How to Make Money as an Artist: Careers in Art and Design to Consider

Nov 11 14:57 2019 Siona Benjamin Print This Article

Art can be a hard passion to follow with many artists finding themselves feeling emotions deeply and struggling to express themsevles. Not only that, but artists can also find it hard to support themselves with their craft. This article will give you some concrete careers in art and design to help you make some money as an artist.

If you’ve gone to art school,Guest Posting have an art degree, or even are just self-taught, chances are you’ve heard the classic stereotypes: 

“Don’t study art; what could you possibly do with an art degree?” 

“There’s no money in art. Ready to be a starving artist?”

“A degree in art is a waste of time and money.”

This is pretty frustrating to hear especially considering how wrong those statements are! If you’re talented and dedicated to your craft, you can and will succeed as an artist. There are loads of careers in art and design that you can pursue to make a living off of your artistic skills.

Learn how to make money as an artist with this list of careers in art!

1. Commercial Artist

Commercial artists create art that can go along with advertising campaigns, marketing strategies, logos, or even things like office or hotel art. These artists also work closely with magazine, shipping/packaging companies, specific brands, and other similar types of clients.

As a commercial artist, you could either work as a freelancer taking art commissions for various projects, or you can be an employee for a specific company or brand and work solely for them (or both!). 

To succeed as a commercial artist, you need to be able to adjust your style to match the needs and wants of the client you’re working with. You’ll work closely with managers, supervisors, editors, writers, and graphic designers, so you’ll need excellent communication skills. 

You’ll also often be constrained by your client’s budget, so understanding of accounting and money is another bonus. If you’re a freelancer, you’ll need excellent work ethic and focus to motivate yourself to not only find client, but organize and complete your own schedule, emails, invoices, and more. 

According to PayScale, commercial artists earn an average of $62,000 per year. This is a great option because it allows for many artist types to find work including illustrators, painters, sculptors, designers, photographers, and graphic designers. 

2. Graphic Designer

Like commercial artists, graphic designers can find work in both agencies and, increasingly, as freelancers. Graphic designers create visuals, graphs, art, diagrams, and other graphics.

This could be drawings, icons, typography, illustrations, website pages, logos, signs, and more. Most graphic designers work closely with companies and brands in order to reflect brand image, voice, and purpose. This is often done digitally, but it can be done with traditional methods as well.

Most graphic designers should hold at least a bachelor’s degree in art, graphic design, or related disciplines. PayScale reports the average salary for graphic designers at about $44,000.

3. Art Teacher or Professor

If you like to teach others about art and impart your wisdom, then becoming an art teacher or professor could be the best move for you. Art teachers can be employed at all levels of education from preschool to elementary to high school and beyond. 

Grade school and high school art teachers may be required to have a degree in education or at least a license in teaching along with training or knowledge in art. Art teachers for young students must be able to work with kids and communicate well in order to properly instruct students. 

Teacher salaries range widely depending on the school and the area you work in, but the reported median currently sits at $55,000.

Art professors usually require more education, usually requiring a master’s or a doctorate to qualify for collegiate teaching positions. However, increased education and a more prestigious position as a professor pays off salary wise with the average art professor earning $72,600 per year on average. 

4. Museum Curator

If art history and the study of art is more your thing, a position as a museum curator could be the perfect fit. 

Curators work in museums or galleries and are responsible for finding, cataloguing, collecting, and creating displays for art. They must have exceptional knowledge of the art world and art history along with great organizational and time-management skills. 

Curators also:

  • Create exhibition schedules throughout the year
  • Coordinate with PR and advertising departments
  • Ensure the maintenance of art pieces
  • Maintain records of permanent and temporary pieces

Large museums and collections often have multiple curators, which means this job requires a lot of communication and teamwork between curators, departments, and museum patrons.

The average salary for museum curators is $57,000 with a range between $37,000 and $97,000 common

All That’s Left to Do Is Start!

Artists block is a known obstacle to creating, and job block is real too. Hopefully this list of careers in art helped you break through that block and understand how to make money in art by pursue your true passion!

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About Article Author

Siona Benjamin
Siona Benjamin

Siona Benjamin is a globally recognized artist specializing in multicultural art. She has multiple degrees and has travelled around the world making and speaking about art.

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