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What Does it Take to Be a Fine Artist?

Job Description: Create original artwork using any of a wide variety of media and techniques.

Daily Life Of a Fine Artist

  • Shade and fill in sketch outlines and backgrounds, using a variety of media such as water colors, markers, and transparent washes, labeling designated colors when necessary.
  • Collaborate with writers who create ideas, stories, or captions that are combined with artists' work.
  • Model substances such as clay or wax, using fingers and small hand tools to form objects.
  • Teach artistic techniques to children or adults.
  • Submit artwork to shows or galleries.
  • Maintain portfolios of artistic work to demonstrate styles, interests, and abilities.

Things a Fine Artist Should Know How to Do

These are the skills Fine Artists say are the most useful in their careers:

Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Active Learning: Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.

Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Judgment and Decision Making: Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

  • Landscape Painter
  • Multimedia Illustrator
  • Fashion Artist
  • Artist
  • Color Artist

Fine Artist Job Outlook

There were about 28,000 jobs for Fine Artist in 2016 (in the United States). New jobs are being produced at a rate of 6.8% which is above the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 1,900 new jobs for Fine Artist by 2026. Due to new job openings and attrition, there will be an average of 2,400 job openings in this field each year.

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The states with the most job growth for Fine Artist are Utah, Washington, and Wyoming. Watch out if you plan on working in Missouri, Vermont, or Pennsylvania. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

Average Fine Artists Salary

The average yearly salary of a Fine Artist ranges between $20,020 and $97,710.

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Fine Artists who work in Oklahoma, California, or Connecticut, make the highest salaries.

How much do Fine Artists make in different U.S. states?

State Annual Mean Salary
Arizona $62,200
Arkansas $24,510
California $76,230
Colorado $47,760
Connecticut $80,010
Florida $46,210
Georgia $53,600
Illinois $46,870
Indiana $49,410
Iowa $46,940
Kansas $51,270
Kentucky $43,870
Louisiana $48,870
Maryland $56,320
Massachusetts $59,170
Michigan $55,340
Minnesota $57,710
Missouri $39,430
Montana $35,150
Nebraska $47,350
New Hampshire $47,540
New Jersey $62,840
New Mexico $35,110
North Carolina $43,310
Ohio $43,470
Oklahoma $65,140
Oregon $59,540
South Carolina $28,070
Tennessee $44,380
Texas $53,400
Utah $44,260
Vermont $54,910
Virginia $59,950
Washington $51,490

What Tools & Technology do Fine Artists Use?

Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Fine Artists:

  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Office
  • Hypertext markup language HTML
  • JavaScript
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Web browser software
  • Python
  • Email software
  • Autodesk AutoCAD
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Acrobat
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Photoshop
  • Facebook
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Illustrator
  • Extensible markup language XML
  • Intuit QuickBooks
  • Adobe Systems Adobe InDesign
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Dreamweaver
  • Dassault Systemes CATIA
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Flash
  • SmugMug Flickr

Becoming a Fine Artist

Individuals working as a Fine Artist have obtained the following education levels:

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What work experience do I need to become a Fine Artist?

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Where Fine Artists Work

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Below are examples of industries where Fine Artists work:

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References:

Image Credit: Jorge Royan via Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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