Nathaniel Mell, Felt+Fat CEO, Discusses the Value and Rewards of Pursuing a Degree & Profession in the Fine Arts

Originally published on Influencive

Often, the idea of an Arts degree is looked down upon as an educational choice, as many people miss the real value behind its existence. Research reveals that those who have pursued an Arts degree and follow their education with developing a career in the arts show a higher percentage of life satisfaction.

Nathaniel Mell, Felt+Fat founder and CEO, says that his dedication to his ceramic design and manufacturing studio based in Philadelphia’s Kensington neighborhood is a large contributor towards his life’s found happiness. He recalls taking a ceramics class in college, and that is where his passion essentially hit home. Mell then graduated from the Tyler School of Art at Temple University and worked at the world-renowned Philadelphia Clay Studio.

For those interested in earning a degree in Fine Arts, Mell encourages the journey and details several skill sets, qualities, and proficiencies students can expect to acquire during their program that proves critical to successfully navigating future job markets, as well as distinct rewards specific to this industry.

Reflecting on his time at Felt+Fat, Mell highlights one of the most valuable and crucial skills he developed while building a profession that he also learned while pursuing an education in fine arts: problem-solving. Learning how to train your brain to create something out of nothing will take an individual far in the fine arts industry as the arts revolves around innovative creativity. A fine arts degree also can equip anyone with a proactive and good mindset for do-it-yourself (DIY) outside of a trade school setting. Another excellent skill set that a fine arts degree will teach that feeds over into a profession in the art industry is hands-on skills. Mell works with his hands every day at his company, as he and his employees produce more than 30,000 ceramic pieces annually.  

A fine arts degree also instills passion in those who participate in its work, especially those who strive to earn the degree with a bigger dream in mind. Larger goals are great in combination with a fine arts degree as individuals can apply what they learn towards their directed career path and ideas to build higher and better outcomes. The two work hand in hand in helping people maintain continuous motivation and drive to make their endeavors unravel successfully. 

The steps required in earning a fine arts degree align with passion as many students will vouch that the overall process is satisfying to pursue. During this time, a student will undergo intense growth and receive the fantastic opportunity of mentorship from successful professional artists. A fine arts degree opens the doors to a supportive and like-minded community who beneficially can form a network after graduation and into the professional world of fine arts.

Nathaniel Mell suggests to those who are interested to research programs thoroughly as there are many options available. He advocates for those not to pursue a fine arts degree due to the often found fact of not knowing what else to do at life in that point’s time. Mell suggests that while researching different fine arts degree opportunities to consider seeking programs with particular people whose work might be personally considered as admirable.

About Nathaniel Mell

Nathaniel Mell is the founder and CEO of Felt+Fat, a ceramic design and manufacturing studio based in the Kensington neighborhood of Philadelphia. In 2013 Nate was asked to design a set of plates for what would become the award-winning restaurant ‘High Street on Market.’ Since then, the Felt and Fat studio and team have grown exponentially through Mell’s leadership to become a go-to manufacturer for design-conscious restaurateurs.