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Illinois State University
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Bachelor of Fine Arts
Save artwork for a strong portfolio - too much is better than too little.
Be prepared to relocate to the larger markets of metropolitan areas where more opportunities exist.
Join art related professional and student organizations.
Volunteer with fundraising efforts for the arts.
Gain valuable experience through volunteering, internships, part-time and summer jobs, and apprenticeships.
Conduct informational interviews with professionals in areas of interest to learn more about opportunities and strategies for these areas.
Learn to network.
Strong work ethic and professional behavior
Flexibility in thought and adaptive to new ideas
Imagination and creative skills
Basic computer skills, knowledge of computer software a plus
Good writing skills
Ability to verbally communicate principle skills and art appreciation
Ability to meet deadlines and work under pressure
Being Successful in the Field
A career in the arts takes dedication, patience, flexibility, talent, and some luck.
A bachelor’s degree is valuable for entry-level positions, but an advanced degree is usually necessary to attain competitive, upper-level positions.
An art degree can and should be tailored to areas of specialization.
Be prepared to begin career in entry-level positions.
Pair an art degree with other career interests to increase opportunities and provide supplemental income.
Develop skills in business management, computers, marketing, and other related areas to increase marketability.
Government or private museums
Local historical societies
Intern or volunteer in an art museum. Develop strength in art history areas.
Enhance computer skills.
Earn a business minor.
Acquire strong skills in research, fund-raising, speaking, and writing.
Earn an advanced degree in an academic discipline or museum studies for greater career opportunities.
Each specialty has varying qualifications and required training.
Develop good interpersonal skills, including the ability to work well on teams.
Prepare a strong portfolio.
Participate in juried shows.
Secure guild membership.
Consider developing a source of supplemental income.
Learn to network and make contacts.
Develop strong skills in area of interest.
Obtain experience through apprenticeships, internships, or volunteering.
Large companies - product design divisions
Television and motion picture industry
Non-technical and technical books, magazines, and trade publications
Internet media companies
Prepare a strong portfolio.
Gain computer and technical skills.
Find an internshipin a design firm.
Work on campus publications in design or layout.
Obtain summeror part-time experience with book, magazine, or newspaper publishers.
Develop attention to detail and ability to meet deadlines.
Supplement curriculum with coursework in advertising or business.
Public and private schools (K-12)Colleges and universities
Adult and community programs
Obtain certification for public school teaching.
Graduate degree usually requiredfor post- secondary teaching.
Develop a specialty area.
Work or volunteer as a tutor, camp counselor, Big Brother/Sister, or after-school program counselor.
Become a member of art clubs.
Obtain substitute-teaching experience.
Develop strength in art history areas.
Hospitals, nursing homes
Mental health facilities
Requires specialized training and certification, usually a master's degree in art therapy.
Supplement curriculum with psychology, social work, or counseling courses.
Gain experience working with diverse populations.
Corporate media departments
Federal, state, and local government
Public relations and advertising firms
Independent production companies
Newspapers and magazines
Compile an up-to-date portfolio.
Gain knowledge of a variety of technical equipment.
Develop strong computer skills.
Participate in student theatrical productions.
Serve as audio-visual aide for campus films and lectures.
Act as photographer for campus events.
Work on student publications.
Gain experience through internshipsin media or related areas.
Supplement curriculum with courses in business, journalism, or broadcasting/electronic media.
Architectural Model Builder
Car and Bus Card Artist
CD/Record Cover Designer
Children’s Book Illustrator
Comic Strip Artist
Desktop Publishing Artist
Elementary Art Teacher
Graphic Arts Technician
Graphic Designer Billboard Artist
Greeting Card Artist
Motion Picture Artist
Motion Picture Animator
Motion Picture Scenic Designer
Municipal Graphic Designer
Newspaper Layout Artist
Printing Crafts Worker
Printing Store Manager/Owner
Professor of Art/Art History
TV Graphic Designer
110 Student Services Building
Center for Visual Arts 119
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