On education in Europe and the USA

Clever Magazine
Art&Fashion Universities Student life Angelina Nikonova

The Most Popular and Highly Paid Professions In Art

The article explores the most sought-after and lucrative art careers in the art industry, illuminating the factors that lead to success and financial prosperity. It starts by presenting data from Indeed, pinpointing Creative Directors as the top earners in art-related careers. The discussion includes the pivotal role of a unique style, active self-promotion, and exhibition participation for artists. It underscores the influential commercial aspect of art fairs and the role of art dealers in branding an artist. The text also highlights the importance of representation by art managers or agents and the benefits of featuring in prestigious exhibitions. The latter sections of the article reveal the distinctive attributes of successful artists in the art career landscape. It wraps up by stressing the significance of education, additional learning, strategic self-promotion, internships, portfolios, and networking in carving out a prosperous career in the competitive careers in the art domain.
First and foremost, I wish to emphasise the breadth of the art field, which includes cinema, music, theatre, and dance. However, for this article, my attention will be centred on the fine art sectors, such as painting and sculpture, and the professional roles associated with galleries.

It would be misleading to claim that success and financial prosperity are universally assured in the art world. Indeed, one's path in this creative domain is contingent upon a multitude of critical factors, as will be detailed below, offering insights into how to make it in the art world.

According to data from Indeed, a leading job board, the position of a creative director is the most rewarding among art jobs. In the United Kingdom, Creative Directors boast an average annual salary of about £64,000, topping the list of art-related careers. Close behind are Art Directors, who receive an average yearly income of £45,000. The range of jobs involving art extends to designers, including those specialising in technical, industrial, and interior fields, with salaries between £35,000 and £38,000. Gallery Managers and Store Planners follow, earning approximately £27,000 to £29,000 per year.

In my previous article, 'Exploring Careers in the Art Field: A Comprehensive Guide,' I provided an in-depth examination of these professions, outlining their responsibilities and essential skills and suggested educational pathways for careers in art and design.

According to Indeed, artists such as sculptors and painters typically receive an annual income ranging from $42,000 to $58,000. Nevertheless, it's crucial to recognize that renowned figures like Jeff Koons or Ai Weiwei exceed this range, highlighting how fame can significantly influence an artist's earnings and the availability of jobs for artists.
Here, I would like to look further at the discussion, mainly focusing on artists, such as painters, sculptors, and so on, and the factors that contribute to the varying success in the art world. Why may one artist struggle to sell their works while figures like Jeff Koons amass millions of dollars?
For emerging artists, the journey starts with developing a distinctive and identifiable style, a feat that is particularly daunting in today's crowded art scene.

In the art of networking, proactive self-promotion becomes imperative. Establishing a professional online presence, sharing works on networking art platforms, and engaging in interviews or features within art publications significantly contribute to heightened visibility and artist networking opportunities.

The organisation of exhibitions is equally vital. If procuring a large space proves challenging, consider seeking alternative venues. A café, a small art gallery, or any available space can be transformed into an exhibition site. Effective promotion of such events attracts the attention of art dealers and gallery owners.

In turn, art dealers endeavour to establish a brand for the artist, as their income is contingent upon this. When an artist evolves into a brand, the value of their work experiences a surge. This phenomenon is attributed to the current capitalisation of art, resulting in escalating art prices. Consequently, it is in the artist’s best interest to ensure that they capture the attention of an astute art dealer to effectively sell art.

For some successful artists, opting for representation by art managers or agents is a strategic decision in the art business. These professionals assume the responsibility of managing the business aspects of an artist’s career, allowing them to concentrate more on the creative process. Their role involves negotiating deals, managing contracts, and navigating the intricate complexities of the art market.

So, how does one go about finding a manager?

Art agencies and management firms represent a primary avenue. Active participation in art industry events and networking functions provides invaluable face-to-face opportunities. Attendance at art business conferences, workshops, or seminars that concentrate on art's business side proves beneficial.

The Venice Biennale is the premier exhibition of contemporary art, followed closely by Documenta in Kassel as the second most significant showcase. Manifesta takes the third spot in the hierarchy of prestigious exhibitions. For artists, participating in such exhibitions proves advantageous for enhancing the provenance of their works.

Conversely, art fairs represent a wholly commercial narrative, aiding artists in gaining heightened popularity.
Many anticipated the inclusion of an art dealer on the list of the highest-paid professions. Undoubtedly, art dealers command a substantial percentage and can earn hundreds of thousands annually. However, to secure significant sales, one needs to be a) a trained art dealer with the expertise to attract buyers willing to invest substantial sums; b) possess the ability to forecast the art market and discern what acquisitions will yield higher returns. Not everyone can excel in these capacities, and mastering these skills requires both time and experience. Consequently, the initial salary for those embarking on this career path may not be exceptionally high.

What sets successful artists apart?

Foremost, a solid art education plays a central role. Choosing the right art schools tailored to one’s profession is essential, considering factors such as notable graduates, faculty expertise, and available internships.
Selecting an institution focusing on your desired field ensures a more efficient and fruitful educational journey. Regrettably, many students neglect these crucial considerations during their initial academic pursuits, a mistake that can prove costly in terms of time and financial investment.
Moreover, engaging in supplementary education, such as short courses provided by esteemed institutions like Sotheby’s and Christie’s during breaks, is crucial in sharpening abilities and maintaining a competitive edge.
Creating a compelling Curriculum Vitae (CV) is essential for creative professionals, as it's comparable to marketing oneself. Your CV should not only effectively represent you but also work actively to your advantage, highlighting your superior education, extensive experience, and significant achievements, which are quantified with numbers to catch an employer's attention.
The goal is to let you know that you are the ideal candidate for the position, and not hiring you would result in a significant loss for them. Despite my personal aversion to sales, in this context, it becomes imperative.

Internships are not just degree requirements but valuable opportunities to gain hands-on experience. Actively seeking internships during every available holiday is a strategic move for those not working full-time, aiming to become a more desirable professional.

A robust portfolio, which may include articles, projects, blogs, or videos, is critical in demonstrating your professional prowess. This concrete display of your skills is invaluable in securing sought-after positions.
Networking is a fundamental aspect of career advancement. It's often through connections that individuals achieve top positions in their careers, a reality that is recognized globally. My early misconception that I could avoid socialising and still land great job opportunities was dispelled when I started engaging with others, leading to receiving intriguing offers.
My journey to contributing to Cosmopolitan and ELLE Kazakhstan can be traced back to art students like Nadezhda Zhuravleva, the former editor of Vogue Russia, with whom I had the honour of studying online fashion journalism. Writing for Clevermagazine became a reality thanks to a university friend I met in 2016. Furthermore, my foray into fashion writing for a Telegram channel came about through a connection made by a friend.

People have provided valuable advice and networking opportunities because I actively engage with them, presenting myself professionally. This clearly illustrates that your career growth often hinges on the networking connections you cultivate.

In conclusion, following a successful art career in the art world requires a strategic blend of education, supplementary learning, effective self-promotion, experiential internships, a robust portfolio, and a network of valuable connections. By embracing these facets, aspiring professionals can enhance their prospects and ascend the competitive and dynamic art industry ranks.