Your Art Student Needs a Business Minor

He wants to be an artist. You want him to be a lawyer. He wants to express himself. You want him to feed himself. He's picking one of the lowest earning majors and you can't stop him.

Fine Arts. Creative Writing. Theater. Dance. Music. Culinary Arts. He's called to be a dreamer, a visionary, a creator. He's also heading toward a paycheck-to-paycheck existence. A few years after graduation, he'll know you were right. He should have been an engineer or an accountant.  He'll want his college years all over again.

There must be some sort of compromise.

Okay. Here's the deal. He can pick his major but you pick the minor. Sounds fair?

Some artists make money. Some are world famous and rich. Their work is known across the globe. It demands top dollar. They live in lavish studios and create beauty. It's their vocation and career too.

So what's the difference between Jasper Johns (worth an estimated $300 million) and that guy pushing his landscapes in the park for $50? (He'll take $25.)

A business plan. A marketing scheme. Entrepreneurial spirit. The realization that painting is easier when you're not working two jobs to put food on the table. When you don't live with five other painters in a tiny apartment. When bill collectors aren't calling and breaking your concentration.

Fine. Go be an artist. Sculpt, paint, compose, write or whatever. Just do it with a plan. If you ever do earn a dollar, know what to do with it. Realize that you will always be a business with yourself as your only product.

So what are the best minors for your kid?

Marketing will prepare him to be his own brand. Create word-of-mouth. Advertise. Help the world realize the beauty of his work. If a talented singer belts out a song and no one is there to hear it, does he make a sound?

Accounting and Finance will help him maximize his money. When times are slim, he'll be happy he knows how to handle what he has. And when he does have some success, he'll know how to build something small into something strong.

Business Administration will allow him to build a support staff. Then he can focus on just being an artist and let his team handle the financial, marketing and logistic elements.

Entrepreneurship will give him the knowledge and creativity to be more than a starving unknown. He'll be able to creatively burst into the world in a way that will sell. Success in business, whatever the product, takes ingenuity, courage and imagination.

Every artist must also be a business. Has he ever seen the words “Poet Wanted – Excellent Pay and Benefits” in the classified ads? The only one who will hire him is him. He needs to be the CEO and the product, too.

Hopefully this compromise will end the arguments and eliminate your anxiety about his future. He wants to follow his muse and create for a living. How proud of him will you be when he achieves it? But to make that happen, it takes more than just great work. It takes business sense, something most artists never arm themselves with.

Picture him in his own studio, with his name on the sign and his luxury car parked out front. Major in art, but minor in business.

Give your student a head-start in choosing the perfect major and minor by trying Majors Matcher.