The art of being versatile in life

    Miriam Fee's artwork.

    Miriam Fee’s artwork.

    What do you like most about the job?

    In my work I am particularly inspired by seeing my students grow as creatives, develop their skills and artistic style and be empowered through art. I currently work in a government school in
    Melbourne’s south-eastern suburbs where English is not a first language for a significant number of students. I find visual art can be a powerful means of self-expression and connectivity for my
    students, able to bridge differences and tap into common life experiences. As an art educator I strive to continue my own art practice and I believe demonstration, example and collaboration can be an important part of teaching. I work with students in class groups and extracurricular contexts, facilitating collaborative works such as participating in the Global Angel Wings Project, which was begun in
    2012 by LA artist Colette Miller.

    What advice do you have for people wanting to get into this career?

    The obvious career for a visual arts student to aspire to is the artist in their studio. Beyond that is the art teacher, tertiary art lecturer, art writer, art therapist, art conservator, art curator, gallery
    education co-ordinator, art events manager, exhibition designer, art publicist and community art facilitator. Some of these will require additional skills and qualifications, for instance scientific art
    conservation also requires a qualification in chemistry. However, an art student’s well-developed visual literacy, study and appreciation of renowned art from different times and places and hands-on art practice are a valuable basis for all these careers.

    Miriam Fee creates work on a wooden fence.

    Miriam Fee creates work on a wooden fence.

    How transferable are your skills?

    Skills in drawing and understanding how aesthetics work will be important advantages in the fields of architecture, fashion, graphics and product design. Visual art is essential to art therapy, the
    process of art-making having the power to be cathartic and healing.

    Miriam Fee's colourful creation.

    Miriam Fee’s colourful creation.

    Visual literacy is increasingly important in contemporary careers. Ongoing advances in digital technology mean increased use of
    graphics, visual imagery and media in all contexts. Therefore the ability to comprehend visual language has become more and more required in the workplace.

    Finally, a particular set of skills and qualities developed by the visual art student is transferable to most careers. The creative process of using starting points, brainstorming, researching, developing
    and refining ideas and skills, communicating meanings, problem-solving and working to a fully resolved solution is transferable to many other work contexts. Adaptability, creativity, resilience and persistence to achieve the results you desire in your work are qualities valued by employers in any 21st century career.