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MHS Library | Art

But I don't want to be an artist

While there a number of creative pathways, apart from working as an artist, available to students who choose Art, (gallery curator, conservator, gallery director, exhibition designer etc) Art also allows students to develop their own ideas, develop a deeper understanding of themselves through the understanding of their own culture, community and be made aware of various social issues, all of which are important characteristics to benefit many careers.

How can studying Art help me in other subjects?

The skills that you will learn in their VCE Arts subjects, will continue to develop as transferable skills. Like most subjects at the VCE level, they will not always be easy but your developing focus and ability to continue to develop your enquiring mind broadly, will help you develop and master the demands of the many skills across other VCE subjects.


Reasons to consider selecting the arts in the senior years, outweigh those to not add them at all, as the many transferable skills in the arts and the benefits of wellbeing, help create successful students who succeed not only at high school but in their future professional lives.  

Art complements other subject pathways

Students are often limited to providing the one correct answer to a task and feel uncomfortable when the task requires a personal interpretation. Art builds confidence in tolerating ambiguity, that is, for example, learning to interpret an artwork based on observation and evaluation without a provided answer or solution. This is an important transferable skill for all aspects of work and life.

Artmaking is a process of creative problem solving. You will develop focus and discipline while working through the revisions of their Art ideas and execution.

LinkedIn looked at the five most in-demand soft skills of 2020 and produced this list generated by recruiters and those in HR: 

• Creativity 
• Persuasion 
• Collaboration 
• Adaptability 
• Emotional intelligence

‘Soft skills’ are equally as important as ‘hard skills’ in your future work. A study conducted by Oxford University Press surveyed 1000 recent graduates and found that 88 per cent of them believed “soft skills” were necessary to their future career success. Within the domain of innovation are the "soft skills" of complex problem solving, critical thinking and creativity - skills the students nominated as being the most important to their careers.

Where does studying Art take me?

An art education will result in work as a practicing visual artist and a range of related industries and professions including:

  • Conservators
  • Curators
  • Designers
  • Educators.

But I want to study Medicine and Sciences

Creative expression through being responsible for your own ideas in learning and gives older students self-confidence, discipline, a strong sense of identity, empathy, social awareness, collaborative skills and improves their ability to handle conflicts and adversity as they embark on their journey to adulthood. See:  The Role of the Visual Arts in Enhancing the Learning Process

Learning through and about the arts enriches the experience of studying while at school as well as preparing students for life after school.

  • Arts subjects encourage self-expression, creativity and acritical thinking which can build confidence as well as a sense of individual identity.

  • There is strong evidence of the benefits of the arts on people’s mental wellbeing and social health. Creativity can help with wellbeing and improving health and happiness – many students in the ‘TALE’ study commented that arts lessons acted as an outlet for releasing the pressures of studying as well as those of everyday life, creating clearer and calmer minds to allow for more productive study in their other subjects. 

See: The TALE study research

Art gives students the opportunity to take a step up, ahead of others in their thinking.

Here are some reasons for why they should choose Art in VCE:

Art provides the breadth you need for your CV. Whatever your chosen career pathway, your success will be based on more than your discipline knowledge. When you include Art in your subject choices, you avoid narrow specialisation.

This will open doors to you! Imagine when you are asked to talk about your broad interests and balanced curricular choices in an interview for further study or job. The Arts are fundamental to your learning. When you study Art you are developing your ability to perceive, imagine, create, think, feel, symbolise, communicate, understand and become a confident and creative individual.

Examining art works involves conversations which develop critical thinking skills, such as observation, analysing, reasoning, and openness to multiple perspectives. Your child will learn important literacies including critical analysis, articulation of their understanding and the ability to reflect on historical and social issues.


What does neuroscience reveal about Art?

The visual system is legendary for its ability to analyze the complex interplay among spatial structures in 2D and 3D space. These powerful analytic capabilities are far in advance of what can be achieved by even the most sophisticated computer algorithms, but they are central to any achievement in visual arts. 

But I can't draw!

You don’t t have to be able to draw; you can choose your medium/technique, eg printmaking, photography, sculpture, collage, digital projections, installations etc

How would I benefit from studying Art?

When applying for a job, there are certain hard skills they need to have like data analysis or mathematics. However, many employers also understand the very important need for see: soft skills. These intangible attributes are hard to measure and often difficult to define. Some examples include a person’s ability to adapt to change, think creatively, or collaborate with team members.

See: What are soft and hard skills

The arts are a universal way to develop these necessary soft skills that make us better people and co-workers in the workplace.


What skills can I develop? What does the research say?

Students learn:

(1) to observe – to see with acuity; 

(2) to envision – to generate mental images and imagine; 

(3) to express – to find their personal voice; 

(4) to reflect – to think meta-cognitively about their decisions, make critical and evaluative judgments, and justify them; 

(5) to engage and persist – to work through frustration; 

(6) to stretch and explore – to take risks, “muck around,” and profit from mistakes; and of course 

(7) to develop craft; and (8) to understand the art world.

Tyler & Likova. (n.d.). The role of the visual arts in enhancing the learning process. PubMed Central  (PMC)


Art is for wellbeing


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