The Ultimate List of Jobs For Artists

Sema Martin | July 2021

An artist in their studio doing their jobs for artists and job ideas with an easel and sculptures

Do you love art but have no idea how to pursue it as a career? Do you want to read about jobs for artists? Or maybe you have just completed your art degree at university and are unsure how to use it in the real world. Don’t worry! We have you covered! We have created the ultimate list of art career ideas. The list is for any artist looking to turn their skill and passion into an extraordinary career. From starting your own commission-based art business to working with the film or food industry, there is something for everyone.

These are the best 46 art career ideas you can start today.

1. Commission Artist

A commission artist is an artist hired by someone to create a bespoke piece of art according to their specifications. Most artists are open to taking commissions as it offers a good rate of pay and a guaranteed sale. This is what I have chosen to do and I have even written a book to help other artists do it to! Sign up at the end of this blog post.

2. Fine Artist

Fine artists create quality original artworks in their preferred medium and subject. As a fine artist you might take on commissions or sell your work directly to collectors via a gallery or your website. Fine artists are masters of their craft, often building a reputation in a particular subject or style.

3. Pet Portrait Artist

Pet portrait artists are commissioned by clients to create original artwork of their pets.

4. Curator

Curators are responsible for assembling, cataloguing and displaying art collections for private collectors, galleries and museums.

5. Art Therapist

How interesting does this sound? Art therapists is a form of expressive therapy that uses art as a tool to help clients communicate underlying thoughts and work through psychological problems.

6. Art Teacher

Art teachers work either in schools or running private tuition and workshops to help people develop their artistic skills and learn an appreciation for creative arts. Super insiring to others!

7. Cake Artist

Now this is more like it! A cake artist uses their artistic and design skills to create bespoke, visually interesting cakes for occasions like weddings, birthdays and corporate events. Yum!

8. Art Lecturer at a University

Art lecturers at universities teach art and art related subjects at a high level to university students and conduct academic research into artistic fields.

9. Art Historian

Very interesting. Art historians’ study and document the development of artistic styles and mediums over time. They are employed as freelance consultants and by libraries, museums, publishers and auction houses as experts in a specific type of art.

10. Art Technician

Art technicians assist in the facilitation of arts programs, either in the commercial world or in an educational setting. This is a practical role that may involve setting up equipment, working with materials, creating exhibitions and displays and supporting teaching staff.

11. Art Valuer / Auctioneer

Art valuers are experts in a particular type of art and use this knowledge to value pieces for sale, investment or insurance purposes. Auctioneers (often valuers themselves) sell art on behalf of their clients at auctions.

12. Ceramicist

Ceramicists use pottery and ceramics to create art from clay. Often they work from their own home studio, but some work as part of larger companies creating and decorating ceramic items.

13. Conservator

An art conservator (sometimes known as a restorer) is responsible for the preservation of artistic and cultural items of importance. Usually, conservators specialise in a particular technique or medium, and must be highly trained to work on valuable and fragile works of art.

14. Art Director

Art directors work in film, magazines, publishing, fashion and television to set and bring together the artistic vision for a project or business.

15. Art Agent / Business Manager

Ok this sounds pretty cool! An art agent works to represent artists to help them find sales, exhibition opportunities and publicity.

16. Graphic Designer

A graphic designer is responsible for designing branding, packaging, advertising and marketing materials using a range of visual communication tools.

17. Interior Designer

Interior designers use their design skills to enhance the interior spaces of buildings, making them healthier and more enjoyable to be in.

18. Commercial Artist

Commercial artists mainly work in the advertising industry to create visually striking imagery and use art to spread ideas.

19. Photographer

A photographer uses cameras to create visually striking and artistic images. Photographers can work as freelancers or in the commercial world.

20. Animator

Animators work in television, film and video to produce moving images from their artwork. Animation can be very time intensive, meaning animators often work in teams on one production. Yay you could work for Disney!

21. Art Dealer

Art dealers buy and sell artworks. Dealers build up a list of clients over time, often those who collect a particular type of art. Some dealers go on to open their own galleries. Art dealing requires an excellent knowledge of the market, and an ability to build long lasting relationships.

22. Advertising Designer

Advertising designers work in a range of mediums to deliver creative advertisements to their clients. This role requires you to be creative and original while still responding to a client’s brief.

23. Community Arts Worker

Community arts workers design and run community schemes that use art and creativity to encourage people to engage with their communities and improve their lives.

