185 Art-related Alternatives to a Full-time Art Career
Finding satisfying options for art-related careers.
To begin, I would never discourage someone who has the passion and wants to become a full-time artist to choose otherwise. It is a unique, noble and worthy way to make a living. That said, as with all entrepreneurial endeavors, going full-time is challenging.
Success as a full-time artist is complicated.
Becoming a successful full-time artist requires more than artistic talent. It requires a business mind, a marketing mind and a willingness to endure during dark patches where your income does not meet your expectations.
In other words, it often requires sacrifices for those who are not the beneficiaries of a spouse or other family members or friends who will support them in the early going. Life’s not fair. The only fair measure of success is what you really want to achieve and how well you do in getting there.
This blog is for all artists, regardless of status.
Readers of this blog know I work hard at providing practical art business and art marketing advice designed to help artists become more successful. The How to Make Success Selling Art to Interior Designers post is a perfect example. Response to it indicates substantial interest in the subject. So, stay tuned, or subscribe for future posts with more details on selling art to interior designers.
Now, whether or not you are destined to make full-time artist status, you will find the ideas, information and inspiration published here helpful in reaching your art career goals and potential. Know one thing. You do not have to work full-time as an artist to have a rewarding career as an artist.
I shamelessly tell you my ideas are worth following. Here is my best advice in a nutshell.
Choose your goals wisely, evaluate your resources fairly, execute your plan daily, and measure your progress regularly. Never be afraid to regroup and move to a higher calling when the spirit moves you, or the situation forces you.
Gratitude and respect are their own rewards.
Be grateful for the many opportunities before you. Never measure your success against others. Your path is yours alone, uniquely. When you understand and acknowledge that you and you only can define your success, your life becomes simplified in the right way. Moreover, through such self-awareness, you become oblivious to negative opinions of those who ultimately do not matter to your art career or art-related career.
Xanadu Gallery artists are all full-timers.
My art marketing broadcast partner, Jason Horejs, who owns Xanadu Gallery in Scottsdale, once told his Red Dot Blog readers in a post on artistic production that he does not have any artists represented who are not full-time. His reasoning makes sense. He is looking for artists who are committed, both to their full-time art careers and to meeting his minimum production expectations for representation in the gallery. He has found the production part is highly problematic for artists with outside obligations.
Balancing your day job and your art career.
Previously, I have written about how When Greatness in Your Art Career Competes with Your Full-time Job. In that post, I used myself as an example. That is, at the time I wrote it a few years ago, I worked full-time in a tech sales and support position for a large domain, hosting, and email provider. I found the work both informative and helpful in feeding my inner geek. More importantly, it provided a needed steady income, health insurance, and retirement benefits. Without the job, adequate health coverage was almost unaffordable.
Art-related Alternatives to a Full-time Art Career
If you are not yet ready to move into a full-time art career, I hope you find considering some of these art-related careers as possible leads towards an ideal situation for yourself. To learn more about any of these alternative art careers, use the Oracle, aka Google it:
|ARTISTS||FASHION, APPAREL & TEXTILES|
|Airbrush Artist / Spray Painter||Fiber Artist|
|Architectural Illustrator||Apparel Accessory Designer (Shoes / Bags / Hats)|
|Technical / Textbook Illustrator||Embroiderer|
|Story Board Illustrator||Fashion Consultant|
|Cartoonist||Fashion Designer / Sports Apparel Designer|
|Commercial Artist||Fashion Merchandising|
|Fine Artist (Painter)||Pattern Maker|
|Printmaker / Screen Printer||Costume Designer|
|Courtroom Artist||Quilt / Rug / Linen Designer|
|Art Conservationist||Fabric Textile Designer|
|Special Effects Makeup||T-shirt Designer|
|Mural Artist||Fashion Merchandising|
|Tattoo Artist||Fashion Design|
