Introduction to Art Schools: Working As an Artist

by Frederick H. Carlson
Working As an Artist

Visual artists use a vast number of materials, processes, and delivery systems to turn their personal visions and ideas into tangible, copyrightable, and yes, marketable creations that others can view, share, and buy.

In the two-dimensional arena of studio art, the artist uses painting, drawing, collage, photography, etched and carved print process, screen printing, paper making, digital printing and reproduction technologies and computer manipulation.

Leaping into the third dimension, artists' methods can include metal welding and riveting, ceramics creation and pottery making, carving of a vast array of materials including stone and wood (which of course involve burnishing, polishing, nailing, and gluing such materials), sewing and weaving a variety of fabrics and natural objects, and using hot glass for blowing or sculpting.

Non-traditional experiential and installation artists use video, film, computers, robots, lighting, sound, and every possible material and design innovation to create interactive environments for the viewer, including the very natural processes of growing or decaying.

In our wealthy, eclectic marketplace of visual ideas, all materials are fair game, and ideas and messages in the new, emerging, and non-traditional art forms currently outpace the time necessary to master the materials as traditional art forms used to measure skill. Artists and actors now participate in the "performance piece", blurring the lines of art, dance, music, and theater.

Mirroring the variety of art methods these days, working environments vary greatly as well. Some artists may work in a personal studio, a group workshop relying on certain equipment, or out of their home, while others may work in front of a computer in a typical office environment. Common to all successful artists is the desire to create, to make that creation mold thought and technique into a unique message, and to find some way to engage and grow an audience.

  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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