What does an Artist do?

Artists work in various mediums including fine arts, crafts, desktop publishing, or animation. They work as multimedia artists, animators, graphic designers, or fine artists and might work on teams throughout the creative process to complete a project or create a product. Artists review project proposals to determine if they can produce a specific idea. They design original concepts or evaluate concepts submitted by team members, including a project manager or copywriter, and make creative suggestions while offering up solutions to any perceived issues.

Artists typically manage the entire design and production of the images, which could involve designing the original concept, meeting with team members to finalize the concept, and managing the art’s quality throughout the production process. They maintain a project schedule, evaluate progress, and debrief the team, keeping them apprised of progress and concerns. Artists sometimes work closely with art directors, copywriters, and project managers to ensure the artwork is of high quality and delivered on time. There is no required degree for an artist, but some have a bachelor's or associate's degree in art for their particular expertise, and they must have a demonstrable portfolio.

What responsibilities are common for Artist jobs?
  • Manage workflow to ensure that customer outdates are met.
  • Communicate, as required, directly with customers to explain processes.
  • Offer continuous improvement ideas/participate in continuous improvement activities.
  • Maintain, high visual fidelity, competitive aesthetics, and presenting game information in a clear and understandable manner.
  • Identify suitable supplier candidates based on understanding of overall category strategy, supplier performance and supplier readiness.
  • Communicate clear expectations to production technicians and supervise their activities.
  • Gather feedback to iterate and improve the artworks until it is signed off.
  • Coordinate the hand-off to the buyer/planner following final product launch.
  • Work closely with operations, engineers, and developers to implement the artworks where appropriate.
  • Perform production processes as scheduled and ensure QC.
  • Manage assets by protecting and using equipment and materials properly.
  • Ability to climb ladders and work at ceiling heights.
What are the typical qualifications for Artist jobs?
  • Training in art, music, or color science and experience as an artist.
  • Fluency in software and systems related to work such as SIP, 3D Modeling, or InDesign.
  • Demonstrated sound work ethic and collaboration skills.
  • A self-starter and leader.
  • Demonstrated attention to detail and dexterity while working.
  • Able to edit work and is a professional at all times.
EducationBachelor's Degree
Work/Life Balance
3.5 ★
Salary Range--
Career Opportunity
3.5 ★
Avg. Experience2-4 years

Artist Salaries

Average Base Pay

$64,812 /yr
Same as national average
Not including cash compensation
See More Insights
$41K
Median: $65K
$102K
See More Insights
Glassdoor Estimated Salary

Artist Career Path

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

Artist
$64,812/yr
Senior Artist
$82,704/yr
Lead Artist
$93,342/yr
Artist

Years of Experience Distribution

0 - 1
18%
2 - 4
64%
5 - 7
5%
8+
13%
Not including years spent in education and/or training

Artist Insights

Read what Artist professionals have to say about their job experiences and view top companies for this career.
MPCMPC
3D Layout Artist
Apr 19, 2021

“workers were fun to work with and I am still good friends with some of them to this day”

Jellyfish PicturesJellyfish Pictures
Artist
Sept 8, 2022

“I had a really lovely team to work with and some good great shows to work on”

Stereo DStereo D
Senior Stereoscopic Artist
Apr 27, 2022

“Truly great mentors and leaders within the company will help you learn and progress your career”

CapoomCapoom
Junior Houdini Artist
Sept 27, 2022

“CEO is trying his best to give good instructions and tutorials to employers to teach them industrial standart”

RSA SecurityRSA Security
Storyboard Artist
Mar 20, 2022

“The people surrounding my cubicle were nice and I enjoyed bouncing off ideas with them.”

MarxentMarxent
Artist
Sept 18, 2022

“Everyone I had the pleasure of interacting with outside of the 3D team are all condescending and rude.”

Bobbi Brown CosmeticsBobbi Brown Cosmetics
Retail Artist
Aug 25, 2021

“Pay is poor even with commission but I enjoy what I do enough to stay and I can live comfortably.”

Brown Thomas ArnottsBrown Thomas Arnotts
Retail Artist
Feb 13, 2021

“The counter I was on the pay wasn’t great compared to other counters who were doing the same job”

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Artist Interviews

Frequently asked questions about the role and responsibilities of artists

The typical day of an artist might include creating things and communicating with clients. Artists create projects and products by specializing in fine art, sculpting, pottery, digital art, and more. These professionals might work on a freelance basis for clients or as a business employee.

For creative people, being an artist can be a very rewarding profession with high job satisfaction. As many artists work freelance and by commission, the working hours may be very flexible with an excellent work life balance. But at the same time this means that working as an artist requires self-promotion, good social media management, and the ability to stand out from competitors. It can also require a good business sense.

The average salary for an artist in the U.S. is $64,812 per year, with the lowest earners making $41,368 and the highest earners making $101,542 per year. Pay for artists can vary significantly based on the type of work, the place of employment, and how well-known the artist is.

There are some difficult aspects to being an artist. For example, becoming an artist may be difficult as some specialties of art can be very competitive. Also, a career as an artist requires the ability to take criticism and to convince others of your creative vision.

Related Careers

Photographer
$41,877
No skills overlap
Art Director
$75,605
Creative Director
$107,301
No skills overlap
Graphic Designer
$51,110
25% skills overlap

Artist jobs