Fine artists use many media to create innovative and thought-provoking work that may be visually beautiful, disturbing, or disruptive in order to send light into the darkness of people’s hearts…to wash away the dust of ordinary existence from the soul.
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Typical Job Responsibilities
What do Fine Artists do?
A Fine Artist would typically need to:
- Use techniques such as painting, drawing, or sculpting to create creative works of art for their aesthetic worth rather than their useful value.
- To achieve desired aesthetic effects, use visual components such as composition, colour, space, and perspective.
- Investigate and visit locations; conduct interviews; and make use of libraries and the internet.
- Create sketches, templates, or models to guide their work; generate and develop artistic ideas or new approaches for generating art.
- Source resources and cultivating supplier relationships; choose materials based on colour, texture, strength, and other characteristics; material processing, usually by shaping, connecting, or cutting
- Create portfolios that display their artistic styles and abilities for gallery owners and people that are interested in their work.
- Write grant applications and project proposals; communicate with contacts, gallery owners, curators, other artists, and art residencies; and plan initiatives.
- Negotiate a sale or commission; construct or develop a work in response to a brief or commission; and exhibit their work at auctions, galleries, museums, and internet markets.
- Evaluate a project and give feedback to the primary funder or sponsor
- Carry out self-promotion activities, including networking, attending private viewings, and other events
- Carry out administrative activities such as correspondence management and financial planning such as budget creation and management.
Standard Work Environment
Studio spaces, museums, galleries, schools, outdoor or public locations, or an online/physical display space may be part of your work environment. Studios can be found in a warehouse, loft, office building or the artist’s home, which has been transformed into an industrial location. Artists frequently share studio space and exhibit their work from there.
Studio spaces are often well-lit and ventilated. Artists, on the other hand, may be exposed to fumes and dust. Fine artists may also work off-site while following health and safety regulations.
Depending on the market for the artist’s work, work may require frequent travel. Fine artists exhibit all around the world, therefore travelling to events and galleries all over the world is rather common. The majority of Fine Artists dress casually and in apparel appropriate for their chosen area of artistic expression. They must dress appropriately when attending events and meeting with clients.
Unless they are working on time-bound projects, such as exhibits or contests, or as required by contracts, most Fine Artists have a flexible schedule with no deadlines.
Part-time and flexible employment schedules are common. Many artists have a second job in addition to their artistic activity.
Those that assist or work in the studios of other artists may be able to keep regular hours. However, all artists must make time to sell their work to potential buyers and establish a name.
Approximately half of Fine Artists are self-employed, frequently combining freelance work or practice with another salaried job. Others work in a variety of corporate or public sector industries. Vacancies and possibilities are frequently not advertised. You should be prepared to conduct research and uncover chances through networking, and you should be confident in approaching appropriate organizations and individuals.
Fine Artists are generally employed by:
- Newspaper & Periodical Publishers
- Book & Directory Publishers
- Educational Institutions
- Merchant Wholesalers of Durable & Nondurable Goods
- Performing Arts, Spectator Sports & Related Industries
Unions / Professional Organizations
Professional groups and organizations, such as the International Arts & Artists (IA&A), are essential for Fine Artists who want to further their professional growth or interact with other professionals in their industry or career. Membership in one or more of these organizations adds value to your CV while strengthening your credentials and qualifications.
- Lack of preparation for a stable and lucrative career; balancing the creation of art with self-promotion
- New sources of competition; unstable income; irregular working hours
- Potentially toxic exposure to glue, paint, ink, dust, or other residues from filings, splattered paint, or spilled cleaners
Suggested Work Experience
Fine artists hone their talents via repetition and practice. They can receive training in a variety of methods other than or in addition to conventional schooling. Some fine painters receive on-the-job training from more experienced artists. Others take noncredit classes or workshops or receive private instruction in artists’ studios, community colleges, art centers, galleries, museums, or other art-related institutions.
