Don’t Be a Starving Artist: 4 Degrees to Consider if You Love Art

starving artist

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  • The “starving artist” who lives in poverty while trying to make a living in the artistic field of their choice may be a cliché, but it doesn’t have to be reality.

    Whether you aspire to be a fine artist, illustrator, graphic artist, or craft artist, you have many options for earning a living in the visual art field.

    Here are four of the many possibilities.

    According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), as of May 2018, art and design workers in general earned a median income of $46,660 per year. These four artistic specialties tend to earn higher median income than artists and design workers overall.

    Graphic Designer

    These artists work under an art director to create the look of a project: a magazine layout, brochure, website, or other piece of advertising. Graphic designers need knowledge of the various elements of design, including typefaces, image, and colors.

    For this reason, they usually have to earn at least a bachelor’s degree. The BLS reported a median annual income of $50,370.

    Industrial Designer

    These artists also tend to need at least a bachelor’s degree, since their specialization combines fine art and sculpture elements with engineering and business concepts.

    Industrial designers design the products used by consumers, considering how the product will be used, how it can be manufactured cost-efficiently, and the product’s aesthetic elements. As of May 2018, industrial designers earned a median annual income of $66,590.

    Multimedia Artist/Animator

    Multimedia artists and animators work as part of a team that creates visual effects, movies, games, and other media. As of May 2018, the BLS reported multimedia artists and animators earned a median annual income of $72,520. Those earning the highest median wages worked for software publishers, including the makers of video games. Video game artists can look into game website monetization tools to earn income while they develop their games.

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    Fashion Designer

    Although they’re mainly limited to working in New York and California, the U.S. Had about 23,800 fashion designers in 2018. These creative professionals create the look of clothing items, accessories to go with them, and even shoes. Fashion designers also oversee the production of their creations. They earned a median salary of $72,720 per year as of May 2018.

    Each of these artistic specializations earn a median annual salary above what artists in general earn. Consider one of these four careers to avoid the starving artist cliché.

    Image Credit: Pixabay

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