Job Description of an Advertising Artist

Sep 28, 2019

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become an advertising artist. Get a quick view of the requirements, as well as details about degree programs, job duties, and necessary skills to find out if this is the career for you.

A bachelor's degree in fine art or graphic design is usually required for those interested in working as artists in the advertising industry. Advertising artists are skilled at visual arts such as drawing, sketching, or painting, and understand how to use artistic forms, layouts and colors to effectively convey a visual message.

Essential Information

Advertising artists use their knowledge of visual communication concepts (design, layout, color, composition, etc.) to create artwork for use in advertisements across a wide variety of platforms. An entry-level position in this field typically requires a four-year degree in graphic design or fine arts, as well as a portfolio of original worth that demonstrates the candidate's artistic talent and range. A person who enjoys visual forms of creativity, such as sketching, drawing, painting, or graphic design, may find this to be an appealing career field.

Required Education Four-year degree in graphic design or fine arts
Other Requirements Portfolio of original work
Projected Job Growth (2018-2028)* 3% for graphic designers
Median Salary (2018)* $50,370 for graphic designers

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Job Description of an Advertising Artist

Advertising artists design and create the visual components of an advertisement or marketing campaign. As part of the creative or art department at an advertising agency, an artist may also be called a graphic designer. Advancement in the field is often to a position as an art director, who oversees artists, copywriters, and other members of the creative department.

Advertising Artist Job Description

Artists who work for print or digital media outlets, advertising agencies, or marketing firms use their talents for design, layout, color, and composition to produce artwork that will be used in advertisements. Artists employ their knowledge of visual communication concepts to imagine and execute artwork that will conform to the client's needs and engage consumers. Advertising artists utilize a wide variety of media and styles to meet the creative goals of the agency.

Because they are producing artwork for clients and businesses, advertising artists and graphic designers need to have the creativity and vision to interpret the desires of the customer. As such, they meet with clients to establish creative goals for the product, brand, or campaign, discussing ideas and making changes as needed.

Collaborating with the client and agency staff, they set budgets for production, and work with art directors to monitor the progress of each account or project. Often using computers and a variety of design software, an advertising artist makes sketches, layouts, paste-ups, or other visual representations of their artwork for presentation to clients, carefully deciding the size, arrangement, and design of all components of text and pictures.

Career Information for Advertising Artists


Artist or graphic designers working for an advertising agency usually hold a four-year degree in graphic design or fine arts and has gained entry-level employment through the development of a portfolio that showcases artistic talent and range. Artists can generally pursue art director positions with a few years of job experience. Art directors guide an advertising agency's creative team in all stages of project execution by coordinating staff, managing accounts and using their expertise to satisfy clients.

Career Outlook

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) expected almost no job growth for graphic designers and similar art and design professionals between 2018 and 2028, with the best opportunities for individuals whose talents include multimedia, digital, and interactive design technology needed for a wide variety of new media applications ( The BLS also noted that the large talent pool will increase competition for jobs.

For art directors, the BLS recommended business or art management education as a means of increasing employability, and it noted that downturns in the publishing industry may shift more art director positions to the advertising field.


According to 2018 BLS salary figures, graphic designers earned a median annual salary of $50,370 as of May 2018. Art directors earned a median annual salary of $92,780.

Advertising artists use their artistic skills to create a visual message. They work for clients and businesses, with the goal of creating effective advertisements that will sell products.

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