ArtistJob Description, Salary, Career Path, and Trends

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. 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. 

Sample job description #1

What you’ll do

  • Design and build 3D assets using 2D concepts from model to animation
  • Integrate assets directly into Unity and follow through testing and polish
  • Collaborate with designers and engineers to deliver in game art that hits our visual targets
  • Help implement and improve the pipelines 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

What you’ll bring

  • 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

Sample job description #2


  • 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 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 on 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 of a friendly, upbeat, and supportive development environment
  • Excitement for the opportunities and challenges of working on a new and forming team

Sample job description #3

Production Artist 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 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 work

Production Artist requirements

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

Average salary and compensation

The average salary for an artist is $56,750 in the United States. Position salary will vary based on experience, education, company size, industry, and market.

LocationSalary LowSalary High
Phoenix, Arizona$56,400$76,350
Los Angeles, California$63,650$86,150
Denver, Colorado$53,050$71,750
Washington, DC$64,600$87,450
Miami, Florida$52,800$71,450
Orlando, Florida$48,700$65,900
Tampa, Florida$49,200$66,550
Atlanta, Georgia$51,600$69,800
Chicago, Illinois$59,300$80,250
Boston, Massachusetts$64,150$86,750
Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota$51,100$69,150
New York City, New York$67,500$91,350
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania$54,950$74,350
Dallas, Texas$53,500$72,400
Houston, Texas$53,300$72,100
Seattle, Washington$61,750$83,500
National Average$48,200$65,250

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?

Artist Jobs in Ashburn

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