Are you a creative person who blooms working under pressure on tight deadlines? A position as a professional Artist might be a rewarding, productive role perfect for you.
Artists use their creative thinking and technical skill to produce artwork for commercial or personal use.
Professional Artists’ work typically falls into two categories: fine art and applied art. Fine Artists 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.
Professional Artists are great communicators who respond to clients’ and the creative team’s feedback, as well as follow a creative brief. They are adaptive and versatile, capable of learning new tools and platforms to perfect their craft.
Typical Duties and Responsibilities
- Collaborate with the creative team about client needs
- Propose budget and production schedules to clients
- Design rough drafts for client approval
- Conduct demographic and industry research
- Create content using traditional or digital tools and platforms
- Refine initial drafts and revise using traditional or digital tools
- Format or share final files, if necessary, for creative review
- Deliver final assets for client review
Education and Background
This position requires a high school diploma or GED. Employers prefer that candidates have either a bachelor’s degree or an associate degree from a college or university.
Skills and Competencies
- Expertise with traditional tools, and digital tools such as Adobe Creative Cloud
- Strong communication skills
- Ability to work under tight deadlines
- Expertise in the principles of their chosen artistic field
- Proficiency with design enhancement platforms and software
- Keen knowledge of emerging trends
According to Payscale the median annual salary of an Artist with
1 Year of Experience:
- Orlando, Florida: $50,000
- Tampa, Florida: $40,000
- Jacksonville, Florida: $42,000
- Miami, Florida: $45,000
- Atlanta, Georgia: $45,000
- Chicago, Illinois: $47,000
- Houston, Texas: $47,000
- Los Angeles, California: $50,000
- New York City, New York: $50,000
- Seattle, Washington: $50,000
- Overall: $48,000
5 Years of Experience:
- Orlando, Florida: $60,000
- Tampa, Florida: $50,000
- Jacksonville, Florida: $55,000
- Miami, Florida: $50,000
- Atlanta, Georgia: $50,000
- Chicago, Illinois: $56,000
- Houston, Texas: $50,000
- Los Angeles, California: $60,000
- New York City, New York: $62,000
- Seattle, Washington: $61,000
- Overall: $55,000
- Studio Artist
- 3D Graphic Artist
- 3D Modeler
- Special Effects Artist
- Concept Artist
- Technical Artist
The journey to becoming a professional Artist can take different directions. All of them require building a proven, exceptional skill set.
Many Artists begin their careers by earning a bachelor’s degree in fine art, visual media, or a related field of study. Some candidates even go on to pursue master’s degrees to expand their expertise further. But a robust creative portfolio will offset a lack of formal education. Many professional artists will hone their craft and build experience by freelancing between full-time positions.
The emergence of digital and social media has grown the potential audience for full-time professional Artists. The lines between the consumers and producers of art have blurred.
3D printing has also expanded the production capabilities of full-time and freelance Artists. The most versatile Artists will master these new platforms to engage directly with their audiences, creating value as brand ambassadors for prospective clients.
The competitive outlook for professional Artists will continue to be stiff for the foreseeable future. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment opportunities for full-time professional Artists will stay at one percent through 2028. Maintaining expertise and technical skill by learning new and emerging programs will be crucial for Artists seeking work.
The work hours for a full-time Artist are typically from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday in an office setting.
Where You Can Find Jobs
- 4 Corner Resources
- Career Builder
Are You Interested in Becoming an Artist?
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