Visual Arts Career Field

Visual Arts Careers Outlook

Visual Arts Careers

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As long as the visual arts continue to be an outlet for creative expression, people with artistic skills and dreams will continue to work in this field. The large number of art exhibits, galleries, and Web sites will continue to offer employment opportunities to skilled visual artists. However, those who aspire to a career in this field should recognize that although the possibilities of success exist and can be fulfilling, the potential for disappointment is also real. More than 60 percent of artists are self-employed, and those who are not tend to work in the advertising, computer, film, publishing, and software industries. The employment picture for graphic artists is clouded by fierce competition and an abundance of applicants, for both salaried positions and freelance work. Fine artists and crafters often find it difficult to support themselves financially by their artwork alone. The visual arts are a highly subjective area, and success depends a lot on the aesthetic perceptions and choices of the audiences who view works of art. Another job option for visual artists is teaching.

However, even with heavy competition and different opinions of beauty, according to the Occupational Outlook Handbook, it is expected that employment of visual artists will grow as fast as the average for all occupations through 2014. The industry will grow in proportion to its ability to attract audiences. Also, the growth of the Internet will create lots of opportunities for all artists. Chances for artists to exhibit their work also often depend on the amount of government funding available. The National Endowment for the Arts and other local arts agencies offer various financial grants to artists, for which competition is heavy.

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  • Art Directors
  • Artists
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  • Graphic Designers
  • Illustrators
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  • Medical Illustrators and Photographers
  • Photo Stylists
  • Photographers