How to Become an Artist
Job Duties of an Artist
Skills and Qualities of an Artist
Wages and Earnings of a Professional Artist
Influential or Famous Artists
Leading Organizations for Artists
Top Cities for Artist Jobs
Other Careers of Interest
Another path to becoming an artist is to attend an independent college of art. These art and design colleges tend to focus more on studio art work than do four-year universities, often attracting more serious and single-minded art students. Computer studies are now a big part of art programs, as more and more artists are using computer software to help them in their art.
Since there are so many different types of visual art, art students tend to specialize in one particular medium or purpose, such as painting in oils, sculpture, computer graphics, or medical illustration. Masters degrees in fine art (MFAs) are also available for those who want more study and training in a particular subfield of the visual arts.
Some artists produce very realistic work while others prefer to use an impressionistic style or even abstract (non-representational) art to express themselves. Artists may use their art to further a commercial idea or product, such as in advertising, or the art itself may be the end goal of an artist, as with fine art.
The bottom line is that artists produce art of many different types, whether it is to sell, to display, to advertise, or just to express their thoughts and feelings.
In 2006, salaried artists working in the fine arts made a median annual amount of $41,970, with the middle fifty percent earning in between $28,500 and $58,550. Art directors earn much more, while craft artists earn considerably less than fine artists. Self-employed artists may actually earn nothing from their art for a period of time while they are building up a reputation. Once an artist has a strong reputation, he or she may earn more even than a salaried artist.
Many impressionist painters were very influential in beginning a new genre of painting, including Vincent Van Gogh, Claude Monet, and Auguste Renoir. These painters made it acceptable for brush strokes to show up in their paintings and for the paintings themselves to not be entirely realistic, but also not yet abstract.
Andy Warhol was very influential in pop art, taking his experience from being a commercial illustrator, and helping legitimize a new form of art, which became accepted more after his death than before it.
Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera were both Mexican painters who attained popularity around the world for their new fresh style of art. Kahlo painted mainly self-portraits that showed her physical and emotional pain. Her husband, Diego Rivera, was a muralist who painted many historical and political murals around Mexico and abroad.
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