Artist Job Descriptions, Average Salary, Interview Questions

What Does an Artist Do?

A professional artist can be many different things, each requiring specific talents and skills. In general, there are two categories of professional artists: fine art and applied art. Fine artists, such as painters, sculptures, or illustrators, create artwork meant to provoke a response in the viewer or listener or to convey important information. Applied artists design and produce consumer goods like furniture, jewelry, fashion apparel, and ceramics. Regardless of specialty, an artist needs to be creative, have keen attention to detail, highly refined artistic ability, and possess good time management skills. Artists can also be graphic designers, technical illustrators, multimedia artists, or sketch artists.

Some artists work in more than one area of fine or applied art but typically specialize in one. Artists need determination, and the ability to deal well with criticism and rejection. Understanding the commercial value of art is as important as the ability to produce it. Artists who market their work need good business skills, excellent communication skills, and strong project management skills. They must be flexible and willing to adapt as the project demands. 

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National Average Salary

Artist salaries vary by experience, industry, organization size, and geography. To explore salary ranges by local market, please visit our sister site zengig.com.

The average U.S. salary for an Artist is:

$58,150

Artist Job Descriptions

Example 1

Duties

  • Design and build 3D assets using 2D concepts from model to animation
  • Integrate assets directly into Unity and follow through with testing and polish
  • Collaborate with designers and engineers to deliver in-game art that hits our visual targets
  • Help implement and improve the pipeline flow for content production and implementation
  • Work with 2D artists, designers, narrative, and engineers to achieve visual excellence for 3D character, creature, and environment content
  • Provide documentation, style guides, and tools
  • Mentor junior-level artists
  • Work to maintain morale and create an atmosphere of creativity and enthusiasm

Requirements

  • 5+ years of experience in 3D game art production
  • Good understanding of art fundamentals; lighting, color, form, 3D shapes
  • Expertise with 3D and 2D software suites (Maya, ZBrush, Photoshop, etc.)
  • Experience with game production tools (Unity, Jira, Perforce)
  • Strong verbal and written communication, able to give and receive clear feedback
  • Familiar with low poly modeling and mobile optimization
  • Ability to find creative solutions to artistic challenges and problems
  • Able to work with a high degree of self-direction, but also within a collaborative creative team
  • Realistic texture knowledge
  • Proficiency in 3D art techniques such as VFX and animation

Example 2

Responsibilities

  • Use Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop to create original high-quality vector artwork and layered images that resonate with our target audience
  • Create impactful backgrounds, layouts, environments, prop designs, and UI such as buttons, frames, icons, etc.
  • Provide concepts, mock-ups, style guides, and placeholder art that is usable throughout the development
  • Seek out critiques and opportunities to improve; iterate without attachment
  • Guide art development to ensure quality and consistency across different mobile devices
  • Become an industry expert on mobile art development approaches and processes
  • Be a team player who listens to, encourages, and supports others

Qualifications for the role

  • Degree in Illustration, Graphic Design, or similar equivalent training and/or work experience
  • 2+ years of professional experience in mobile games
  • Demonstrable skills with Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop
  • A portfolio showing strong art and artistic design skills and understanding
  • A growth mindset that embraces continuous learning
  • Positive attitude with a desire to be a driving force in a friendly, upbeat, and supportive development environment
  • Excitement for the opportunities and challenges of working on a new and forming team

Example 3

Responsibilities

  • Preparing files for print and digital production
  • Creating and producing page layouts, advertisements, and other materials as assigned
  • Highly skilled with page layouts, typography, templating, and versioning of assets
  • Changing out the copy, photographs, and product descriptions
  • Managing multiple projects at once and ensuring they are on time
  • Following brand guidelines, but bringing them to life through new and unique layouts
  • Understanding print production and how to best set it up
  • Proofreading and looking for errors within the work

Requirements

  • 2+ years experience
  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Proficient with Adobe Creative Cloud
  • Microsoft Office
  • Comfortable on MAC

How to Hire an Artist

When hiring an artist, first consider the following:

  • Recruiting: Do you have the knowledge, tools, and resources to attract and screen candidates?
  • Complexity: Do you need a senior professional, or will mid or junior-level skills and experience suffice?
  • Duration: Is this a one-time project or an ongoing need?
  • Management: Do you have the time and expertise to direct the work effectively?
  • Urgency: How soon does the work need to be completed?
  • Headcount: Do you have the budget and approval for an internal employee, or should you consider alternate options?

Answering these questions will help determine the best course of action for your current hiring need. Fortunately, great options exist for every scenario. These are our recommendations:

1. Use 4 Corner Resources (or another professional recruiting firm)

The heavy lifting is done for you when working with a top-tier staffing company like 4 Corner Resources. We source, screen, recruit, and deliver only the most qualified candidate(s), saving you significant time and effort throughout the hiring process while you remain focused on your core business. Understanding your needs and ensuring the right candidate for the position is the key to our success.

