This article draws on data from a survey of U.S. arts and design graduates (N = 26,672) to analyse the prevalence, predictors, and outcomes of multi-disciplinary artistic careers. We propose that the practice of multiple artforms is a common, albeit under-acknowledged, component of nimbly navigating artistic labour markets, alongside other strategies such as multiple jobholding and self-employment. While there are undoubtedly benefits to specialization, overall, we find that generalist arts alumni are more likely to continue working in the arts well after graduation. Being a multi-disciplinary artist is significantly associated with a range of entrepreneurial career activities, such as self-employment or freelancing, teaching in the arts, or managing an arts-related organization. Working across multiple artforms is connected to feeling satisfied with one’s education and career pathways, however multi-disciplinary artists are significantly less satisfied with the levels of job security and income that their current work provides. We conclude with implications for future research.
- cultural and creative industries
- multidisciplinary artists
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cultural Studies
- Visual Arts and Performing Arts
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Oscillate wildly: the under-acknowledged prevalence, predictors, and outcomes of multi-disciplinary arts practice