art job

How To Find Artist Jobs

Finding Work As An Artist

Art can be feast for famine at times. Knowing how to find a artist jobs within the market can sometimes be challenging. I have seen some artist end up in employment within a completely unrelated field.

An easier way to see the breakdown of where you may wish to be is by sector. Within my article on “How Much Does An Artist Make” you can see more specific numbers by sector.

Alternatively there are other ways to generate income and find work. Some of those ideas are a bit off the wall for those who have art degrees. It is kind of sad that was the best CNBC could come up with.

The uncertainty in this market from 2020 and forward has been amplified due to recent events surrounding health concerns. Unfortunately this has created unique challenges. It is important to know your area and what future opportunity can exist especially with growth and income ranges.

If I may suggest, be willing to invest in education. If your desire is to be independent then focus that education targeting specifically an area you wish to pursue.

Artists Jobs For Those With An Education

Here is the really crazy part. An in depth report showed that 10% of graduates with art degrees are working artists. Comparatively 16% of working artists are art graduates.

There are nearly 40% of the artist work force who have not obtained at least a bachelors degree. Art schools are the most expensive creating the highest student debt yet only 10% move forward to work in art.

So why would I ever suggest continuing education, or suggest that a student move forward with education?

Allow me to point out a very critical factor. Forget the blanket generality of “art degree”. Get specific. What do you want to do? That is why I suggested to look at the earlier article on employment sectors.

Tailor your education to what you want to do. If something like Concept Art is your launching platform then build to that end.

Otherwise your degree will be a very expensive piece of home decor. If tailored then the education you receive will aid you in moving forward.

The funny and sad part of that report, is they acknowledge at the end that you do not need a degree to become an artist. The irony… artists being rebels.

This does not remove the importance of education, especially within technical fields. To further the irony, to be a better artist requires more education in technology than within art.

Artist Jobs That Incorporate Technology

This article on STEM education using technology in art does not scratch the surface. If you wish to see who is on the cutting edge of the future, look at the arts within Japan.

Historically art graduates would take their degree and merely check the box for having a degree on the job application. Finding a job as an artist should revolve around what your degree actually is for.

There are many opportunities within the field of design, whether technical or otherwise. Here many job opportunities overlap with other fields. Engineering has begun to care how the aesthetics appear to what they do.

Many of the more stable artist jobs provide services in areas ranging from digital design, graphics, fashion, and yes even industrial design. This will require some level of education depending upon the job requirements and needs.

New media art is a unique area. This field is where many artists are moving into who wish to freelance or find a measure of independence. This is where those who do things like fan art or pop culture genres are growing up into new ideas.

I will make one distinction there. While I consider fan art to be almost child’s play, new media art is a serious force that will impact the markets.

Those within the traditional arts may hate to hear all that Ive just detailed. Freelancing may be more your style. Yet within the job market these digital needs is where things are more often than not.

As you can see an education to some degree or avenue is needed. It does not matter if it is institutional or being self taught. Eventually no artist will be able to move forward without some kind of technical ability.

The Cool Kid Art Jobs

If you want a really cool job that pays well but, also lets your artistic juices flow, check out video game design. I have actually sold some of my work to people in that field.

They can provide full time jobs and at times freelance work. It just depends on the angle you want to move within. These jobs can range in pay but most hold a median at or near the 50k a year mark.

App development is also another cool kid art job. Some high school programs teach kids how to build cell phone apps. This is not some crazy idea.

Of the more popular jobs artists find here is focused on interactive story books. Not everything is revolved around games. These interactive stories provide choices that the user makes to move the story forward.

The earlier link I gave pointing readers to new media will point out the development in CGI. Yet there is also VR and augmented reality. This stuff gets really serious and creative while having untold potential in where an artist job can go.

Creating Your Artist Job Within Freelance Work

For those with education that path provides more options. This applies if that education is tailored and has a technical background. A general arts degree is near useless other than checking that box.

Freelance work will still require that you educate yourself. The question becomes, how do you go about this? Perhaps I will go into more detail with another article later, yet I will give some suggestions that work here.

First decide what service you wish to provide. It needs to solve problems for someone.

Tailor your self education to that end, but slowly expand. Target your marketing and offering to that end you have designed.

What will this do for you?

People will ask if you can handle this other “artist job” to do that service for them. If you see that same trend continue, it should clue you in. Learn how to do that art job.

Often freelancing is another word for starting a business. Yet in this case you are the business. You are your own job and boss.

This sounds great, but it is the most demanding job you will ever do. No slackers allowed for you will wash out quickly.

Nevertheless, it is this very mentality that caused me to earlier state that freelance artists within new media art would be a serious force within the market.

I do see pressure being placed upon the traditional in house art jobs of bigger corporations. Outsourcing has always had its benefits. As more competent artists begin to fulfill those roles the competition will change.