This is the best route to take when:

  • You need to fill the position quickly
  • You want access to a vast talent pool of high-quality, prescreened candidates
  • Your position is suited for temporary hiring services, contract staffing, or contract-to-hire recruiting, and you intend to direct the work activity.
  • You are hiring an employee as a direct placement but aren’t able to recruit effectively or efficiently with your internal staff. 
  • You aren’t familiar with current salary rates, market trends, and available skill sets
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2. Hire an experienced freelancer

The freelance, or gig, economy continues to grow, with more talent available daily. Freelancers provide high-quality work without a long-term commitment. They can offer you a fresh perspective, more flexibility, and increase efficiency. While the freelance market isn’t ideal for every position, artists are often a great fit. 

We recommend this option when:

  • Your need is project-based
  • The work can be performed remotely
  • You do not intend to direct the daily work activity
  • You are hiring for expertise your internal team does not possess
  • You do not require an employee to work onsite or follow a specific schedule

We recommend using either Toptal, Upwork, or both.

Toptal

Toptal is an exclusive network of the top freelance software developers, designers, finance experts, product managers, and project managers in the world. Toptal vets its freelancers before making them accessible, ensuring their legitimacy. Top companies hire Toptal freelancers for their most important projects. Hiring an artist on Toptal can help you quickly get the results you need.

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Upwork

Upwork is a freelance talent network that helps individuals connect with experts in a variety of fields to accomplish project-based needs. When you have a specific, well-defined goal in mind, this can be a great path to hiring an experienced artist. If you are satisfied with the outcome you can continue to book the same freelancer through Upwork’s easy-to-use project interface.

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3. Advertise your opening on a top job board

Your best option may be to advertise your opening on a proven job board. There are many widely used job sites out there that draw visits from qualified candidates. If you have someone internally who can dedicate the time and energy to sort through applications and screen individuals effectively, this can be a great choice. 

We recommend using a job board when:

  • Your internal recruiting team has the knowledge and experience to assess candidate qualifications
  • You are hiring a direct employee and have time to manage the entire recruiting effort 
  • You have a process for receiving, screening, and tracking all resumes and applications
  • You are prepared to respond to all applicants

There are many career sites out there. Here are the two we recommend for an artist opening:

CareerBuilder

CareerBuilder has been a trusted source for hiring since 1995. Reach 80+ million unique, diverse U.S. job seekers annually by posting your jobs through their talent acquisition channels. Through CareerBuilder, you can engage candidates and drive them into your sourcing pipeline. We recommend using CareerBuilder for hiring when you have the internal resources and processes to review, screen, and reply to all applicants.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a social network for job seekers, professionals, and businesses. With this popular job site, you can enhance your brand and advertise your open position to a wide audience of motivated, qualified candidates. Job postings on LinkedIn are also extremely streamlined and user-friendly, making it even easier for candidates to apply. Additionally, applicants can use their LinkedIn profile instead of a resume to expedite the process. 

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4. Leverage your internal resources

You can utilize your own website, social media, and employees to assist in your search for top candidates. 

A company website posting should be the first step in notifying prospective candidates that you are hiring. Social media can also be a powerful tool for spreading the word about your new opening. As far as exposure is concerned, this option can be as good as some job boards when you have a large enough following across various platforms, like LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, and Twitter.

Current employees are every organization’s greatest asset. Encourage your internal team to promote job openings to their network by offering cash and other incentives.

We recommend these options when:

  • Your brand has great name recognition
  • You can consistently monitor and respond to candidate activity through your website and social media accounts
  • You have a process in place to quickly and broadly communicate job openings and requirements
  • You have an effective employee referral program in place

If you aren’t sure which path is best, schedule a discovery call today with our seasoned recruiting professionals. The 4 Corner team is on standby to help you find the best option for your unique hiring need.

Sample Interview Questions

  • What is your biggest strength?
  • What is your biggest weakness?
  • Give me an example of a time you went above and beyond for a client.
  • Why do you want to work for this company in particular?
  • Do you have any questions about the job or company?
  • How would you improve our business if you were hired?
  • What design software are you most familiar with?
  • What is your experience working in a team environment?
  • What is your experience working independently?
  • How would you approach this project we are discussing?
  • If you could change one thing about the design industry, what would it be?
  • List 5 adjectives that describe your work ethic.
  • List 3 skills you have gained from past jobs.
  • How do you handle criticism?
  • Why should we hire you over the other candidates?
  • What inspires your work?

Need help hiring an Artist?

We match top professionals with great employers across the country. From filling urgent job openings to developing long-term hiring strategies, our team is here to help. Review our staffing solutions, browse our award-winning Staffing Corner blog, or call today. We look forward to connecting with you soon.

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