Information About Becoming a Nude Artist

Learn how to pursue a career as a nude artist. Keep reading to learn about the field and what kind of training and education are required for employment. Get career prospects and see what the earning potential is to figure out if this is the right job for you.

Career Definition for a Nude Artist

Nude artists may paint, sketch or photograph nude subjects. They also may specialize in art restoration, film making or editing, or work as art teachers or gallery employees. Like most fine artists, the majority of nude artists are self-employed. Arts organizations and galleries are most likely to offer full-time employment in the field of nude arts. More often, nude artists hold another job and practice their art in their spare time.

Education Bachelor of Fine Arts or bachelor's in art recommended, master's options available
Job Skills Comfort with nudity, proficient in a specialty area of art, conveyance of meaning through art
Median Salary (2017) $49,520 for fine artists
Job Growth (2016-2026) 7% for fine artists

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Required Education

Nude artists often have a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) or a bachelor's degree in art. Some go on to complete a master's degree program in a related field, such as studio art. It typically takes students four to five years to complete a bachelor's degree and two to three years to finish a master's degree. Courses in a nude artist degree program may include figure drawing, painting, photography, and art history.

Skills Needed

Nude artists must have the dedication to execute a project from concept to completion. They must be able to convey meaning through art and demonstrate proficiency in an artistic specialty, such as painting or photography. Nude artists also must be able to look beyond the social taboo of nudity.

Career and Economic Outlook

As with other fine arts specialties, opportunities in nude arts are expected to grow by about 7% from 2016 to 2026, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, However, competition will remain tight, especially for nude artists seeking grant money and inclusion in galleries. The BLS published a median income of $49,520 for all fine artists in May 2017. Artistic communities, such as those in Paris, New York, and London, are the best places to find work as a nude artist.

Alternate Career Options

For alternatives to nudes, consider these artist options for a career:

Multimedia Artist

Multimedia artists use computers and software programs to create 2- and 3-D images, computer animation, and special effects for games, movies or employers like advertising agencies. According to the BLS, roughly 59% of multimedia artists were self-employed in 2017. While it's possible to get a job as a multimedia artist without any formal postsecondary education; a portfolio is critically important. Multimedia artists may choose to earn a bachelor's degree in art, animation, computer graphics or a related subject. Job growth for multimedia artists is predicted to be 8% from 2016-2026, per the BLS, while those already working in the field earned median pay of $70,530 in 2017.


Photographers use silver-halide film or digital cameras to record images, utilizing their knowledge of camera techniques, light, and creative expression to achieve a desired look. Even though a formal education isn't required for employment, getting a job in some areas of specialty, like photojournalism, may be easier with a bachelor's degree. Classes and on-the-job training also prepare aspiring photographers for employment. The BLS reports that in 2016, about 68% of photographers worked for themselves. Employment of photographers is expected to decline 6% from 2016-2026, and the median pay for working photographers was $15.62 per hour in 2017.

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