Introduction to Art Schools: Professional Overview in the Arts

by Frederick H. Carlson
Professional Overview in the Arts

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS), over 221,000 people are employed as artists. This includes art directors, craft artists, fine artists, multimedia artists, and related artists. Statistics show that about 60% of artists are self-employed.

Business segments employing artists include the entertainment industry (including cinema, television and the theatre), the publishing industry (books, magazines, e-zines, websites, and other merchandised media) and public relations firms. Any business or institution can have functions that depend on artists' ability to educate, persuade, and enliven. Large companies may have in-house art staff and supervisors, and small ones use free-lance staff.

Annual earnings for artists vary greatly, depending on career responsibility and experience, location of market, and other factors. The extremes are easily defined: some artists make almost nothing from their work, while a few with a more recognizable style and well-marketed talent may earn hundreds of thousands on a single work.

According to the BLS, jobs for artists are expected to grow about 12% through 2018. The continued use of the Internet, and a new interface between artist and audience, buyer and seller, teller and hearer, will continue to have a vast influence on where artists work and how they function in our lives.

  1. What Is Art?
  2. Professional Overview in the Arts
  3. Working as an Artist  
  4. The Challenges for the Artist
  5. What is a Portfolio?
  6. The Long View is Necessary
  7. Art Education
  8. Directions and Choices
  9. What Type of Art School Do You Want to Attend?
  10. When is the Art Major Important?
  11. Costs and Financial Aid >>
  12. Choosing an Art School
  13. Conclusion

About the Author

Frederick H. Carlson is one of the most well-known artist/illustrators in the mid-Atlantic region. No venue is too large or too small for his incisively drawn and lucidly painted pieces. He has executed everything from room-sized murals to LP covers. He drew over 150 portraits for National Review between 1990-1999.

Carlson is a 1977 Carnegie-Mellon University alumnus, and has been a freelancer for over 30 years. He has exhibited his art at the Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art, the New York Society of Illustrators Cegep-St. Foy (Quebec), Dubendorf (Switzerland), the Manchester Craftsmens Guild, Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, and at Daystar/One World Gallery.

Fred was the National President of the Graphic Artists Guild from 1991-1993, the first non-NYC based artist to be so elected. He served on the Guild's Executive Committee for 8 years. He has written extensively and has been published in national publications such as The Artist's Magazine, Communication Arts, GAG News, Artists Market, and his work was featured in ART DIRECTION. He was one of the speakers addressing the Illustration Conference (ICON3) in Philadelphia in June 2003, and he served as a juror the same month at the 44th annual Three Rivers Arts Festival in Pittsburgh, PA.

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