Fine Artist Career

fine-artist-500Fine artists create original works of art ranging from realistic to abstract. Their work is more aesthetic than functional, and they use a variety techniques and materials to create their art.

Fine artists produce drawings, paintings, collages, sculptures, moving images, and performance art.

These artists typically specialize in producing one form of medium, such as paintings, and their work can reflect a variety of subject matter like landscapes, urban settings, and portraits.

Fine Artist Career Snapshot

Fine artists can work in many different settings such as art studios, museums, schools, advertising firms, publishing houses, and video production companies. They can work full-time or part-time hours, those who are self-employed can set their own hours, and many artists work a second job.

Further details on a career as a fine artist are listed below (statistics from the May 2016 Bureau of Labor Statistics and Onet Online):


is the median yearly salary for fine artists.


increase in employment between 2014 and 2024.


have a High school diploma while 22% have a Bachelor’s degree.

Fine Artist Education

It doesn’t take any kind of formal education, certification, or examination to become a fine artist, but many do pursue a college degree to improve their job prospects. Having a formal art education is helpful in developing the skills that are needed to become a successful commercial artist. Taking art classes also helps artists to create a portfolio of work that they can present to prospective employers and clients.

Fine Artist Job Duties

To produce a piece of art, the artist must develop an idea, create a template, select materials to use, create the final product, then display their work at auctions, galleries, museums, or craft fairs. Artists spend much of their time selling their artwork and developing a reputation with potential clients and employers.

Fine Artist Salaries

As of May 2016, the median annual salary for a fine artist was $50,790 ( statistics). About half of all fine artists are self-employed and work on commission, so their incomes can vary widely. Successful artists who have a strong reputation can earn up to $100,000 or more per year, and those who are just starting out may only earn around $21,000 per year.

Fine Artist Job Outlook

Projected job growth in the fine arts field is only 3% through 2024. This number could increase if the economy improves because people tend to spend more money on the arts when they have extra money to spend. There is a lot of competition in the fine arts industry as artists compete for clients and presentations spots in galleries.

Fine Artist Skills & Traits

Fine Artist Skill Set:Required Abilities:Tools Used by Fine Artists:Typical Work Activities:
• Active Learning
• Active Listening
• Critical Thinking
• Judgment and Decision Making
• Originality
• Visualization
• Fluency of Ideas
• Arm-Hand Steadiness
• Anatomical models
• Camera flashes or lighting
• Clay or modeling tools
• Kilns for firing ceramics
• Thinking Creatively
• Getting Information
• Making Decisions and Solving Problems
• Handling and Moving Objects

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High School Diploma or Equivalent

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