Art Careers

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Art careers come in all kinds of shapes and forms. Artists use a variety of visual communication methods, such as drawing, painting, and sculpting, to communicate feelings, thoughts, and ideas. Artists also use a variety of tools, such as watercolor and acrylic paints, pencils, pens, ink, clay, plaster, and even computers. Topics of art can include nature, people, animals, events, and objects. Art can be true to life, stylistic, or abstract.

Art is used to create many types of printed materials, such as:

Therefore, art careers are available in a variety of fields, including:

Although many people engage in art as a hobby, many enjoy art so much and are so naturally talented that they attend art school. There are many types of art careers that one can pursue, such as an illustrator, sketch artist, cartoonist, sculptor, or multimedia artist. Many artists work in art studios in office buildings, lofts, or even in their own homes. Artistic talent is the main qualification for many art careers, so it's important that those who intend to turn their art hobby into a career keep a portfolio that contains samples of their best artwork. Although artistic talent is important, many art careers, such as directors or managers, require at least a bachelor's degree or an art school education.

Because of the number of creative people, there is extremely tough competition for art careers. About 60 percent of workers in the art industry are self-employed. Those who are not self-employed often find work in museums, schools, advertising agencies, newspapers, magazines, and movie studios. Many artists have to work other jobs in addition to their art career since art, though glamorous, is not always a high-paying and lucrative career.

Hobby vs. Career

If you're serious about turning your art hobby into a career, think about the possible ramifications. Once you turn it into a career, you'll have deadlines and a boss to answer to. Although you'll be doing something you enjoy, you may end up losing your enjoyment and spontaneity once you start having to create artwork on someone else's terms. When you create artwork as a hobby, you're doing it for your enjoyment and it's more relaxed because there's no pressure to sell. Although you can become self-employed and work for yourself, you are then responsible for drumming up your own business. Plus, your paycheck won't be as stable. These situations can be stressful for someone who is unfamiliar with marketing and business strategies, or for someone who depends on a regular paycheck.

An art school or college education is not necessarily required for these jobs, though formal education increases the number of job opportunities available to you. Many artists hone their skills by practice and persistence. Others use books and Internet research to learn new art skills. If you are looking to run your own business, one thing to keep in mind is that many artists make the mistake of not charging enough money for their artwork. Before making a sale, research prices for similar artwork. If you consistently charge less than what your art is worth, your career will end up reverting back to a hobby because you won't make enough money to survive.