You don’t have to earn a bachelor’s degree in art and become a fine artist to earn a living in the art field. A craft artist makes their items by hand using a variety of materials and techniques and can then sell what they made to the public. These artists design crafts, such as pottery, textiles, glassware, and other functional pieces. Their work is also generally affordable and accessible for the public to purchase.
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How to Become a Craft Artist
Step 1: Improve your Skill
First, there is no age or education requirement to become a craft artist but you will need to improve your art through repetition and practice. In fact, O*NET OnLine reports that 20% of craft artists have yet to earn their high school diploma or GED while a little over 20% reported earning a bachelor’s degree. The basic requirement is to become good enough at your craft to be able to sell it to others. You may be able to find a mentor or attend classes at an art studio, community college, or art center.
Step 2: Research the Market
Craft artists must be business savvy if they want to be a craft artist as a career or leverage it to earn extra income. If you are interested to start selling your craft, you’ll need to consider where you want to sell your craft, how much to charge for your craft (taking into account the price of your materials), and how you’ll market it.
Step 3: Sell your Crafts
There are a variety of ways you can sell your craft art. Some artists sell their work online through popular eCommerce websites such as Etsy.com (link opens in a new tab). These sites quickly set up craft artists with an online storefront and payment method. Other artists purchase booths at their local farmer’s market or sell directly to boutique businesses in their area. You can even do both, sell locally and online!
Job Description of a Craft and Fine Artist
Craft artists create items that people will find appealing to purchase. Their work may not be found in galleries costing thousands of dollars and they may not be called a fine artist but these artists can sell their work just the same. They create a variety of unique items by hand that people find appealing. Because of this, they may revise their craft based on the public’s feedback. They also stay current with market trends in order for their product to be in demand. For example, a particular pattern may become popular because a celebrity started wearing the pattern. A craft artist may work this pattern into their product to keep it current.
Craft artists must purchase materials and be mindful of their cost in order to keep a good profit margin. If selling online, they often need to write an enticing and accurate product description and take numerous photos of their items to showcase the quality, size, and color. It’s important that their customer is happy with the product as word-of-mouth and online reviews of their products are important for their business.
Craft Artist Career Video Transcript
Craft art takes many forms from handmade furniture and jewelry to clothing and stained glass. Craft artists create these, and other handmade objects and digital products, to be functional works of art. Craft artists work with many different materials to create their pieces, and may also use fine-art techniques for example, painting, sketching, and printing to add finishing touches to their products. Some craft artists earn a living from selling their work such as potters who make bowls and plates to sell in shops or tattoo artists, who may produce drawings of their designs on commission from customers. Other craft artists use their skills to develop patterns or models to guide the production of an item.
Most craft artists spend a lot of time promoting their artwork to potential customers and building a reputation, many have another job to support themselves financially. Craft artists may also sell their work at craft shows, or via their own website or online merchandising websites, to reach a wider audience of potential customers. A degree is typically not needed for craft artists instead they develop their skills through practice, increasing the complexity of the projects they create. Some attend classes offered by colleges, art centers, museums, or other artists.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Craft and Fine Artists.
National Center for O*NET Development. 27-1012.00. O*NET OnLine. This page includes information from O*NET OnLine by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA). Used under the CC BY 4.0 license. O*NET® is a trademark of USDOL/ETA. RethinkOldSchool, Inc. has modified all or some of this information. USDOL/ETA has not approved, endorsed, or tested these modifications.
The career video is in the public domain from the U. S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.