Art Careers - The Best Art Schools and Program Curriculums

Art Careers
Thanks to the explosive growth of the Internet and dozens of new technology-driven disciplines, the title "starving artist" has become outdated. Sure, you can still paint, sculpt, or create works the old fashioned way, but most artists-even fine artists-have been forced to embrace technology in order to promote themselves and secure lucrative commissions and contracts.

The artist of today might still try to sell his paintings or works in the local coffee house or independent gallery, but by day he may work in advertising, publishing, new media, commercial and industrial art & design, video game design, animation, film and video, digital art, and more. Not only this, but new millennium artists earn higher salaries than any other generation or artists. The average artist working in the film & video artist earns $88,730, while publishing industry artists earn an average of $43,000+. Top earners overall make $90,000 per year or more.

To get started on a career as an artist, you should enroll in an art program at an accredited art school. If you would like to start out in an entry-level position while working on your degree, you should consider enrolling in a certificate or associate degree program. An associate degree in art will give you the skills you need to hold roles such as apprentice or gallery assistant. Most art schools or art & design schools, technical schools, colleges, and universities offer an associate degree or higher in the fine art, computer art, commercial and industrial art, graphic design, animation, and video game design. Some art schools may offer part of the degree program online, while others may give you the option to complete the entire degree online.

When searching for the best art schools, use top search engines such as Google, Bing, Ask, or Yahoo. Stick to organic results if, at all possible. You can also search through art school directories or college rankings websites such as Princeton Review. Once you have located several art schools that look good at first sight, it's time to see how they fare on paper.

Art School
First, check to make sure the art school has been accredited by The National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD) or an accrediting agency listed with the U.S. Department of Education at In addition, admissions requirements should be demanding. An accredited, high quality art program will ask for a sample of your work, transcripts from all schools attended, test scores, a recommendation letter(s), and a statement of purpose or essay.

The following is just a small sampling of the types of courses quality art programs offer:
  • Art History
  • Contemporary Culture
  • Drawing
  • Fine Art Seminar
  • Humanities
  • Introduction to Printmaking
  • Introduction to Sculpture
  • Modern Art
  • Process & Generation
  • Resources
  • Visual Concepts
  • Writing
Sample Elective Courses
  • Ceramic Studio
  • Communication Design
  • Digital Art
  • Digital Photo
  • Optical Culture/Light Studies
  • Sculpture
  • Wood, Tools & Fabrication
By Lisa Deschene

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