24. Special Effects Technician

Special effects technicians work on films and in tv to create pyrotechnic, visual and physical effects in order to create certain impressions. This requires a creative mind and a good technical understanding of different methods.

25. Concept Artist

Concept artists are responsible for creating the initial images used to inspire and visualise everything from vehicle design to movies and costume design. It takes a strong imagination and a good understanding of different design elements to create strong concept art in a range of mediums.

26. Jewellery Designer

Jewellery designers design and make jewellery either as freelancers or for established jewellery brands. Sometimes this includes bespoke work. A high level of skill and attention to detail is needed to work as a jewellery designer.

27. Arts Administrator

Arts administrators are responsible for managing the delivery of arts and cultural programs and exhibitions in the public and private sector. Strong organisational skills are required, as well as a passion and understanding of the arts.

28. Sculptor

A sculptor is an artist who uses materials in three dimensions to create a piece of art. Sculptors operate from a studio and often work for themselves in sculpture design, repair and original commissions.

29. Garden Designer

Garden designers require a strong artistic and design background to conceptualise and communicate their designs to their clients. An understanding of plants and landscaping techniques is required in addition to artistic skills.

30. Print Maker

A print maker creates art using the printing process, usually onto paper. In recent times, printing has evolved to include creating fine art giclee prints as well as traditional stamped printing.

31. Fashion Designer

A fashion designer is responsible for designing the look, shape, style and materials of clothes, shoes and accessories. As a fashion designer, you have a strong understanding of trends and how to apply them to a range of materials, often to a brief and specification.

32. Art Supplies Retailer

As an art supplies retailer, you will source and sell art supplies for your customers. The best retailers are experts in a range of different materials and able to give advice about which materials to buy.

33. Picture Framer

Framers are responsible for mounting, framing and sometimes hanging works of art. Framing requires hands on skills and an appreciation for art. Many framers are self-employed, or work through galleries with a regular clientele of local artists.

34. Food Stylist

A food stylist prepares food for use in film, tv and on camera. Food stylists use their creativity to arrange food to look photogenic, often as part of a wider artistic vision. Good food stylists are in high demand. It would be hard not to eat the food!

35. Floral Arranger

Floral arrangers are responsible for creating artistic arrangements of flowers. Most floral arrangers work as part of a floristry team either in retail or for events.

36. Caricaturist

A caricaturist creates portrait drawings of people with exaggerated features. Many events hire caricaturists to entertain their guests, or you can create and sell your own work of well-known people.

37. Tattoo Artist

A tattoo artist designs and applies tattoos using a needle and a tattoo machine. Becoming a tattoo artist requires a high level of skill and practice, often training is structured as an apprenticeship. Permanently apply your art to people! Amazing!

38. Mural Artist

Mural artists work with the owners of buildings to create large scale artworks on walls. Being a mural artist requires a head for heights as some work will be exceptionally large, and an ability to translate your designs to a large scale. Murals are becoming more popular as people look to improve the look and feel of urban areas, and brands wake up to the power of a large mural.

39. Film Maker

A film maker uses moving images to convey a story or information. Film making is a highly creative and imaginative career that can combine many different artistic skills. Technology has made it easier than ever to start film making, however a strong technical knowledge and training does help.

40. Illustrator

An illustrator specialises in using their art to enhance writing or to give a visual representation to explain text or an idea.

41. Set Designer

Set designers are responsible for designing and building the set used in theatre, film, tv and photography. Set designers must work with the director and art director to build a set that compliments the production, in a creative and inspiring way.

42. Stationery / Textile Designer

Stationery and textile designers create artwork that is printed onto fabric and paper products. From curtains to notepads, this offers opportunities to see your art turned into usable products that brighten up the world. Ideal for artists who enjoy creating patterns and stylistic designs.

43. Typographer

So cool. A typographer designs and arranged fonts and text to create interesting and engaging work that is aesthetically pleasing.

44. Art Critic

An art critic is responsible for analysing, interpreting and evaluating works of art. Using their strong knowledge of art and artistic methods, art critics attend exhibitions and galleries and write about the pieces they see, often for magazines and newspapers. Art critics are well connected in the art industry, so an ability to write and build relationships goes a long way.

45. Invitation Designer

Invitation designers create artistically designed invitations and stationery for weddings and events. It is increasingly popular to have bespoke invitations that match the theme and style of an event.

46. Arts and Cultural Policy Planner

Arts and cultural policy planners work within local government to help shape and deliver policies relating to art and our cultural heritage.

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