Become a Fantasy Artist

Fantasy artists create art based on fantastic creatures and scenes, such as medieval swordplay, dragons and faeries. Read on to learn about the training, salary and employment outlook, to see if this career is one you wish to pursue.

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Career Definition for a Fantasy Artist

Fantasy artists produce work in a number of mediums where the subject is the fantastic. Their work might portray swords and sorcery, mythical beings or persons, and otherworldly subjects such as alien landscapes and creatures. Fantasy art professionals use their imaginations, their artistic skills, and information about mythology and fantasy to create a visual representation of a fantastic creature or world.

Required Education No formal education required; classes in art, mythology, anatomy may be helpful
Job Skills Artistic skills in a chosen media, business and marketing skills also helpful
Average Salary(2015)* $46,450 per year (fine artists)
Job Outlook(2014-2024)* 6% (multimedia artists and animators)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Required Education

No formal education is required for a career as a fantasy artist, but art classes are usually part of the equation to improve skills to a professional level. Depending on the medium, classes in drawing, painting, sculpting, and calligraphy can all be useful. A background in mythology, anatomy, astronomy, botany, or zoology could also be important to help a fantasy artist create scenes and creatures that appear more believable to the viewer.

Required Skills

Artistic endeavors require skill in one's chosen media - charcoal drawing or watercolor painting or sculpting, for example. Successful artists should also have some marketing and business skills in the event they choose to market their own work.

Career and Economic Outlook

Salaries in this field vary significantly. There are many people who create fantasy art as an avocation in addition to their 'day job', earning whatever they can by selling their art themselves. Fantasy artists' day jobs will often be in a related field, such as graphic design. Fine art professionals of all kinds - fantasy or otherwise - made a median wage of $46,450 per year in May 2015, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, '

Companies that often employ fantasy artists include book publishers and computer game publishers, as well as game companies in the collectible card game arena. There is also a great deal of fantasy art available for online purchase and in art galleries and gift shops.

Alternate Career Options

Similar career options within this field include:

Multimedia Artist and Animator

This occupation normally requires a bachelor's degree in computer graphics art and a portfolio of best works. These artists create visual effects and animations for video games, movies and television. From 2014-2024, the BLS expects slower than average growth of 6% and reports a median annual salary of $63,970 in 2015.

Archivist, Curator and Museum Worker

Often requiring a master's degree, these professionals appraise historical documents, oversee art collections and restore objects in museum collections, depending on their area of specialization. As fast as average employment growth of 7% was anticipated by the BLS for the 2014-2024 decade. According to the BLS in 2015, the median annual wages for these careers were $51,520 for curators, $50,250 for archivists and $40,340 for museum technicians and conservators.

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