Find the Art College That Can Train You For a Career As a Visual Artist

You may have been one of those kids who always loved to draw or paint. Maybe you dreamed of being a professional artist. Your parents may have said to you, “You want to be an artist? Great. Get something to fall back on. Get your degree in accounting.”
Sure, once you graduate from high school, the idea of making a living by selling your own artwork may be scary. But there are many well-paying careers that could provide an outlet for your creativity. Let’s look at some of them.
Fine artists create what we think of as “art” – paintings, prints, sculpture, and photography. Successful fine artists typically display their work in museums, corporate collections, commercial art galleries, and private homes. Most are self-employed, and many fine artists have at least one other job to support their art careers, such as teaching at an art school. A few become hugely successful and earn millions. And they are not just the trendy cutting-edge artists; many successful artists like Thomas Kinkade work in traditional formats.
Art directors are employed at advertising agencies, periodicals, newspapers, and other printed or digital media companies. They develop design concepts and review material, and decide how best to present visual information so that it is eye-catching and conveys the right message.
Craft artists make a wide variety of objects that may be either utilitarian or decorative. Craft artists use many different materials including glass, metal, textiles, ceramics, paper, and wood. They may create quilts, pottery, lace, candles, stained glass, tapestries, and clothing. Their work may be sold in their own studios, in galleries, at arts-and-crafts shows, or in retail outlets.
Multi-media artists and animators create animation, special effects, and other visual images using video, film, or electronic media including computers. Illustrators create pictures for commercial products such as greeting cards, textiles, wrapping paper, stationery, and calendars, as well as for magazines, books, and other publications. Many illustrators are now working in digital formats, and create images directly on a computer.
There are other career opportunities including art restoration, cartooning, medical and scientific illustrating, law enforcement sketch artists, and printmaking. They all combine creativity with the potential rewards of a lifelong career.
What does it take to enter a career in the visual arts? Creativity and, increasingly, training. Although some craft and fine artists are self-taught, it is very difficult to acquire advanced skills without formal training. Art directors, multimedia artists, and animators usually need at least a bachelor’s degree. Diploma and associate degree programs are available to assist aspiring artists to get training in a particular field. People who want to teach fine arts at public elementary or secondary schools usually must have a bachelor’s degree and a teaching certificate.
What’s the career outlook? Positive! According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, during the decade from 2008 through 2018, employment of artists and related workers is expected to grow as fast as other occupations. In the 2010-11 Occupational Handbook the government says, “Despite the competition, employers and individual clients are always on the lookout for talented and creative artists.”
Some segments will grow faster than others. For instance, the market for multimedia artists and animators should increase because consumers will want more realistic video games, movies, and television special effects. Demand for computer illustrators should increase as websites use more sophisticated images in their designs. Cartoonists may create animated or interactive images to satisfy readers’ demands for more complex images. Medical illustrators may also be in greater demand as medical research continues to grow. Animators may also be in demand in alternative areas such as scientific research and design services.
How do you find the right art school for you? If you enjoy expressing yourself artistically and are determined to make it your career, you’ll want to attend the very best art school that you can. The best way to start your search is to go online to a free college directory. On the home page, simply enter the search terms that are appropriate for you, such as “art school in Los Angeles, California.” You’ll be presented with the colleges and art schools that meet your criteria. In minutes you can compare programs, financial aid options, and flexible schedules. Then just click on the colleges you like in order to get more free information from the schools. It only takes a few minutes to get your training started!

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