You're creative. You love to draw, paint, sculpt, write, or design. But what does it take to have a career as an artist? What paths can or should you pursue, and how valid is the stereotype of the starving artist? Pursuing a career as a full-time artist is possible, if you have the passion and the energy.
Art Career Paths
Artists can typically be categorized into four groups:
- Art Directors: Art directors develop design concepts for media pieces and oversee the entire creation and production process.
- Craft Artists: Craft artists hand-make objects, such as candles, tapestries, quilts, and pottery, to be sold or shown.
- Fine Artists: Fine artists create items such as paintings, sculpture, and illustrations that are often displayed in museums and galleries.
- Multimedia Artists: Multimedia artists and animators create images for film, video, the web, and other forms of electronic media.
Art Career Profiles
- Alternate Careers for Artists - Industrial design, packaging design, print design, and set design.
- Architect - Architecture is an art, a technology and a business.
- Opportunities in Arts and Crafts Careers - Ceramics, interior design, and sculpture.
- Game Designer - Love to play video games? Consider creating them!
- Illustration: A Picture Worth a Thousand Words
- Interior Designer - Interior design refers to the decoration and functionality of any interior space.
- Photographer - Photography is an infant in the world of visual arts -- it's only been in existence for a few hundred years.
- New Careers for Artists
MonsterCollege - Advice and entry-level opportunities through MonsterCollege, the job network for college students and recent grads.
Idealist - Search for internships in non-profit organizations worldwide.
National Network for Artist Placement - Links to assorted publications about internship and job placement for artists.
National Gallery of Art - Graduate internships and fellowships administered by different divisions within the institution.
Cover Letter & Resume Advice
Cover Letters That Catch the Eye - Throw away your form letter. These days, getting your cover letter noticed means getting creative.
Resume Tips for Creative Professionals - Learn how to convey the right message about your creative abilities.
Creative Ways to Improve Your Resume - Here's how to review and revise your resume with fresh eyes.
Designing Creative Resumes: A Complete Resource for the Creative Professional - A guide for the design elements of a creative resume.
Crisp Designing Portfolios - Guide for creating a portfolio.
Career Descriptions & Outlook
Visual Artist - The Occupational Outlook Handbook entry for visual artists.
Career Alternatives for Art Historians - A list of job possibilities, compiled by Charles Rosenberg for the University of Notre Dame.
Careers in the Arts - Career descriptions related to the visual arts, from SUNY Oswego.
Careers in Art: An Illustrated Guide - Provides an overview of the various career possibilities in art, including steps on how to be successful in each career field.
Opportunities in Arts and Crafts Careers - A book to help you as you consider a career in one of 25 different art concentrations.
The Self-Employed Artist
Advice on Art - Career skills for artists. Focuses on fine art topics such as dealing with galleries, and photographing your work.
Selling Your Art at Online Auctions - Tips on how to successfully sell art through online auctions.
ArtDeadline.com - Professional art opportunities available to subscribers.
Artist's & Graphic Designer's Market (Annual) - Annual guide for freelance contacts in the art market.
Graphic Artists Guild Handbook: Pricing and Ethical Guidelines - A comprehensive guide to buying and selling art work.
How to Survive and Prosper As an Artist : Selling Yourself Without Selling Your Soul - Resources for prospering as an artist.
The Artist's Marketing and Action Plan Workbook - Guide for the successful sale of artwork.
Taking the Leap : Building a Career As a Visual Artist - Information on establishing a visual arts career.