What does an Art Director do?

Art directors are responsible for overseeing the care of valuable art pieces within a collection. This role also requires managing staff to ensure the proper care for different pieces of art, as well as ensuring strict guidelines exist that help determine how each piece of art is handled. Art directors regularly plan and organize new exhibitions, and work to procure new artwork for display within a museum, art gallery, or public and private space. Advancement into this position often follows successful years of service within an art gallery or museum, as well as through proven work in art and art history.

Art directors should possess a Bachelor's degree in art, graphic design, or other art-related fields. A Master's degree in a related field may be preferred, while a PhD in a related field may be preferred for more prestigious art director positions. This role requires significant and proven attention to detail, as well as strong communication and leadership skills.

  • Utilize proven art skills and experience to create and implement new projects
  • Collaborate with designers and other team members to implement creative direction
  • Work independently to create initial drawings, storyboards, or architectural designs for art spaces
  • Support the vision of the organization to help fulfill short and long term goals
  • Work to procure equipment and items necessary for new art projects
  • Communicate with local officials, news organizations and the community to create interest in upcoming initiatives
  • Work with clients to design and create projects, as needed
  • Reach out to business leaders, officials, and others to create new relationships for the organization
  • Master's degree or PhD in art-related field may be preferred for some positions
  • 1-5 years of experience in an art-related field or more, depending on the size of the organization
  • Previous business experience, to include sales and marketing
  • Ability to communicate across levels of an organization, including with executives and other senior-level officers
  • Comfort liaising with community and business leaders to arrange and promote projects
  • A strong understanding of modern graphic design software, including products such as InDesign, Illustrator and Photoshop
  • Proven leadership skills and a talent for providing effective feedback and direction
  • Comfort using computer operating systems, including Microsoft Office and MacOS, as well as common productivity tools such as Microsoft Office Suite
  • Notably creative with a desire to merge knowledge and experience with business and art
Work/Life Balance
3.4 ★
Salary Range--
Career Opportunity
3.4 ★
Avg. Experience5-7 years

Art Director Salaries

Average Base Pay

$73,210 /yr
Same as national average
Not including cash compensation
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Median: $73K
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Glassdoor Estimated Salary

Art Director Career Path

Learn how to become an Art Director, what skills and education you need to succeed, and what level of pay to expect at each step on your career path.

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Art Director Insights

Read what Art Director professionals have to say about their job experiences and view top companies for this career.
Vice MediaVice Media
Art Director Intern
Jun. 21, 2021

“After working there I was able to grow and develop my work and do some great things moving forward.”

Grey GroupGrey Group
Senior Art Director
Apr. 21, 2019

“You get to work with great minds and learn from some of the top creative leaders of the industry.”

Art Director
Aug. 21, 2021

“Fantastic company to work at and I have been enjoying my time greatly working with some amazing artists and designers.”

Showtime NetworksShowtime Networks
Art Director
Aug. 16, 2021

“If you're a person of color this may not be the best place to build a long term career.”

Olson Design Group
Senior Designer/Art Director
Dec. 23, 2020

“Great team with people who really want to provide the best product for the client.”

Senior Art Director
Jun. 5, 2019

“Apparently I have to write a minimum of 5 words for Pros on Glassdoor but I can only think of two: Good money”

Aisle RocketAisle Rocket
Senior Art Director
Feb. 9, 2021

“... however the best ones are overworked and under”

Hart Energy Publishing LLCHart Energy Publishing LLC
Art Director
Dec. 22, 2020

“Flexible hours and options to work from home are great.”

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Art Director Interviews

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