You can also collaborate with other artists on a formal or informal basis. Internships and apprenticeship programmes are examples of traditional systems. Attempt to gain relevant work experience while pursuing your degree. Work shadowing or volunteer work in a creative setting might help you apply for jobs or, from a business standpoint, build up your own studio.
Many artists work part-time while in school to gain expertise and establish a portfolio of published work. Gallery owners, art directors, and potential clients make investment decisions based on their perceptions of a potential artist’s portfolio.
Painting, new media, photography, printmaking, and sculpture are all examples of fine art. Professional qualifications are not required to build a name for yourself as a skilled Fine Artist. Formal training and necessary certifications in art and related crafts, art criticism, art history, design for performance, fine art, fine art critical practice, and interdisciplinary fine arts may, nonetheless, be beneficial in furthering your career. Independent art and design schools provide postsecondary education leading to an associate, bachelor’s, or master’s degree in fine arts.
Certifications, Licenses, and Registration
Independent art and design schools provide postsecondary education that leads to a diploma in an art-related specialty. Those who desire to teach fine arts in public elementary or secondary schools are typically required to acquire a teaching credential in addition to a bachelor’s degree. A combination of short courses, such as evening or weekend sessions, one-week intensive courses, and degrees or certificates in pottery, drawing, illustration, and painting, can also help you succeed.
Projected Career Map
Because there is no traditional or established career path for a Fine Artist, job advancement is difficult to anticipate. Your level of dedication to your work will be critical to your success. Career promotion and success are essentially a question of self-development; this is not a field in which educational qualifications drive advancement, but they do provide a slight edge.
Fine art is a highly competitive field, and you must be creative in order to generate opportunities and seek out new and intriguing ways to present and sell your work. Artist-led locations, pubs, museums, stores, events, and public spaces are examples of these. You may be commissioned to create special works for individuals or institutions. You may have your studio, gallery representation, frequent shows, and a network of significant contacts within five to ten years of graduating. At this point, you should have had enough success to be able to work on your art full-time, potentially even hiring some help in your studio.
You may work in a portfolio style, spending some time on your chosen field of art and the rest on a related field, such as teaching art in schools. It offers more variety and a more stable income. You may become an artist in residence, hired by a gallery, organization, or institution to lend your skills and knowledge over time.
Freelance artists strive to build a customer base that offers regular contracts. Those widely recognized for their skill in specialties such as cartooning or children’s book drawings may earn large sums of money and have the freedom to pick the type of job they undertake. A few artists, such as Picasso and Andy Warhol, achieve immense success. Still, it is more frequent for Fine Artists to need to teach or perform other jobs to support their income, especially when they are first starting out.
Individuals with artistic abilities and marketing skills will have the best job prospects in this competitive profession.
Beneficial Professional Development
The major drivers in becoming a successful Fine Artist are talent, creativity, imagination, and prolific output over a relatively long period of time (at least five years). Diversification and experimenting with new mediums and other approaches or modes of expression are also important requirements. Advanced degrees in fine arts or arts administration are typically required for roles in government management or administration, private foundation management, and college and university teaching.
Short courses in a variety of fine arts fields will help you build skills in coordinating promotional and marketing initiatives. Seek new professional contacts and cultivate ties with other artists, curators, and gallery owners in order to learn and grow through cooperation. For training and learning opportunities, recent graduates could look for work as an artist’s assistant or studio assistant. You could eventually advance to the position of studio manager.
Artists hired by firms frequently begin with somewhat ordinary tasks where they can observe other artists and practice their talents. You can also grow as a fabricator by learning new artistic skills and creating items for other artists.
There is no art where the spirit does not collaborate with the hand. Allow your enthusiasm and talent to guide your brushstrokes.
Advice from the Wise
Looking to other artists for inspiration is fantastic, but don’t let comparisons bring you down. Everyone has their own distinct style, and everyone is at a different point in their artistic development.