state of the world and commenting on it as well as about the craftsmanship and skill used to communicate that message through the use of critical thinking.

Visual Art


The message with regards to Visual Art is all about looking at the world around us – observing it: interpreting the world, commenting on it and adding some critical analysis to it. If we look at art through the ages, art history, we see a lot of artists standing on the fringes and commenting on the state of the world and envisioning a different world and a better society. Artists that stood on the fringes and captured the spirit of their time still reverberates with us today.

The skill of Visual art: There is a lot you need to know. You need to understand lightness, darkness, value, shadow, texture, form, shape, 2D and 3D, vanishing points, perspective, drawing in proportions, understanding the human anatomy – how the body works with muscles and bone structure. These skills help you to convey your message. 

as well as the craftsmanship and skill

The art of planning, and planning in your art. So you’ve got your message and the means to say it, but now you need to get that out and structure it and present it to the world. In this sense, visual art will teach you a lot: project execution and project management, time management, animation studios, film sets and Out of the Box Solutions. Furthermore, visual art will teach you how to put yourself out there, how to have the right marketing channels and how to get people to notice and understand your message. Art is not just disorganised chaos. If you are a genius and you just sit in your attic and nobody knows about you, there’s no point.

How do you make a living out of these skills? 

Visual Art is a great supplement for anything else that you do. Even if you become an Engineer, visual art will complement that well. In so many ways visual art is replacing the mundane, repetitive, predictable aspects of every field. Creativity and critical thinking is what keeps us as humans relevant. 

Do you know what global competencies are?

Global competencies are skills that were identified, skills that would be needed for you to excel in the future. Our world is changing rapidly and so is the skills needed to be successful in this changing world. These skills would prepare you for jobs of the future. Some of the most important skills identified are Critical thinking skills, creative thinking skills and research skills. These skills are develop optimally in a subject like Visual Art. A subject where you will have to think about the world in a critical way, find creative solutions to problems and to do valuable research.

AI is replacing the mundane repetitive

Or you can make a career out of art and Visual Art directly. There certainly room for people to specialise.  You can become a deep specialist in a certain aspect of art. You will see a list of career choices later on. 

Others like me become a multi-disciplinary artist. 

Art is a dance floor, not a tight rope 

Jack of all trades fear of none 

art is a great supplement for anything else that you do

My career has been very diverse – film sets, interior design, advertisements, point of sale, product development, creative director, director of photography, web development, app designer, UX designer, book designer, illustrator. See, on art’s dance floor you can do the cha-cha or the waltz or even hip-hop!

These are the main sections for the career choices in the field of Visual Art that you could consider:

  • Fine Art 
    • Professional Artist 
    • Art Conservationist 
    • Graphic Illustrator 
    • Printmaker 
    • Commercial Artist 
    • Tattoo Artist 
  • Fashion 
    • Fashion Consultant 
    • Fashion Designer 
    • Costume Designer 
    • Textile / Fabric Designer 
    • Accessory Designer (Shoes / Bags / Hats) 
  • Spatial Design 
    • Architect 
    • Landscape Architect 
    • Urban Designer / Town planner 
    • Interior Designer 
    • Set & Stage Design
  • Digital / Multi-Media 
    • Animator 
    • Digital illustrator 
    • Animation 3D modeller 
    • Web Designer 
    • App Designer 
    • Film Producer 
    • Camera Operator 
    • Film Editor 
    • Special Effects Designer 
    • Video Game Designer 
    • Cartoonist 
    • Texture Artist 
  • 3D Product Design / Industrial Designer 
    • Industrial Designer
    • Point of Sale 
    • Product Design 
    • Furniture Design 
  • Organisation / People Management 
    • Art School Director
    • Visual Art Teacher (Primary, High School) 
    • University Lecturer /  Professor 
    • Private Art Instructor 
    • Art Therapist 
    • Art Agent 
    • Art Retailer
    • Art Dealer 
  • Arranging Display 
    • Food Stylist 
    • Display / Exhibition Planner 
    • Design Consultant 
    • Museum Curator 
    • Personal Stylist 
    • Curator 
  • Photography 
    • Photography
    • Fashion Photographer 
    • Photo Journalist 
    • Food Photographer 
    • Portrait Photographer 
    • Wedding Photographer 
    • Stock Photo Seller 
    • Director of Photography 
  • Graphic Design 
    • Art Director 
    • Logo / Brand Designer 
    • Advertisement Designer 
    • Magazine Layout Designer 
    • Book Designer 
    • Packaging Designer 
    • Typographer 
  • Writing / Analytical 
    • Art Curriculum Writer
    • Art Historian 
    • Art Critic
    • Arts Administrator
    • Website Designer / Blogger 
    • Art Author 
    • Graphic Novelist
follow your heart

I would like to end off by saying that it is really important to have Visual Art as a subject if you are considering any of these career options. Because once you get to studying these facets of art you really have to hit the ground running as they assume you can already draw and already know the elements of art and how to apply them. Studying art is really tough, it is a hectic degree that requires a lot of commitment, it is not easy, do not choose this subject if you think you will just be loafing because that is not the reality.

Art can be a great preparation

Visual Art is an awesome subject and it is so empowering – it opens up an entire world. Visual Art can be great preparation for any career that requires an eye for aesthetics and creative thinking.

Read more about the value of Visual Art: Curbing anxiety and stress with art

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