I started my STEP project as a Bachelor of Fine Arts. During my STEP project, my career goals shifted. I realized that though I am passionate about art, I wanted it to remain a hobby for me. I decided to pursue a job in human service through social work. Through Social work, I hope to use my art knowledge in art therapy.
I also realized that a lot of work must go into self-promotion as an artist. Self-promotion and networking is critical to establishing a career as an artist. I found myself anxious about the concept of self-promotion, and this anxiety was causing me to lose the joy I took in my work. The creation of my artist blog allowed me to understand that I would rather make art for personal satisfaction.
One challenge I faced was the personal dilemma of making art from a personal base vs. art for others. Initially I had create my website as a space for gallerists to view my work and see if they would like to hang my photographic and mixed media pieces on their walls. However, as I changed majors, the purpose of my website changed. I am still very much interested in art; however I didn’t need to uphold a professional rigor as I did when I aspired to be a fine artist. I chose a blog format for my website as a way to clarify my thoughts on my artistic experiments, and to connect to viewers.
The act of creating art is a therapeutic form of expression for me. I can explore ideas and feelings that I wouldn’t necessarily have the words for. This led me to become interested in the field of art therapy and helping professions in general. In art therapy, one helps vulnerable populations, such as children the elderly, and the mental or physically ill to express their experiences visually. Art therapy proves especially helpful to populations such as children, or the developmental disabled, who do not have a strong language base for expression.
Researching Art therapy, helped me deiced that I wanted to go into the helping field as a career. I would gain greater satisfaction seeing others use art to their benefit, as compared to myself making art for a profit.
My STEP project helped to introduce me to a field, Social Work that I may have not considered previously. Though I was initially interested in art therapy, taking classes in the social work curriculum has opened my eyes to many different career possibilities. My STEP project has also allowed me to become more playful with my work, and has allowed me to better explore my artistic interests.