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Careers in Art
Dec 08, 2010
Calling all artists, art historians and art lovers: Learn how to turn your passion for the arts into a satisfying career. From graphic design to art therapy, there are tons of creative careers waiting for you.
Making a living as a studio artist can be challenging and frustrating, leading many artists to pursue a side career to pay the bills. Luckily, you don't have to sacrifice your creative spirit! Check out these careers that use your artistic skills to the fullest.
Everywhere you look, you'll see the work of a graphic designer. From advertising to Facebook, from product packaging to the cover of your favorite magazine - almost everything that we've come to take for granted in our visual worlds has the hidden hand of a graphic designer.
Artists with a talent for drawing and design can pursue an associate's degree in Graphic Design or a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) with a focus in Graphic Design to launch their careers in the field.
If you already have some experience with graphic design, or are just more interested in being the boss, consider a career as an artistic director. Art directors are the 'big picture' people - they come up with concepts, manage projects and are the main lines of communication between clients and artistic teams.
A studio art degree and professional experience in graphic design are typically required to advance to this career level.
Are you in love with the sleek beauty of the iPhone, or that awesome art deco chair in your grandmother's living room? Product design is a great way to make the world around you a little more beautiful while working in almost any field. Product designers can be found in the auto industry, the tech industry and the manufacturing branches of just about every business you can think of - all there to make sure the products look great and are easy to use.
An associate's or bachelor's degree in industrial design is typically required for entry into this career.
Are you more interested in the way things fit together than the things themselves? Then interior design may be the career for you. Interior designers plan every aspect of a room, from the color of the walls to the perfect piece of décor for the finalizing touch. Many specialize in specific areas, such as kitchen design or environmentally-friendly design.
Most entry-level positions in interior design require an associate's or bachelor's degree. Some states also require interior designers to have a license to practice.
Artists who want to use their skills outside of the commercial world may be interested in becoming conservators. These professionals analyze the condition of cultural artifacts such as paintings or sculptures, repair deterioration where necessary (and appropriate) and work to preserve artifacts against future damage. Most work in museums, but conservators can also be found in historical societies and private arts organizations.
A high level of education is required to go into conservation. Students should have an arts-related bachelor's degree, as well as a master's degree in conservation. Many conservators also undergo internships or apprenticeships during their graduate study.
Education and Administration
Want to find a way to bring your love of the arts to other people? Check out some of these educational and administrative careers.
Art therapy is a great choice for artists with a passion for helping other people. Art therapists integrate visual art into counseling and psychotherapy, using their creative skills to help people heal mentally and emotionally.
A master's degree in art therapy is a common way to enter into the field, but some professionals combine an undergraduate degree in studio art with a master's degree in counseling.
If counseling isn't your thing, but you still love to work with people, consider a career as an arts educator. You can work as an art teacher in K-12 schools, a professor at a college or university or an instructor at an arts organization or community center.
A strong background in making art is the first step to becoming an art educator. Elementary and secondary art teachers need a bachelor's or master's degree in education with a focus in arts education, as well as a teaching certificate. Individuals who plan to teach at the college level will need a Master's of Fine Arts (MFA) degree.
Be the artist behind the art - arts administrators work behind the scenes in theater, music, dance and the visual arts to make sure that the performance or gallery exhibition comes off without a hitch. This is a great career for pragmatic, organized art lovers.
There are many degree paths available for aspiring arts administrators, although most require graduate education. Art history, arts management and business administration are just a few of the academic options you can pursue.
What's the difference between arts administrators and museum administrators? The latter specialize in the unique needs of museums, from managing collections to getting exhibitions running on time. Administrators may also work in museums' education departments, as museum registrars or in a communications area such as public relations.
A bachelor's degree in art history and relevant work experience may be sufficient to become a museum administrator. However, a master's degree in Museology or Museum Studies is often necessary to advance in the field.
Art librarians can work at museums, historical societies, colleges and universities or other large arts organizations. They catalog art books, maintain art collections and are available as expert resources for scholars and students.
Being an art librarian also requires an exceptional amount of education. Most have a master's degree in art history as well as a Master of Library Science (MLS) degree. Art librarians are also often expected to speak (or at least read) French and German, or another language related to their specialty.