Thu | Jan 17, 2019

Arts career not a death sentence

Published:Tuesday | April 21, 2015 | 12:00 AM


I refer to Simone Llewellyn's article 'Don't treat arts as bastard child' (Gleaner, April 18, 2015).

I must confess that, like many other parents, I shied away from non-traditional careers such as the arts, so much so that when my son graduated from high school and told me that he wanted to pursue a career in the field, I felt somewhat disappointed.

My limited knowledge of what the arts entailed, coupled with stereotypes that art was about drawing and painting and certainly not a means to success, contributed to my initial objection.

Out of respect for his choice, I supported him, and so he was enrolled at the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts, where he pursued undergraduate studies in (BFA) in visual communication/graphic design.


Like Ms Llewellyn, after many sleepless nights of study, he worked on major projects for large companies through marketing firms and had a constant flow of income before he had completed his schooling. He was able to secure employment with a leading advertising company locally soon after completing his studies, while some of his peers who left university with traditional career degrees had difficulty finding employment.

He migrated to the United States soon after and found employment with a multinational real-estate corporation in Manhattan, where he continues to do what he loves best while earning an income equivalent to, or more than, any senior executive with a traditional degree.

My son, I must confess, is a multitalented individual and has wide knowledge in photography, graphics, animation, videography and motion graphics. I encourage all parents out there to listen and support their children in the career field of choice, especially in the arts.