Visual Artist Career Video for Art and Graphic Design Students

Visual Artist Career Video for Art and Graphic Design Students Transcript

The term visual artist is a broad term composed of different fields, such as multi-media artist, fine artist, website designers, illustrators, graphic designers and many others. Read on to learn more about a career as a visual artist.


Visual artists create original works of art using a variety of media for personal, commercial and governmental purposes. The title of 'visual artist' is a broad career making up many different fields and specializations, so many options are available.


Visual artists create original works of art using a variety of media. This typically includes painting, sculpting, illustration and computer design. Visual artists may be skilled in all of these media, but they usually specialize in only one or two. They use a variety of materials to create their art such as computers, oil paints, pen and ink, pastel, plaster, clay, acrylics and watercolors[1]. Visual artists may have other unrelated full-time jobs, or they may support themselves entirely by their work.

Job Skills and Duties

Artists of all types have creativity, patience and a familiarity with the tools of their particular trade. Continued practice and education help artists hone their skills. Some artists have the luxury of letting creativity come to them and create art when they feel the desire. Others work a standard 40-hour work week and must use their skills on demand in a business enviornment.

Training Required

Visual artists' training varies widely. Some have graduate-level college degrees, while others don't have any college experience. Still, most visual artists earn some college experience to receive valuable training in their respective field, to gain networking opportunities and to enrich their portfolio. Many colleges and universities across the United States offer bachelor's degrees in visual art with a variety of specializations. In addition, many of these schools also offer graduate-level work to obtain your Master of Arts or Master of Fine Arts degrees. Some of the more involved and cross-related visual artist fields almost surely require college education. For example, medical and scientific illustrators need a thorough health background for the subjects they illustrate. Also, art teachers of all levels require additional education to obtain their teaching certificate.

Typical Occupations

Some of most popular occupations available for visual artists are [2]:

  • Craft Artists
  • Multi-Media Artists
  • Animators
  • Art Teachers
  • Web and Graphic Designers
  • Printmakers
  • Sketch Artists
  • Cartoonists
  • Art Directors
  • Fine Artists
  • Medical and Scientific Illustrators
  • Painting Restorers

Nearly 60 percent of visual artists are self-employed, while the remaining are usually employed full-time in industries such as newspaper and magazine publishing, advertising and marketing or motion picture and video.


In general, visual artists have a wide variety of specializations and career paths from which they can choose. The most glamorous areas do attract lots of competition, so its recommended that a serious visual artist develop their skills through a bachelor's degree program or other postsecondary training in art or design [3]. And it will be important to do the research ahead of time to determine what form of media interests you most.


[#1]Bureau of Labor Statistics

[#2]Bureau of Labor Statistics


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