How Do I Get A Job In The Arts?

"I am really passionate about the arts, and I like all different kinds of art—I love to make crafts, and I enjoy digital work, and I also like to make collages and stuff. I would really like to be able to make a living with art somehow, but I’m not really comfortable with the idea of just doing all my work on my own and hoping that people will buy my creations. I would rather have an actual proper job of some sort. What kinds of actual jobs are available for someone in the arts, and how do I get one? I was thinking maybe something involving my digital skills?"

asked by Billie from Chicago, IL

That’s wonderful you love art enough to want to do it for a living, and you aren’t wrong about the difficulty of trying to make a living doing it. And indeed, most artists can’t get by working job to job and just hoping that someone will buy their creations. Unfortunately our world is a bit too utilitarian for that to work out in most cases, which is why most artists have day jobs. If your day job involves art, though, that can make things a little more enjoyable.

Digital art is something that has really blossomed over the past few years, and there are a lot of different industries where digital artists are needed. One big area for digital art skills is in website design. That may not sound like the most obvious application, but if you can learn some basic coding skills, you can use your graphic design skills to create functional and attractive websites which can help other businesses to find customers and make money.

That’s a big field right now. If you know Flash, you can make even more creative websites with more artistic value.

Graphic designers are also needed to create static promotional materials as well. You might create advertisements for billboards or text or promotional images for the sides of trucks.

Or you might design pamphlets or brochures in conjunction with a PR team for a company. Digital animators are also needed to do work on films and television series. You could also work on creating animations for use in advertisements.

A lot of people who do this kind of work do it on a freelance basis, which can be a reliable way to make a living since it is still commercial work. If you do freelance work, you will make a different salary on each job you do and you will have to search for opportunities, but it is one way to make a living.

You also might work for a company directly, or you might work for an advertising agency or another company that contracts its design work out to other businesses.

Whatever you decide to do, by searching for opportunities to commercialize your art, you can do creative activities for a living without worrying that there is no market for your work. And then you can spend the rest of your time working on making and marketing your fine art.

Career Spotlight: Art Director

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