Working as an Artist in the New Millennium

 Art is an expansive field comprised of multiple disciplines, ranging from music to painting, industrial design to the performing arts. Below, prospective artists, performers, designers, and musicians alike can explore different professional training and programs that prepare them for profitable careers in art-related fields.

The inherent creativity found within the various branches of art means that future artists can paint, draw, sketch, design, and fashion any number of distinct employment paths. Below is a list of potential employment options open to individuals interested in a career in art.



Graphic design is a sweeping profession, one that has fluid boundaries between its different career paths. The field itself is concerned with communicating ideas through visual and textual mediums. A rapidly changing field, the rise of digital media, and the Internet have introduced emerging career opportunities in design.

Visual Designer

Visual designers are concerned with how a website looks and feels to the user. They produce the elements (e.g. icons, graphics, buttons, and images) that users see on a website or mobile device. Visual designers employ design principles, such as typography and iconography, as well as the use of space, color, and texture, to craft innovative and engaging visuals.


User Interface Designer

Known as UI designers, these professionals understand how design impacts a user’s experience and interaction with a website. Employing skills in graphic design, audience analysis, and website architecture, user interface designers develop wireframes that determine how the site visually communicates the site’s layout and user’s interaction with that layout.

Graphic Designer

Graphic designers use their knowledge of design elements, art, and technology to create visual concepts that are used in traditional mediums, such as print advertisements, and new mediums, such as websites. In their role, graphic designers help identify how to best translate an idea into a visual message and communicate that message to different audiences.


Music is a broad and dynamic field, one that includes a diverse array of potential career avenues outside of becoming a musician. Music covers a spectrum of professional areas, such as composition; production and engineering; film scoring; music composition; music therapy; and music education.


Composers work with music, creating and arranging musical scores for a variety of uses. These compositions span musical genres (e.g. jazz, country) and may be developed for live or recorded purposes. Composes may create the soundtrack for a commercial or video game, develop a musical score for an orchestral performance, or write a composition for a musical performer.


Conductors prepare and direct musical ensembles and orchestras. They control musical performances, bringing together the members of the orchestra, setting the tempo, and shape the overall interpretation of a piece of music. Conductors may also select an orchestra’s musical catalog, schedule and manage rehearsal performances, promote performances, and even coordinate entire seasons of musical performances.


Musical arrangers determine and assemble the different components of a musical composition, such as the tempo, structure, voice, and instruments. Selections are made based on the needs of the particular composition and the performer, whether an individual artist, orchestra, or band. Skilled in musical theory, arrangers understand the latest trends in music and may work across genres.


A career in fashion is usually associated with design. However, the design is not the only available career avenue. For individuals who don’t have an interest in sewing or sketching a design, fashion is also home to diverse opportunities in sales and marketing, merchandising, production, public relations, retail, and journalism.

Fashion Merchandiser

Fashion merchandisers combine their sense of style along with a knowledge of sales and marketing to buy, sell, and promote fashion. A diverse occupation, fashion merchandising involves directing marketing campaigns and sales strategies in boutiques, with fashion designers, retail outlets, or apparel manufacturers.

Visual Stylist

Also known as Visual Merchandiser, visual stylists plan, create, and decorate merchandise displays in department stores and other retail establishments. This includes elements such as window displays and holiday decorations—presentations designed to improve the sales of fashion merchandise.

Fashion Designer

Fashion designers create fashion apparel for men, women, and children, as well as accessories such as handbags or scarves. They study fashion trends, create unique designs and materials, and are responsible for the development of a piece of clothing from inception to production. A varied field, some fashion designers work independently, while others may work for a manufacturing firm or fashion design house.


The beauty of art as a profession is its diversity, presenting a multitude of potential career paths in any number of areas, such as photography, fine art, digital media, spatial design, fashion, graphic design, and writing. Below is a list of art-related careers worth considering.


Art Therapist

Music Director


Art Teacher (Secondary)

Set Designer; Industrial Designer; Industrial Designer; Craft Artist


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