Theme Artist

The craft artist tends to work outside the traditional fields of fine art (illustration, painting, and sculpture), making use of media like ceramics, glass, paper, textiles, wood, and metal. Craft artists must be knowledgeable about materials, trained to use them effectively, and able to create works which appeal to others.

Required Education

Most colleges and universities offer courses and degrees in the arts, and many institutions are dedicated solely to degree programs in art and design. While no degree is required for a career in crafts, pursuit of a bachelor’s degree can be the best opportunity for students to gain experience with a variety of techniques and materials. Advanced degree programs offer concentrated training and studio time for craft artists wishing to focus on a specialty. Craft artists may be able to gain valuable expertise by being apprenticed to a master craftsman.

Skills Required

Most artists need proficiency in drawing, composition, and spatial relations, but other skills required by craft artists vary widely, depending upon their specialties. Successful craft artists may develop a particular artistic vision and be able to express this vision in their work. Self-employed craft artists may benefit from business and marketing training to help them promote and sell their work.

Try it yourself on the right:

  • Job Title: Fine Artist, Including Painter, Sculptor, or Illustrator
  • City: Orlando
  • State: Florida

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Career and Economic Outlook

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS),, projects slower than average growth for jobs in crafts. Data for self-employed craft artists is unavailable, but the median annual wage for salaried craft artists was $29,600 in 2012. Many craft artists claim their love of their work is their primary reward and that financial gain, although welcome, is secondary.

Alternate Career Options

Industrial Designer

Industrial designers use their artistic talent to create sample designs of toys, smartphones, or housewares, for example. They use computer-aided design programs to make blueprints from their sketches, calculate materials, and production costs before submitting final designs and project specs for approval. A bachelor’s degree in industrial design or a related field and a portfolio are generally required for employment. According to the BLS, this career field is predicted to see job growth of 4% from 2012-2022. Median pay for the job was $59,610 in 2012, per the BLS.