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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 2015

Source: 2015 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2014-24 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov.

     
Metro Area (Arizona) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Scottsdale 100 $39,400
Mesa 100 $39,400
Phoenix 100 $39,400
     
Metro Area (Arkansas) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Conway 50 $19,430
North Little Rock 50 $19,430
Little Rock 50 $19,430
     
Metro Area (California) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Long Beach 1540 $61,250
Anaheim 1540 $61,250
Los Angeles 1540 $61,250
Sunnyvale 80 N/A
Santa Clara 80 N/A
San Jose 80 N/A
Roseville 30 $57,160
Sacramento 30 $57,160
Arden 30 $57,160
Arcade 30 $57,160
San Diego N/A $51,080
Carlsbad N/A $51,080
San Bernardino N/A $81,370
Riverside N/A $81,370
Ontario N/A $81,370
     
Metro Area (Colorado) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Fort Collins 50 $36,530
Lakewood N/A $30,920
Denver N/A $30,920
Aurora N/A $30,920
     
Metro Area (Connecticut) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Norwalk 60 N/A
Stamford 60 N/A
Bridgeport 60 N/A
     
Metro Area (Florida) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Sanford 120 $45,700
Kissimmee 120 $45,700
Orlando 120 $45,700
Fort Lauderdale 60 N/A
West Palm Beach 60 N/A
Miami 60 N/A
St. Petersburg 60 N/A
Clearwater 60 N/A
Tampa 60 N/A
Sarasota 40 $40,960
Bradenton 40 $40,960
North Port 40 $40,960
Jacksonville N/A $26,840
     
Metro Area (Georgia) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Roswell 350 $44,230
Sandy Springs 350 $44,230
Atlanta 350 $44,230
     
Metro Area (Indiana) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Anderson 40 $35,220
Carmel 40 $35,220
Indianapolis 40 $35,220
     
Metro Area (Maryland) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Towson 100 $30,980
Columbia 100 $30,980
Baltimore 100 $30,980
     
Metro Area (Nebraska) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Lincoln 40 $35,460
     
Metro Area (Nevada) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Paradise N/A $42,820
Henderson N/A $42,820
Las Vegas N/A $42,820
     
Metro Area (New Mexico) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Albuquerque 40 $29,440
     
Metro Area (North Carolina) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Raleigh 70 $47,490
Chapel Hill 50 $75,060
Durham 50 $75,060
     
Metro Area (Ohio) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Cleveland 80 $18,540
Elyria 80 $18,540
Columbus N/A $18,730
Dayton N/A $33,090
     
Metro Area (Oklahoma) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Oklahoma City 50 $56,210
     
Metro Area (Pennsylvania) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Pittsburgh 60 $32,850
Carlisle 50 $35,690
Harrisburg 50 $35,690
Lancaster 30 $33,900
     
Metro Area (Tennessee) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Franklin 140 $31,820
Murfreesboro 140 $31,820
Davidson 140 $31,820
Nashville 140 $31,820
     
Metro Area (Texas) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Fort Worth 240 $62,630
Arlington 240 $62,630
Dallas 240 $62,630
Sugar Land 220 $29,410
The Woodlands 220 $29,410
Houston 220 $29,410
New Braunfels 120 $17,470
San Antonio 120 $17,470
Round Rock N/A $50,840
Austin N/A $50,840
     
Metro Area (Utah) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Salt Lake City 60 $19,500
Orem 40 $30,030
Provo 40 $30,030
Clearfield N/A $46,020
Ogden N/A $46,020
     
Metro Area (Virginia) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Richmond 50 $33,100
     
Metro Area (Washington) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Bellevue 260 $76,660
Tacoma 260 $76,660
Seattle 260 $76,660
     
Metro Area (Wisconsin) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Madison 90 $35,440
West Allis 60 $37,530
Milwaukee 60 $37,530
Waukesha 60 $37,530

Most Popular Industries for :
Fine Artists

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

Source: 2015 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2014-24 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov.

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
These schools offer particularly quick info upon request, and we have written detailed profiles for each (click school names to see the profiles). Request info from multiple schools, by clicking the Request Info links.
 
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CityTownInfo Career and College Resources

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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