Traditional Freelance Artists Jobs At Home Locally

Here we go back to the local art community and us old school artists like painters, sculptors, and craftsmen. We have the most difficult time finding jobs out of everyone.

Before getting into the local mechanics, allow me to suggest getting an online art gallery. It really is a must. Seriously read that article even if that idea scares you.

Next, getting involved in local community is critical on some level. There really is no other way around it unless you have skills in another area that provides an alternative route.

Begin to meet local community businesses. Find what people need and then see if you can offer solutions. You need to ask a question to find an answer.

The question you need to ask in some form or way is: what problem can I help you solve? The answer they give is what you need to focus on.

The greatest job comes when you can solve peoples problems. If you can solve their problems then that equates to an income.

Within this capacity you may find more freelance work than filling out a W4 form would provide with a single company.

Allow me to be clear before you continue and my redundancy is for good reason. The key is in solving their problems, not showing off your artwork trying to get a sale. Learn to listen to people and their needs.

If your end goal is to push your artwork and do your own thing, this will come in time. It first requires that you cultivate and develop a reputation to that end. You grow into this.

Traditional Artists Jobs With Local Companies Or Institutions

As a traditional artist of the visual arts or similar background, artist jobs locally can vary widely based upon where you live. If you are within a major city, you have a significant advantage.

Within a major city you have many of the same resources as the bigger players in broader markets. You just need to decide if you wish to get educated in those backgrounds.

In smaller cities or towns, especially rural areas, the artist becomes far more limited. I will raise my hand here as this is my position. It certainly is not easy.

The tried and true job for artists seems to always come back to teaching within rural America. You merely need to meet state and local requirements for that position.

Other artist jobs focus on some really off the beaten path positions. Landscaping is one that can be surprising. Interior design is possible if your location supports this.

Working with real estate agents for staging homes is another possibility. Local ad agencies or media outlets is also common.

Some of these positions I named may or may not be available depending on your area. If they are not available, it may indicate a potential freelance business could be in your future.

I personally know of a lady local to me who ran into this very scenario. My local art market… well it is extremely harsh… I am trying to be kind. So I do understand this ladies frustration, and it could also be your position.

She began to host major events within the city civic center. Independent hobby crafters and local businesses participated, for a fee of course. I know being an events planner is not exactly on the forefront of every artists mind.

Nevertheless it provided her an income, and a way into the local community as a leader within art. This is thinking outside of the box to be known in your local region.

To put this simply, you cannot jump into this right away tomorrow. It begins by taking the first steps learning to walk before you can run.

Yet as an artist with no education it is a requirement that you think around your problems.

A Little Of My Story: My Art Job

In my case I had a lot of past business experience. I owned my business and did well with it. My wife had more than 20 years in marketing and served as a senior executive in major corporations.

Her experience has ranged from media marketing to working side by side with a CEO at an international level. Obviously shes the smart one between us two.

The day I informed her that I wished to pursue the art market she wanted to have me checked by a mental health expert. She knows how difficult the art market is.

We knew we would have to reach beyond our local market. We could not survive where we are relying upon what that offered. I never planned on building something like this blog or my online gallery.

I have been around the world. I have friends who are artists in many places, some are very well known. I merely planned on becoming the old dude with a wood shop behind his house.

Yet I discovered I could bring a lot of information to many people because there is so much bad information out there. Small nuggets are stuck into many articles across my pages, hidden for those who really read them, that can make a real difference.

I am one of those who had to create their own artist job. While it was not may original plan, I will say that I love what I do. At the end of the day that is what really matters.

You have to love what you choose to do. Finding a job to get a paycheck will just wear you down. Nevertheless doing what you love, you will truly have to work at it.

No One Succeeds Alone No Matter The Job

I will put this bluntly. No one succeeds alone. Period.

If you have the idea that you will set up a physical store and expect people to just walk in and you make it, I fear you will fail quickly.

Success through building relationships is key. Why?

First it minimizes financial exposure to you therefore reducing the impact of a failure. In other words if something fails it cost you little out of pocket.

How is this possible? A show hosted at already existing stores whom you have relationships with is a joint effort by the community.

Here all share the burden. This is in an attempt to gain community interest.

Building interest is better than opening your store with no interest at all. You do not want to be out there all alone. Additionally other businesses being involved makes it easier for word to spread.

That is the difference.

Likewise if you have a bad idea people will tell you. It offers a layer of protection for you and them.

An existing business knows their market. If they think your idea will help them then that means your idea may have merit. If others eventually join in over time then locally all benefit.

As an unknown in the local community setting up a storefront on day one is tough and not recommended. Selling art is tough, especially original art.

Have you ever noticed how the local arts center is involved in the local community? In many ways you are mimicking what they do. You just need to do it better. There is a reason why their model exists.

One of the greatest failures of artists is that they rush out into the world alone and expect to make it. Without a support infrastructure this is near impossible.

Support needs more than money. It needs people. In fact it often needs people more than it needs money.

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