Find an art college that can train you for a career as a visual artist
You may have been one of those children who have always liked to draw or paint. Maybe you dreamt of being a professional artist. Parents could tell you: “Do you want to be an artist? Great. Download something you can rely on. Get a diploma in accounting”.
Of course, after graduating from high school, the idea of making a living by selling your own works of art can be terrifying. But there are many well-paid careers that can be an outlet for your creativity. Let’s take a look at some of them.
Artists create what we consider “art”. – paintings, graphics, sculptures and photography. Successful artists usually present their work in museums, corporate collections, commercial art galleries and private homes. Most of them are self-employed and many artists have at least one other job to support their artistic careers, such as teaching at an art school. Some are very successful and earn millions. And they are not just fashionable, innovative artists; many successful artists, such as Thomas Kinkade, work in traditional formats.
Artistic directors are employed by advertising agencies, magazines, newspapers and other printed or digital media companies. They develop design concepts, review materials and decide how best to present visual information to attract the eye and convey the right message.
Craftsmen create a wide range of objects that can be both functional and decorative. Craftsmen use a wide variety of materials, including glass, metal, textiles, ceramics, paper and wood. They can make quilts, ceramics, lace, candles, stained glass, decorative fabrics and clothing. Their works can be sold in their own studios, galleries, at art and craft shows or at retail outlets.
Multimedia artists and animators create animations, special effects and other visual images using video, film or electronic media, including computers. Illustrators create images for commercial products such as greeting cards, textiles, wrapping paper, office supplies and calendars, as well as for magazines, books and other publications. Many illustrators currently work in digital formats and create images directly on the computer.
There are other career opportunities, including restoring art, cartoons, medical and scientific illustrations, law enforcement sketches and graphics. They all combine creativity with the potential benefits of a career throughout life.
What do you need to do to start your career in the field of visual arts? Creativity and, increasingly, training. Although some craftsmen and artists are self-taught, it is very difficult to acquire advanced skills without formal training. Art directors, multimedia artists and animators usually need at least a Bachelor’s degree. Diploma programmes and associated study programmes are available to help aspiring artists gain an education in a particular field. People who want to teach fine arts in public primary or secondary schools usually need a bachelor’s degree and a school-leaving certificate.
What are the career prospects? Positive! According to the U.S. Labour Statistics Office, employment of artists and related workers is expected to grow as fast as in other occupations during the decade from 2008 to 2018. In the “Occupational Handbook 2010-11” the government says: “Despite the competition, employers and individual customers are always looking for talented and creative artists.
Some segments will grow faster than others. For example, the market for multimedia artists and animators should grow as consumers will want more realistic video games, films and TV special effects. Demand for computer illustrators should increase as websites use more sophisticated images in their projects. Cartoonists can create animated or interactive images to meet readers’ demand for more complex images. Medical illustrators may also be more desirable as medical research continues to grow. Animators can also be sought after in alternative areas such as research and design services.
How do I find a suitable art school for myself? If you like to express yourself artistically and are determined to make it your career, you will want to attend the best art school you can. The best way to start a search is to go to a free university catalogue. On the homepage, simply type in search terms that are right for you, such as “art school in Los Angeles, California”. Then just click on the colleges you like in order to get more free information from the schools. It only takes a few minutes to get your training started!