|Caricature Art||Rug and Carpet Designer|
|Courtroom Sketch Artist||Wallpaper Designer|
|Graffiti Art||Jewelry Design|
|Comic Book Art||Pattern Making|
|ADVERTISING, MEDIA & MARKETING||SPATIAL DESIGN|
|Advertising Director||Interior Designer|
|Logo / Branding Designer||Architect|
|Advertisement Designer||Naval Architecture|
|Sign Designer||Landscape Architecture|
|Magazine Layout Designer||Golf Course Design|
|Book / eBook Designer||Urban Design|
|Packaging Designer||Swimming Pool Design|
|Calendar / Stationery / Wallpaper Designer||Playground / Theme Park Designer|
|Typographer||Interior Designer! Decorator|
|Illustrator||Set / Stage Design|
|Technical Illustrator||Industrial Designer|
|Art Educator||Product Design|
|Art School Director||Automotive Design|
|Primary / Elementary Teacher||Industrial Design|
|Middle / High School Art Teacher||Transport Design|
|University Lecturer / Professor||Toy Design|
|Private Art Instructor||Kite Designer / Utensil Designer|
|Art Professor||Miniature Model Maker|
|Art History||Mockup Artist|
|Art Historian||Industrial Designer / Bridge Designer|
|Display and Exhibition Design|
|Gallery Owner! Assistant||Potter / Ceramic Designer|
|Picture Framer||Floral Design|
|Online Curator||Mosaic Art|
|Art / Design / Color Consultant||Woodworking|
|Art Restorer Conservationist||Blacksmith|
|Corporate Art Buyer||Metal Fabrication|
|Art Handler / Shipper||Ice Sculpture|
|Museum Technician||Screen Printing|
|Giclee Printer||Print Design|
|Art Marketing Consultant||Taxidermy|
|Art Agent / Business Manager||Stained Glass Window Designer|
|Art Dealer||Wood Turner / Carver|
|Art Therapist||Mosaic Designer|
|Art Supplies Retailer||Jewelry Designer|
|Art Curriculum Writer||Weaver|
|Art Critic||Glass Artist|
|Arts Administrator||Prop Designer|
|Arts and Cultural Planner||Cake Decorator|
|Art Auctioneer||Food Product Designer|
|Museum Exhibit Design|
|GRAPHIC & VISUAL DESIGN||PHOTOGRAPHY|
|Graphic Design||Advertising Photographer|
|Web Design||Fashion Photographer|
|Logo Design||Food Photographer|
|Multimedia Design||Portrait Photographer|
|UI/UX Design||Fine Art Photographer|
|Layout Design||Underwater Photographer|
|Book Illustration||Wedding Photographer|
|Medical Illustration||Stock Photo Seller|
|Storyboard Artist||Director of Photography|
|Book Cover Illustration||Macro Photography|
|Film & Production||Celebrity Photography|
|Film Editing||Wildlife Photography|
|Set Design||Aerial Photography|
|GAMING & TECHNOLOGY||GAMING & TECHNOLOGY|
|Video Game Design||Animator|
|Video Game Director||Concept Artist|
|Game Level Design||Digital Illustrator|
|Web Development||Digital 3D Modeller|
|Motion Graphics Design||Web Designer|
|Animation & Effects||iPhone / Android App Designer|
|Motion Graphics||Television / Film Producer|
|Visual Effects||Documentary Filmmaker|
|3D Animation||Camera Operator|
|Computer Animation||Film Editor|
|3D Modeling||Special Effects Designer|
|YouTube Video Creator||Video Game Design|
Skills in your day job improve your art career.
The above list touches on art-related career paths you could choose. It is not all-inclusive. Please use the comments section at page bottom to add your suggestions and thoughts. Most of the positions listed require specialized knowledge or further education, either at the university level or through apprenticeship. Nearly all need the perspective of an artist.
These jobs will allow you to increase your knowledge and skill sets and help you make your art career, whether full-time or part-time, more fulfilling and successful. Because of the requirements of an artist career, many artists have the experience to some degree in any number of these art-related career fields.
For instance, if you make art, you will need to understand the basics of how to frame it, how to ship it, how to market and sell it. You probably have photographic and digital art software training and skills, and a lot of other jack-of-all-trades capabilities. No matter what art-related career you decide to pursue, you will acquire and hone valuable skills that can lead to new opportunities.
Your day job can become your ideal job.
You may find an occupation that is more lucrative and rewarding than you might have been able to accomplish as a full-time artist. You may also discover your knowledge is a perfect stepping-stone to help you leap to the career of your dreams as a self-supporting full-time artist.
The good news is there are no bad choices here. At worst, you start in one direction and go to another when your first choice is not right, or a better opportunity presents itself.