Career Development

What Does an Artist Do?

Find out what an artist does, how to get this job, and what it takes to succeed as an artist.

Artists are people who create things. They use a variety of different skills and techniques to bring their ideas into reality, whether that’s through painting, sculpture, music, writing or another medium.

There are many types of artists with a wide range of specialties. Some focus on creating visual art while others may be more interested in performing arts like singing or acting. Still others combine these two areas by creating costumes or sets for plays or other performances.

Artist Job Duties

Artists have a wide range of responsibilities, which can include:

  • Participating in meetings with other artists and team members to discuss project goals and deadlines
  • Presenting finished artwork to clients for approval before printing or publishing
  • Creating sketches, paintings, or drawings based on verbal or written instructions from clients
  • Developing new techniques or materials to improve the quality of artwork
  • Communicating with clients to determine their needs and expectations
  • Creating painted portraits of individuals or groups or abstract artworks that express emotions or ideas
  • Representing an organization by participating in art shows, exhibitions, or conventions
  • Collaborating with other artists to develop new works of art that meet the client’s needs
  • Preparing sketches and models for sculptors who work with large-scale projects such as monuments or statues

Artist Salary & Outlook

The salary of a graphic artist can vary depending on their level of education, years of experience, and the type of company they work for. Some graphic artists may also freelance and charge an hourly rate for their services.

  • Median Annual Salary: $52,500 ($25.24/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $106,000 ($50.96/hour)

The employment of artists is expected to grow at an average rate over the next decade.

Employment growth will be driven by the continued demand for art and cultural institutions, such as museums and galleries. However, some museums have reduced their permanent collections in favor of more temporary exhibits, which may limit employment growth in this field.

Related: In-Depth Artist Salary Guide

Artist Job Requirements

There are no specific requirements to become an artist, but many artists have a degree in fine arts or a related field.

Education: Most artists have at least a high school diploma or GED. Some artists choose to pursue a bachelor’s degree in fine arts, graphic design or another related field. A bachelor’s degree in fine arts provides students with a strong foundation in the arts and humanities, including courses in art history, studio art and art theory.

Training & Experience: Artists typically receive on-the-job training in the form of mentorship from more experienced artists. During this training, artists learn about the specific techniques and processes used by their company. They also learn about the tools and materials they will need to use.

Some artists may also receive additional training in the form of classes or workshops. These classes can help artists learn about new techniques and processes. They can also help artists improve their skills in areas such as drawing, painting, sculpting and more.

Certifications & Licenses: Animators need a portfolio of their work to apply for jobs. They can build a portfolio during school or after they graduate.

Artist Skills

Artists need the following skills in order to be successful:

Creativity: Artists use their creativity to come up with new ideas and designs. Creativity allows artists to think outside the box and develop new ways to create art. Artists use their creativity to create new works of art and develop new techniques to make their art stand out.

Communication: Artists often communicate with clients and other artists to discuss their work and make changes as needed. Artists may also communicate with suppliers to order materials or communicate with other artists to collaborate on a project. Artists may also communicate with the public to answer questions about their work or to promote their work.

Time management: Artists often have multiple projects going at once, so time management is an important skill for them to have. Artists may have deadlines for their work, so they need to be able to manage their time well to ensure they complete their work on time. Artists may also have multiple clients, so they need to be able to manage their time to ensure they meet the needs of all their clients.

Problem-solving: Artists often have to solve problems when creating their work. For example, an artist might have a vision for a piece but not have the right materials to create it. They might need to find an alternative material or find a way to create the piece with the materials they have. Artists also solve problems when working with clients. For example, if a client wants a piece of art that the artist doesn’t have a design for, the artist might need to find a way to create the design the client wants.

Organization: Artists often have to manage their own schedules and organize their work space. Having organizational skills can help artists keep track of their work and ensure they complete projects on time. Artists may also have to manage their own finances, so having organizational skills can help them track their spending and save money.

Artist Work Environment

Artists work in a variety of settings, including studios, galleries, museums, performing arts venues, and corporate offices. They may also travel to other locations to give lectures, workshops, or performances. Some artists work independently, while others work in teams. Artists typically work long hours, and their work may be deadline-driven. They often work on several projects at the same time and must be able to juggle multiple deadlines. Artists may work in stressful situations when they are under pressure to meet deadlines or produce a certain amount of work.

Artist Trends

Here are three trends influencing how artists work. Artists will need to stay up-to-date on these developments to keep their skills relevant and maintain a competitive advantage in the workplace.

The Rise of the Digital Artist

The rise of the digital artist is a trend that is quickly changing the art world as we know it. With the advent of technology, artists are now able to create and share their work online without having to print or ship physical copies.

This has led to an increased demand for digital artists who can create beautiful artwork that can be viewed on screens all over the world. As more and more businesses turn to digital media, the need for talented digital artists will continue to grow.

Artists Need to Be More Entrepreneurial

As the economy becomes increasingly competitive, artists are finding that they need to be more entrepreneurial in order to succeed. This means that they need to be willing to take risks and think outside the box when it comes to marketing and selling their work.

In addition, artists need to be prepared to manage their own finances and keep track of expenses. This includes things like paying taxes and keeping track of business expenses.

More Collaboration Between Artists and Other Professionals

There is a growing trend among artists to collaborate with other professionals in order to create unique works that would not be possible if they were working alone.

This trend is being driven by the fact that there is a greater demand for unique pieces from collectors, who are looking for something different from what is already available. By collaborating with other professionals, artists can create works that are both innovative and beautiful.

How to Become an Artist

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. It depends on your personal goals, the type of work you want to do, and the amount of time you are willing to invest in learning new skills.

If you want to become a freelance artist, it’s important to have a strong portfolio that showcases your best work. You should also be able to demonstrate your ability to create unique and interesting designs. This can be done by showing examples of your past work or by creating a few sample pieces for prospective clients to review.

It’s also important to build relationships with other artists and designers who can provide feedback on your work and help you develop your skills. You can do this by attending art events and workshops, joining online communities, and subscribing to design newsletters.

Related: How to Write an Artist Resume

Advancement Prospects

Artists advance in their careers by developing a strong portfolio of work that they can show to potential clients. As they gain more experience, they may move up to larger projects with more complex requirements. Artists who are able to manage other artists may eventually become art directors or lead artists. Some artists may also choose to open their own studios.

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