Asian Arts: Information About Starting a Career in Asian Art

Read about a career in Asian art. Research the educational and skill requirements, and learn about the job description and employment and salary outlook for an Asian artist.

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Job Description for Asian Artists

Asian arts are generally those that reflect the artistic styles of China, Japan, Korea, Vietnam, Indonesia or Malaysia. In addition to becoming an artist and focusing your craft on the styles incorporated in Asian art, other career titles related to the field include curators for museums or private galleries, interior decorators and Asian art history teachers. Painting, sculpture, calligraphy, woodblocks and ceramics are just some of the types of visual arts predominantly found in the Asian arts. Some forms of Asian art may encompass theater, music and dance.

Career Fine Artist Postsecondary Art Teacher
Education Bachelor's degree recommended Master's degree required; doctorate recommended
Job Skills Style relation, artistic ability, marketing Scholarly knowledge of field, Asian languages, research writing skills
Median Salary (2017)* $49,520 $66,930
Job Growth (2016-2026)* 7% 12%

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Educational Requirements

The type of education required for a career in Asian arts depends upon your specific career goals. A master's degree program in fine arts might prepare you for teaching Asian art techniques or Asian art history; for those interested in the field, you may choose specific classes focused on the Eastern hemisphere, as well as silk painting or calligraphy classes. These courses can provide a good basis for becoming a commercial artist specializing in Asian arts. A foreign exchange or study abroad program to an Asian country could help complement learning gained through formal education.

Required Skills

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that all artists should hold the following qualities:

  • Understanding of at least one of the four arts disciplines: dance, music, theater or visual arts
  • Ability to speak in a secondary language, specifically an Asian language
  • Scholarly knowledge of the Asian art field
  • Ability to relate Asian artistic styles to American ones

Employment and Salary Outlook

According to the BLS, the median annual wage for fine artists, including painters, sculptors and illustrators, was $49,520 in May 2017. The BLS also reported median annual salaries for art teachers at colleges and universities as $66,930 in the same year. Between 2016 and 2026, the BLS noted that fine artists should see a 7% growth in employment, while postsecondary art teachers should see an 12% job growth over the same period. Pacific Rim states and cities where there is a large Asian trade presence may provide better career opportunities.

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