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How to Become an Artist



An Artist is a professional who uses their artistic and creative ability to produce a variety of imaginative renditions providing them for exhibitions or for direct and consumer sale. Some Artists are self-employed and work as a sole proprietorship to make a living while some work for companies or organizations providing their skills in fields such as advertising.

Individuals who want to become an Artist will have a natural and innate talent in creating a variety of original images, items and crafts. Individuals who would like to pursue this career have many opportunities to use their artistic ability to express themselves while also making a living.

Education Requirements to Become an Artist



Individuals who would like to become an Artist do not need formal education in order to enter this profession. However, gaining some basic formal education in art will help strengthen an individual's natural ability.

Many Artists have a minimum of a high school degree; during their time as a student, Artists will gain experience and skills through classes such as art, shop, woodworking, drawing, sewing or home economics. Individuals who would like better job prospects typically pursue a collegiate degree to improve their technical knowledge and skills in art.

Individuals who want to become an Artist have a variety of options when deciding on a college track to focus on. Artists may pursue a major in the arts such as: art history, photography or studio art. These types of programs also require students to gain a comprehensive education including classes in English and the natural and social sciences.

In addition, individuals also have the opportunity to choose a specialization. For example, individuals can opt to gain a medical background by studying biology or a similar field in order to pursue a career as a Medical Illustrator. Some Artists also combine their artistic ability with another field, such as in graphic design, marketing or advertising. Some Artists also work as sole proprietorships and gain the skills to become self-employed. This type of specialization shows that individuals who want to become an Artist have several different opportunities in many industries.

Artist Job Description



Being an Artist encompasses a variety of artistic specializations and can range from individuals who draw and paint to those who create pottery or sculptures and even those who use technology to create graphic arts for use on websites or print material.

Depending on the industry an individual works in, Artists will have the ability to create artwork for events such as exhibitions where they will sell their work directly to consumers. These types of artists will create a variety of art and may use some of the following techniques, depending on their specialization:

  • Sculpting

  • Drawing

  • Painting

  • Glassblowing

  • Pottery

  • Weaving

  • Knitting


These are some of the basic techniques individuals can use to create a variety of art. In addition to these techniques, Artists will also use a variety of materials to create their artwork including: paint, ceramics, textiles, wood, metal, paper, ink or graphics using computer software.

Artist Salary and Career Path



In 2012, the median wage for Craft and Fine Artists was approximately $44,380 per year. Exact wages will depend on the type of art an Artist specializes in. For example, the median annual wage for fine artists such as painters, sculptors and illustrators was approximately $44,850 while craft artists earned a median wage of approximately $29,600 per year. Wages will also depend on whether an individual is self-employed.

Self-employment enables an Artist to charge fees based on their experience. Some charge small fees in order to gain a reputation while some experienced freelancers charge more than salaried Artists. Wages may also vary for self-employed individuals because work may be seasonal or temporary. Some self-employed artists will also supplement their income by working part-time in other industries.

The job outlook for Craft and Fine Artists is expected to grow at a 3 percent rate through the year 2022. Employment for Fine Artists, which includes sculptors, painters and illustrators, is expected to grow by 4 percent during the same time frame. This rate is considered slower than average, but will ultimately depend on the growth of the U.S. economy as the purchase of art is healthiest when the economy is strong. However, the actual growth may be impacted because the improvements in the economy.
 
 
 
 
 
 

*Salary Information provided by the Bureau Of Labor Statistics
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