Advertising & Arts

Artist (Various)

Crafts and fine artists use a variety of materials and techniques to create art for sale and exhibition.

  • Entry-level education

    Junior secondary school certificate or equivalent

  • Job outlook

    1 2 3 4 5

What does an Artist (Various) do?

Crafts and fine artists use various different materials and techniques to create art for sale or display purposes. Craftspeople create handcrafted items, such as pottery, glassware or textiles. Fine artists, such as painters, sculptors, and illustrators, create authentic pieces of art based around visual aspects rather than function.

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Work activities

As an artist you will typically:

  • work from your own ideas or have a commission or order from an individual or an organisation
  • sell your work through an agent or through galleries, exhibitions, shops, craft markets and fairs
  • research subjects, materials and new artistic techniques like creating ceramics using 3D printing
  • display your work for sale on your own website or an online gallery
  • network with agents, dealers and gallery owners
  • attend exhibitions and join artists’ groups.

As well as selling your work, you could also:

  • work as ‘artist in residence’ – running classes and workshops in places like schools, prisons or hospitals
  • teach art classes privately, in colleges or through community learning
  • run local art projects.

You could choose to specialise in one medium like clay or photography or you could work using different methods like painting, printmaking or sculpture. You may even chose to work in media like film or digital media.

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Key skills and interests

To become an artist, you would need:

  • a high level of creativity
  • a good appreciation of colour and shape
  • determination and commitment
  • self-motivation
  • willingness to work alone
  • business skills to promote and market your work.
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Working hours and conditions

Working Hours

Artists usually arrange their own working hours, which may involve fitting your art work around another full-time or part-time job.

Conditions

You may work in a studio, at home, in rented space within a shared studio, or in specialist facilities such as a print or sculpture workshop.

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How to become an Artist (Various)?

Entry Level Education

You can work as an artist without formal qualifications. Employment opportunities may be better if you complete an art-related qualification. A VET qualification in a subject such as visual arts or design would be appropriate. Applicants often need to attend an interview and/or present a portfolio of their work.

Obtaining a degree in visual arts, creative arts, fine arts or design from university is also common. To get into these courses you usually need to gain your senior secondary school certificate or equivalent. English and an arts or design subject would be appropriate subjects to study prior to university. Applicants may also be required to attend an interview and/or submit a folio of work. A high level of artistic talent is required.

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Job outlook

  • 1 2 3 4 5

Employment of craft and fine artists is projected to grow slower than the average for all occupations.

The art industry is largely dependent on the economy, as people buy art pieces when the economy is doing well, and less when the economy is not as strong. 

Whilst demand for art by collectors and museums is steady, the employment of artists can be affected by the level of grants to the arts, which is also affected by the economy.

In addition, job growth for craft artists may be limited by the sale of inexpensive, mass-produced items designed to look like handmade crafts. However, continued interest in locally made products and craft goods sold online will likely offset some of these employment losses.

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