Fine Artists, Including Painters, Sculptors, and Illustrators
Create original artwork using any of a wide variety of media and techniques.
Sample of reported job titles: Artist, Automotive Artist, Blacksmith, Fine Artist, Ice Carver, Illustrator, Muralist, Painter, Portrait Artist, Sculptor
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Tasks | Technology Skills | Tools Used | Knowledge | Skills | Abilities | Work Activities | Detailed Work Activities | Work Context | Job Zone | Education | Credentials | Interests | Work Styles | Work Values | Related Occupations | Wages & Employment | Job Openings | Additional Information
- Use materials such as pens and ink, watercolors, charcoal, oil, or computer software to create artwork.
- Integrate and develop visual elements, such as line, space, mass, color, and perspective, to produce desired effects, such as the illustration of ideas, emotions, or moods.
- Confer with clients, editors, writers, art directors, and other interested parties regarding the nature and content of artwork to be produced.
- Maintain portfolios of artistic work to demonstrate styles, interests, and abilities.
- Market artwork through brochures, mailings, or Web sites.
- Study different techniques to learn how to apply them to artistic endeavors.
- Monitor events, trends, and other circumstances, research specific subject areas, attend art exhibitions, and read art publications to develop ideas and keep current on art world activities.
- Photograph objects, places, or scenes for reference material.
- Model substances such as clay or wax, using fingers and small hand tools to form objects.
- Create sculptures, statues, and other three-dimensional artwork by using abrasives and tools to shape, carve, and fabricate materials such as clay, stone, wood, or metal.
- Set up exhibitions of artwork for display or sale.
- Render drawings, illustrations, and sketches of buildings, manufactured products, or models, working from sketches, blueprints, memory, models, or reference materials.
- Shade and fill in sketch outlines and backgrounds, using a variety of media such as water colors, markers, and transparent washes, labeling designated colors when necessary.
- Frame and mat artwork for display or sale.
- Submit artwork to shows or galleries.
- Submit preliminary or finished artwork or project plans to clients for approval, incorporating changes as necessary.
- Study styles, techniques, colors, textures, and materials used in works undergoing restoration to ensure consistency during the restoration process.
- Collaborate with engineers, mechanics, and other technical experts as necessary to build and install creations.
- Cut, bend, laminate, arrange, and fasten individual or mixed raw and manufactured materials and products to form works of art.
- Develop project budgets for approval, estimating time lines and material costs.
- Create and prepare sketches and model drawings of cartoon characters, providing details from memory, live models, manufactured products, or reference materials.
- Create finished art work as decoration, or to elucidate or substitute for spoken or written messages.
- Create sketches, profiles, or likenesses of posed subjects or photographs, using any combination of freehand drawing, mechanical assembly kits, and computer imaging.
- Trace drawings onto clear acetate for painting or coloring, or trace them with ink to make final copies.
- Apply solvents and cleaning agents to clean surfaces of paintings, and to remove accretions, discolorations, and deteriorated varnish.
- Collaborate with writers who create ideas, stories, or captions that are combined with artists’ work.
- Brush or spray protective or decorative finishes on completed background panels, informational legends, exhibit accessories, or finished paintings.
- Teach artistic techniques to children or adults.
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- Accounting software — Intuit QuickBooks
- Computer aided design CAD software — Autodesk 3D Studio Design; Autodesk AutoCAD ; Dassault Systemes CATIA; Trimble SketchUp Pro
- Configuration management software — Perforce Helix software
- Data base user interface and query software — ArtScope.net eArtist; Camp Software Art Licensing Manager; FileMaker Bento; GYST
- Desktop communications software — ClassDojo
- Desktop publishing software — Adobe Systems Adobe FrameMaker; Adobe Systems Adobe InDesign
- Development environment software — Adobe Systems Adobe ActionScript
- Document management software — Adobe Systems Adobe Acrobat ; Code Line Art Files
- Electronic mail software — Email software
- Enterprise application integration software — Extensible markup language XML
- Graphics or photo imaging software — Adobe Systems Adobe Creative Cloud ; Adobe Systems Adobe Illustrator ; Adobe Systems Adobe Photoshop ; SmugMug Flickr (see all 16 examples)
- Instant messaging software — GroupMe; Twitter
- Internet browser software — Web browser software
- Object or component oriented development software — C# ; C++ ; Python
- Office suite software — Microsoft Office
- Point of sale POS software — Credit card processing software
- Presentation software — Microsoft PowerPoint
- Project management software — WorkingArtist Systems WorkingArtist
- Video creation and editing software — Adobe Systems Adobe After Effects
- Web page creation and editing software — Adobe Systems Adobe Dreamweaver; Facebook
- Word processing software — Microsoft Word
Hot Technology — a technology requirement frequently included in employer job postings.
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- Design — Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
- Computers and Electronics — Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
- English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
- Production and Processing — Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
- Fine Arts — Knowledge of the theory and techniques required to compose, produce, and perform works of music, dance, visual arts, drama, and sculpture.
