Visual Artist

Job Description:

Visual artists are creative professionals who use various artistic techniques and mediums to express their ideas, emotions, and concepts visually

Job Category:
Art & Fashion

What you will do:

Here are the key responsibilities and activities typically associated with the role of visual artists:

  • generating ideas, concepts, and themes for their artwork
  • draw inspiration from their own experiences, observations, culture, history, and personal interests
  • use various mediums and techniques to create their artwork
  • continuously hone their technical skills to master their chosen medium
  • conduct research to gain a deeper understanding of their chosen themes or subjects
  • compile and maintain portfolios that showcase their best work
  • exhibit their work in galleries, museums, art shows, and other public venues
  • build a network of fellow artists, collectors, gallery owners, and art enthusiasts
  • participate in art fairs, art markets, and online platforms to sell their artwork
  • collaborate with other artists, writers, musicians, or performers to create multidisciplinary or collaborative art projects


You’ll need:

  • to understand the fundamental principles of design, including balance, contrast, alignment, repetition, and proximity (often referred to as the “CRAP” principles)
  • to be knowledgeable about typography, including typefaces, font pairing, hierarchy, and legibility
  • to know colour theory
  • to understand the use of visual elements such as images, illustrations, icons, and graphics in design
  • proficiency in design software such as Adobe Creative Suite (Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign) or other industry-standard tools for creating and editing visual content
  • to have digital illustration skills

As well as:

  • to possess a high degree of creativity and the ability to generate innovative design concepts and solutions (creative skills)
  • to pay meticulous attention to detail to ensure that designs are pixel-perfect and error-free
  • excellent communication skills to understand client or project requirements
  • problem-solving skills to address design challenges and meet project goals and deadlines
  • to be open to feedback and willing to make revisions based on client or team feedback (adaptability skills)
  • to collaborate with clients, team members, and stakeholders to understand their needs and deliver designs that align with their objectives
Illustration of employee looking at workspace

Entry Requirements:

To become a Visual Artist, specific qualifications are not typically required, but certain subjects and skills can be valuable in preparing you for a career in visual arts. Visual artists often rely on a strong artistic and creative foundation. Here are some subjects that can be beneficial:

  1. Art and Design: courses in art and design can provide you with fundamental skills in drawing, painting, sculpture, and other visual arts techniques. These courses can help you develop your creativity and artistic abilities.
  2. English: Strong written and verbal communication skills are important for explaining your artistic concepts, writing artist statements, and participating in the art community.
  3. Mathematics (Optional): While not mandatory, basic math skills can be useful for tasks like measurements and calculations when working on certain projects.
  4. Art History (Optional): Courses in art history can provide you with insights into various art movements, artists, and the historical context of art, which can enrich your understanding of the art world.
  5. Media Studies (Optional): Courses in media studies can introduce you to visual storytelling, digital media, and the role of visuals in communication.
  6. Photography (Optional): If your school offers photography courses, consider taking them to learn about composition, lighting, and visual storytelling.

Post School

Higher Education
While formal education is not required, many visual artists pursue bachelor’s or master’s degrees in fine arts, studio art, or a related field to refine their skills, gain exposure to different art forms, and establish connections within the art community.

Artistic Development
Continuously practice and refine your artistic skills and techniques. Experiment with different media and styles to discover your unique artistic voice.

Build a Portfolio
Create a portfolio that showcases your best and most representative work. Your portfolio should demonstrate your range and creative abilities.

Exhibit Your Work
Participate in art exhibitions, galleries, and art fairs to showcase your art and gain exposure. Networking with other artists and art enthusiasts is crucial.

Online Presence
Create an online portfolio or website to showcase your work and make it accessible to a broader audience. Utilize social media platforms to share your art and connect with potential clients or collaborators.

Freelance or Commission Work
Many visual artists start their careers by taking on freelance or commission work. This allows you to create art for clients or specific projects.

Career Tips
Visual Artists create a wide range of visual art, including paintings, drawings, sculptures, digital art, and more. Developing a strong artistic foundation, honing your skills, actively showcasing your work, and engaging with the art community are key steps to success in the field of visual arts.

Working Hours and Environment:

Typically you could work 40 to 44 hours a week, occasionally including evenings.

You could work in an office.

Career Path & Progression:

Pursue a bachelor’s degree in fine arts, visual arts, or a related field.

Your coursework will cover art history, studio art, art theory, and various artistic techniques.

Participate in student art exhibitions to gain experience and exposure.

Consider specialising in a particular medium or style, such as oil painting, abstract art, digital illustration, or sculpture.

Specialisation can help you define your artistic identity.