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Fine Artists

Fine artists create sculptors, paintings, graphics, watercolors and drawings. Fine art is a visual art that has been created for aesthetic reasons and judged for its beauty and meaningfulness. The word "fine" indicates the purity of the discipline. Some fine artists work with a variety of materials and others specialize in a particular material. Fine artists create original artwork.

The artwork of fine artists is usually displayed in commercial art galleries, museums, private homes and corporate collections. Some fine artwork is commissioned (created upon request of clients), however most artwork is sold via private art galleries and dealers. Usually the artist and the gallery owner decide in advance how much each of them will receive from a sale.

Responsibilities

  • Attend art exhibitions and read art publications
  • Create art out of substances such as clay or wax
  • Study techniques, styles, colors and materials for restoration processes
  • Build a clientele
  • Create sculptures and statutes
  • Build and maintain an artistic portfolio
  • Develop budgets for approval

Job Characteristics

Fine artists often work alone. They work in warehouses, lofts and office buildings. Some fine artists work from their homes. Some artists share studio space with others and sometimes use the space to exhibit their work. Self-employed artists usually spend a lot of time and effort trying to sell their work to potential customers or clients and for building a reputation.

Employment Outlook

The Bureau of Labor statistics forecasts a 6 percent growth rate from 2006 to 2016 for artists and related workers which is faster than average for all occupations. There is keen competition for jobs for artists and related jobs. However, galleries, studios and clients are continually looking for artists that show outstanding talent, style and creativity.

The median annual earnings for salaried fine artists in 2006 was $41,970. The highest paid 10 percent earned more than $79,390. The earnings for artists that are self-employed vary widely. Some artists only charge clients a nominal fee while they acquire experience and build a reputation for their artwork. Some well established freelance fine artists earn more money than salaried artists.

Some fine artists attempt to earn a living via sales of their artwork, however many fine artists cannot make a living just from art sales. Many fine artists teach at art schools, colleges or public schools to supplement their incomes. Some work in art galleries or museums as curators or as directors.

Competition among artists to have their artwork shown in galleries is projected to remain intense. Competition for grants from private foundations, the National Endowment for the Arts, and State and local art councils is expected to remain intense.

Some fine artists earn income by providing private art lessons, conducting workshops or by teaching art classes. The Bureau of Labor Statistics has stated that about two-thirds of fine artists are self-employed. The rest of them typically have full-time jobs and create art during their free time.

Education, Certification, and Licensing

A large number of colleges and universities provide bachelor's and master's degrees in fine arts. The programs usually include classes such as art history and studio art, natural science, social science and English. Independent schools of art also provide studio training in fine arts and provide certificates and associate and bachelor's degrees in fine arts. When compared to academic programs at universities, the independent art school programs have a stronger emphasis on studio work.

Those seeking to teach fine arts at a public school typically are required to have a bachelor's degree and a teaching certificate. Management and administrative positions in foundations and government agencies as well as teaching positions in colleges usually require an advance degree in fine arts or arts administration.

An artist's portfolio is a major factor for clients and directors in deciding if they want to hire an artist or contract for their work. Internships are beneficial for artists for developing and improving their portfolio.

Resources

Major Employers

The top employers are colleges, art galleries, public schools, museums and foundations.

Schools for Fine Artists are listed in the Browse Schools Section.

Metro Areas Sorted by Total Employment for:
Fine Artists

Listed below are metro areas sorted by the total number of people employed in Fine Artists jobs , as of 2016

2016 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2014-24 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov; 2014-24 State Occupational Projections, Projections Central, projectionscentral.com

     
Metro Area (Arizona) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Scottsdale 100 $43,310
Mesa 100 $43,310
Phoenix 100 $43,310
     
Metro Area (Arkansas) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Conway 50 $19,000
North Little Rock 50 $19,000
Little Rock 50 $19,000
     
Metro Area (California) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Anaheim 1810 $64,010
Los Angeles 1810 $64,010
Long Beach 1810 $64,010
San Francisco 280 N/A
Oakland 280 N/A
Hayward 280 N/A
Arcade 50 $59,080
Roseville 50 $59,080
Arden 50 $59,080
Sacramento 50 $59,080
San Diego N/A $60,670
Carlsbad N/A $60,670
Ontario N/A $82,190
Riverside N/A $82,190
San Bernardino N/A $82,190
     
