A fine artist makes a living from their art and may create pieces for exhibitions, art galleries, or online stores. The difference between a craft artist and a fine artist is the level of education or training. An artist is considered a fine artist when their work is considered highly valuable and they have mastered their technique.
Watch a video to learn what a fine artist does.
How to Become an Artist
Many fine artists further their education by earning a bachelor’s or master’s degree in fine arts. Courses an artist may take include art history, studio art, and core subjects such as social science, English, and natural science. Independent schools of design and art may also offer certifications in an art-related specialty and also have associate’s, bachelors, or master’s degree programs.
The National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD) in 2013 accredited about 330 schools and colleges with programs in design and art. You can check out accredited art institutions via the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD.org) website (link opens in a new browser).
Job Description of an Artist
Fine artists use different techniques to create art, such as weaving, painting, glass blowing, or sculpting. They strive to develop new methods or ideas for making art. They may create art to send a message through their work, spark controversy, or simply provoke a feeling int the person observing their work. They may use live people or objects as reference to work from and guide their work or work from instinct. Fine artists must select the appropriate materials to use for their work. Visual elements like space, color, composition, and perspective is used to get the creative effect they wish to convey. Depending on how these artists earn a living, they may also need to develop and update a portfolio to showcase their artistic ability, style, and talent. This may also include an online portfolio of their work.
Much of an artist’s time is spent making a reputation for themselves and trying to promote their art. Only the most successful fine artist is able to support themselves from their art work. Some fine artists have other jobs such as with art museums or art galleries. Others may teach art in schools or workshops.
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Free Teacher and Student Resources
Did you know that some of the most spectacular museums in the world offer free, virtual museum tours? Some art museum tours you may enjoy include the Louve Online Tour in Paris (link opens in a new tab) and the Guggenheim Museum Online Tour (link opens in a new tab) in New York City.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Craft and Fine Artists.
National Center for O*NET Development. 27-1013.00. O*NET OnLine.
The career video is in the public domain from the U. S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.