Are you a creative person who thrives working under pressure on tight deadlines? A position as a professional artist might be the perfect role for you!
Artists use their creative thinking and technical skills to produce artwork for commercial and personal use. A professional artist’s work typically falls into two categories: fine art or 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 their clients’ and creative team’s feedback, and follow a creative brief. They are adaptive, versatile, and capable of learning new tools and platforms to perfect their craft.
Sample job description
The artist is responsible for the design, creation, and modification of artistic projects. The artist must have good communication skills since they work closely with clients, sponsors, and other project managers. The artist must have a thorough understanding of design concepts and techniques, as well as computer applications. The majority of the work will be collaborative, but there may also be some individual work designing art pieces or creating models for projects to come. The ideal candidate will design concepts and techniques, be familiar with computer applications, have strong communication skills, and have the ability to work independently.
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 experience
This position requires a high school diploma or GED
Bachelor’s degree or associate’s degree from a college or university preferred
Required skills and qualifications
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
3+ years of experience with Adobe Photoshop
3+ years of experience with Adobe Illustrator
Knowledge of 3D Studio Max or Maya
Knowledge of AutoCAD or Revit
Typical work environment
Artists typically work in a collaborative workspace with other team members, but there may also be some projects that require working independently. Hours vary based on the project and company.
The work hours for a full-time artist are typically from 9 AM to 5 PM, Monday through Friday, in an office setting.
There are plenty of great certifications for artists out there. Here is one of the most popular:
Adobe Certified Professional – This certification is an industry-recognized credential that effectively validates one’s skills in Adobe Creative Cloud applications. If you plan to work in art and design, having this certification can set you apart from other applicants.
The journey to becoming a professional artist can take many 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 related field of study. Some candidates even go on to pursue a master’s degree in order to further expand their expertise, 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 various full-time positions.
US, Bureau of Labor Statistics’ job outlook
SOC Code: 27-1013
Projected Employment in 2030
Projected 2020-2030 Percentage Shift
Projected 2020-2030 Numeric Shift
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.