Joey Michel, guitarist

How to make a living as an artist

April 23, 2019

You’ve heard the expression “starving artist.” But is it true that people with art degrees struggle to make a living as artists?

Our students and alumni are proving that it doesn’t have to be. Here are some of their real stories of getting jobs and developing careers through their art:

Tenzing Rigdol’s art gives form to unquiet emotions

Tenzing Rigdol at CU Denver's Emmanuel Gallery
Tenzing Rigdol (BFA ’05) presented his first U.S. solo exhibition at CU Denver’s Emmanuel Gallery.

Husband-and-wife filmmakers make global impact, to global acclaim

Close-up of animated film star, Liyana
Husband-and-wife filmmakers Aaron Kopp (BFA ’09) and Amanda Kopp (BFA ‘08) created the genre-defying film “Liyana” together.

Luke Mossman rockin’ as guitarist for Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats

Luke Mossman
Luke Mossman, (BS ’04) guitarist for Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats, performs at the Ogden Theatre on Dec. 18.

Alumni use dream company to build student, industry success

Ian Kellett looks through video camera
Ian Kellett (BA ’13) films for a Discovery Channel project: American Car Prospector. He and his wife, Lauryn Kellett (BA ’14), founded Liquid Luck Productions.

Degree helps artist turn passion into career

Artist Thomas “Detour” Evans (MBA ’12, BS ’08) studied business and took a job at a marketing agency after graduation.

DJ turns music hobby into a job

CU Denver student James Pope
Recording arts student James Pope DJs at the Lincoln Station Bar in downtown Denver.