parents I know privately cringe when their children want to go to art
school. And for good reasons: It’s expensive and job prospects afterwards
aren’t exactly bright.
But there’s one bright side to being starving artists: they’re actually
happier than the rest of us.
Researchers analyzed job data in Germany, which included information
on how fulfilled people felt in their current positions. On a scale
of 1 to 10, artists—those whose principal occupation involves
performance or visual art—ranked their job satisfaction at 7.32
to 7.67 on average, while nonartists averaged 7.06. The root of this
satisfaction remains unclear. More artists than nonartists reported
being self-employed, which suggests that autonomy influences job satisfaction,
but data linking fulfillment to other predicted variables—such
as a wide diversity of available jobs and high levels of on-the-job
learning—were statistically inconclusive.