Finding A Fine Arts Career:

Aspiring artists have more career options today than they ever have before. The digital age has opened up not only the way art can be taught, but also the types of art that can be created. Each type of art degree requires that the artist master some basic skills sets such as sketching, drawing and painting with each taking on a slightly different skill set as the artist’s education progresses. Additionally, the type of degree depends on the end career goal of the artist. While some artists want to work in a gallery or museum, others have a more commercial venue in mind or even art therapy.

Fine Art (Drawing, Painting, Sculpting)

Artists who study fine art display their work in galleries and museums, according to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics. They make their work environments in lofts, artists’ studios or their homes. Artists work in a variety of media, including paper, canvas, sculpture, art metals or ceramics. Up to 60 percent of fine artists are self-employed, although not all can make all of their living from art. While some of these artists take up art-related careers such as museum curating, teaching or fine art publishing, others work other jobs not related to art.


Animation careers become the outlet for many aspiring artists working in the field. With the proliferation of video games the career prospects for many aspiring artists has improved dramatically. Artists looking to become animators can find animation degrees online and on traditional campuses. According to All Art Schools, would-be animators learn a variety of skills in animation school including how to paint and draw, how to draw storyboards and how to create characters. They also become acquainted with the latest animation software.


With the pioneering work of photographer Alfred Stieglitz, photography became a fine art in its own right during the 20th century. Aspiring photographers take their place in the ranks of many of the finest art schools in the country and learn basic art skills like drawing and art history in addition to their photography related studies. Additionally, while many photographers work in still photography, some get degrees in photography related art degrees, which include film and videography as well as digital photography, according to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics.

Illustration and Design

Illustrators and designers work in complementary fields to one another, and designers as well as illustrators often do the same core course work in their art degree programs. These artists create graphics that offer insight into a client or organization’s mission, advertising campaign or other business related topics that need visuals in order to get the message across.

Art Therapy

For those artists who are equally concerned about creating art as they are about helping people, there is the profession of art therapy. The foundations of art therapy rely on the use of the visual arts-drawing, painting, sculpture and other forms of visual art-to access the inner world of the therapy patient. Through the use of art and counseling, an art therapist helps treat many issues such as depression, anxiety or even pain therapies like migraine relief. To prepare for a career in art therapy, aspiring art therapists should take at least 15 credits of art plus 12 credits of psychology before going on to get a Master’s degree in art therapy.

Allied Health Profession, Art Therapist, AHP
Bureau of Labor and Statistics, Artists and Art Related Workers, BLS
Bureau of Labor and Statistics, Graphic Designers, BLS
Bureau of Labor and Statistics, Photographers, BLS
Masters of Photography, Alfred Stieglitz, MOP
All Art Schools, Animation Career, AAS
Art Study, Choosing Art School: Type, AS