- Education and Training — Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
- Communications and Media — Knowledge of media production, communication, and dissemination techniques and methods. This includes alternative ways to inform and entertain via written, oral, and visual media.
- Customer and Personal Service — Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
- Mathematics — Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
- Administration and Management — Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
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- Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
- Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
- Active Listening — Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
- Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
- Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.
- Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
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- Originality — The ability to come up with unusual or clever ideas about a given topic or situation, or to develop creative ways to solve a problem.
- Fluency of Ideas — The ability to come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity).
- Visualization — The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.
- Arm-Hand Steadiness — The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
- Visual Color Discrimination — The ability to match or detect differences between colors, including shades of color and brightness.
- Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
- Finger Dexterity — The ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects.
- Manual Dexterity — The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
- Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
- Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
- Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
- Far Vision — The ability to see details at a distance.
- Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
- Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
- Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
- Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing that there is a problem.
- Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
- Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
- Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
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- Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
- Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
- Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
- Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
- Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
- Working with Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
- Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Materials — Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
- Monitoring Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
- Handling and Moving Objects — Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
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Detailed Work Activities
- Develop artistic or design concepts for decoration, exhibition, or commercial purposes.
- Build models, patterns, or templates.
- Construct distinctive physical objects for artistic, functional, or commercial purposes.
- Arrange artwork, products, or props.
- Draw detailed or technical illustrations.
- Collaborate with others to determine technical details of productions.
- Prepare materials for preservation, storage, or display.
- Present work to clients for approval.
- Send information, materials or documentation.
- Conduct research to inform art, designs, or other work.
- Coordinate logistics for productions or events.
- Maintain records, documents, or other files.
- Estimate costs for projects or productions.
- Perform marketing activities.
- Research new technologies.
- Collaborate with others to prepare or perform artistic productions.
- Apply finishes to artwork, crafts, or displays.
- Monitor current trends.
- Operate still or video cameras or related equipment.
- Teach classes in area of specialization.
- Determine technical requirements of productions or projects.
- Create computer-generated graphics or animation.
- Entertain public with comedic or dramatic performances.
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- Freedom to Make Decisions — 86% responded “A lot of freedom.”
- Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — 84% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Structured versus Unstructured Work — 81% responded “A lot of freedom.”
- Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 14% responded “Never.”
- Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 27% responded “Important.”
- Electronic Mail — 14% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
- Frequency of Decision Making
- Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions — 27% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Telephone — 29% responded “Every day.”
- Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets — 41% responded “Every day.”
- Spend Time Sitting — 21% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Time Pressure — 32% responded “Once a year or more but not every month.”
- Face-to-Face Discussions — 34% responded “Every day.”
- Contact With Others — 29% responded “Constant contact with others.”
- Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 43% responded “No results.”
- Spend Time Standing — 14% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
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|Title||Job Zone Three: Medium Preparation Needed|
|Education||Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate’s degree.|
|Related Experience||Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, an electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.|
|Job Training||Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.|
|Job Zone Examples||These occupations usually involve using communication and organizational skills to coordinate, supervise, manage, or train others to accomplish goals. Examples include hydroelectric production managers, travel guides, electricians, agricultural technicians, barbers, court reporters, and medical assistants.|
|SVP Range||(6.0 to < 7.0)|
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Percentage of Respondents
|Education Level Required|
|Not available||Some college, no degree|
|Not available||Bachelor’s degree|
|Not available||High school diploma or equivalent
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Interest code: AR Want to discover your interests? Take the O*NET Interest Profiler at My Next Move.
- Artistic — Artistic occupations frequently involve working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules.
- Realistic — Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
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- Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
- Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
- Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
- Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
- Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high-stress situations.
- Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
- Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
- Self-Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
- Independence — Job requires developing one’s own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
- Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
- Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
- Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others’ needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
- Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
- Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
- Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
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- Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
- Achievement — Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
- Working Conditions — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.
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Wages & Employment Trends
|Median wages (2020)||$25.16 hourly, $52,340 annual|
|Employment (2020)||25,900 employees|
|Projected growth (2020-2030)||Much faster than average (15% or higher)|
|Projected job openings (2020-2030)||3,300|
|Top industries (2020)||
Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2020 wage data and 2020-2030 employment projections . “Projected growth” represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2020-2030). “Projected job openings” represent openings due to growth and replacement.
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Job Openings on the Web
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Sources of Additional Information
Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.
- American Craft Council
- Association of Medical Illustrators
- Glass Art Society
- National Association of Independent Artists
- National Association of Schools of Art and Design
- National Cartoonists Society
- National Sculpture Society
- National Watercolor Society
- New York Foundation for the Arts
- Occupational Outlook Handbook: Craft and fine artists
- Oil Painters of America
- Print Council of America
- Sculptors Guild
- Small Publishers, Artists and Writers Network
- Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators
- Society of Decorative Painters
- Society of Illustrators
- The Artist-Blacksmith’s Association of North America
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