The Crusader

Opinion: The Stigma Of Being an Artist

Julianne Sisto, Contributing Writer

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Pablo Picasso once said, “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.”

Today in 2017 there are many career choices to pick from, including being an artist. The hardest part of majoring in art is facing the stigma of doing what an artist enjoys. When a child considers what path he or she wants to take in life, adults often pressure children on what career choices not to make. They tell kids horror stories of artists who ended up living on the streets, destitute. While some artists are not discouraged by this negativity, unfortunately, other artists become intimidated and pick another path.

Sofia Benitez, an art major, said that multiple people have told her that she shouldn’t doodle for a living.

Ms. Manning, the studio art, and general crafts teacher have met one or two parents who discourage their children from pursuing a career in art. This is mostly because these parents are concerned for the well-being of their child. Getting a job today is already hard enough. But as an artist, getting a job is even harder. About 8.1 percent of artists are employed every year.

Another issue for aspiring artists is the pay. According to, a job search and hiring website, artists make on average $53,200 per year. This is because, according to The National Endowment for the Arts, 35 percent of artists are self-employed. Self-employed artists don’t have pensions, holiday pay, maternity benefits, and other benefits you get in other careers. It makes sense why parents worry about their children who choose to become artists.

However, job rates are rising. There are currently 1.9 million jobs in the creative industry. This figure is expected to rise by 1.3 million.

“I knew people that weren’t supported as an artist and they ended up choosing a different major. I didn’t face much scrutiny because my mother was an artist. I was lucky,” said Ms. Manning.

Belittling a child’s choice of career, whether it is art or not, has negative effects on the child. This leads to anxiety, resentment of having to choose a career, and insecurities about their success rate.

“I feel frustrated every time someone scrutinizes me. I don’t want something I’m passionate about to be pointless,”  said Alyssa Kamara.

Studies show that if a parent constantly reminds their child what careers not to choose, it will plant seeds that will eventually come back to haunt a child. In fact, even hinting that you don’t like what a child chooses can lead to crisis.

Children who have not had people telling them what to major in are happier. Picking a career that you don’t really enjoy will set you back in the long run.

“Don’t listen to those people, do what you love because, in the end, it is worth it,” said Ms. Manning.

I would tell people who are not being supported for their choices …just support yourself whether it’s financially or mentally.  Make it work. It’s your passion: do everything you can to make it happen,” said Benitez.

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Opinion: The Stigma Of Being an Artist