Oscillate Wildly: The Under-Acknowledged Prevalence, Predictors, and Outcomes of Multi-Disciplinary Arts Practice

Alexandre Frenette, Nathan D. Martin, and Steven J. Tepper

The authors 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.

Source: Abstract