Metro Area (Colorado) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Fort Collins 30 $37,340
Lakewood N/A $33,460
Aurora N/A $33,460
Denver N/A $33,460
     
Metro Area (Connecticut) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Norwalk 70 N/A
Stamford 70 N/A
Bridgeport 70 N/A
     
Metro Area (Florida) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Orlando 220 $47,190
Kissimmee 220 $47,190
Sanford 220 $47,190
Tampa 70 $37,440
St. Petersburg 70 $37,440
Clearwater 70 $37,440
West Palm Beach 70 $64,420
Fort Lauderdale 70 $64,420
Miami 70 $64,420
Cape Coral 60 $18,770
Fort Myers 60 $18,770
Jacksonville 50 $29,210
Sarasota N/A $68,690
North Port N/A $68,690
Bradenton N/A $68,690
     
Metro Area (Georgia) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Roswell 190 $55,200
Sandy Springs 190 $55,200
Atlanta 190 $55,200
     
Metro Area (Indiana) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Anderson 40 $34,180
Carmel 40 $34,180
Indianapolis 40 $34,180
     
Metro Area (Maryland) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Towson 40 $43,780
Columbia 40 $43,780
Baltimore 40 $43,780
     
Metro Area (Michigan) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Dearborn 230 $50,470
Warren 230 $50,470
Detroit 230 $50,470
Ann Arbor 40 $34,430
     
Metro Area (New Mexico) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Albuquerque N/A $29,220
     
Metro Area (North Carolina) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Raleigh 50 $43,560
Chapel Hill 40 $46,190
Durham 40 $46,190
     
Metro Area (Ohio) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Columbus 320 $19,190
Elyria 80 $19,450
Cleveland 80 $19,450
Dayton N/A $41,350
     
Metro Area (Oregon) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Medford N/A $35,890
     
Metro Area (Pennsylvania) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Harrisburg 60 $37,240
Carlisle 60 $37,240
Pittsburgh 40 $35,150
     
Metro Area (Tennessee) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Franklin N/A $34,480
Murfreesboro N/A $34,480
Davidson N/A $34,480
Nashville N/A $34,480
     
Metro Area (Texas) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Fort Worth 210 $60,240
Dallas 210 $60,240
Arlington 210 $60,240
Sugar Land 190 $19,120
Houston 190 $19,120
The Woodlands 190 $19,120
New Braunfels 110 $17,960
San Antonio 110 $17,960
Austin 40 $43,770
Round Rock 40 $43,770
     
Metro Area (Utah) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Salt Lake City 40 $45,860
Clearfield 40 $49,020
Ogden 40 $49,020
     
Metro Area (Virginia) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Richmond 30 $24,500
     
Metro Area (Washington) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Bellevue 330 $64,140
Tacoma 330 $64,140
Seattle 330 $64,140
     
Metro Area (Wisconsin) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Madison 60 $31,350
West Allis 50 $39,830
Milwaukee 50 $39,830
Waukesha 50 $39,830

Most Popular Industries for :
Fine Artists

Industries representing at least 1% of total jobs for the occupation.

2016 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2014-24 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov; 2014-24 State Occupational Projections, Projections Central, projectionscentral.com

Industry Jobs Percent Annual Median Salary
Performing Arts And Sports 2,950 36% $37,790
Professional And Technical Services 1,030 12% $47,540
Traditional Publishing 850 10% $51,320
Education 680 8% $36,250
Movie And Music 550 6% $64,610
Government 520 6% $48,670
Mineral Products 470 5% $28,770
Miscellaneous Retail Stores 440 5% $36,190
Office Services And Staffing 180 2% $50,040
Business Management 130 1% $51,190
Museums And Historic Attractions 110 1% $43,200
Click the Visit School Site buttons to go directly to a school's website and learn more about the school and programs it has to offer. School website will open in a new tab.
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We have some additional detailed pages at the state level for Fine Artists.

Numbers in parentheses are counts of relevant campus-based schools in the state; online schools may also be available.

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