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Career Opportunities and Work Life

Art professor Ken Shaber assists a student in drawing classCareers in art can lead to the following careers:

  • Art directors who develop and design concepts for printed and digital media.
  • Fine artists who present their own work in museums, galleries, and collections. Some art is commissioned work, but most is sold by the artist. Fine artists usually specialize in one or two art forms.
  • Illustrators who create images for books, magazines, commercial products, and digital formats.
  • Sculptors who use clay, glass, plastics, fabrics, and other materials to create a three-dimensional art.
  • Animators who work in motion and video industries.

Other careers include:

  • Graphic designer
  • Photojournalist
  • Art dealer
  • Art teacher

Work Environment
Many artists work in office buildings, warehouses, or in private studios. Wherever the location, work space is often well-light and ventilated.

Those artists who are employed by publishing companies, advertising firms, and design studios usually work a standard 40-hour work week, Monday through Friday. Overtime may be required to complete projects by a designated deadline.

Self-employed artists are able to set their own hours, but spend many hours building a reputation, selling artwork, and possibly working additional part-time jobs.

Employment Outlook
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, more than half of all artists are self-employed. There is heavy competition in this field due to the appeal of being an artist. Nationally, the field of fine art is expected to see an 8 percent employment increase by 2020.

"Fine artists will not bring in a lot of money," says Lake Michigan College adjuct art instructor, Ken Schaber. "If you have a fire inside yourself, then you'll find a job that's related to your artistic drive. If the centerpiece for your life is creating art, then as an artist you'll make the sacrifice for your passion."

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