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How to Become a Fine Artist

By The Arty Teacher - November 6, 1989

What is a Fine Artist?

A fine artist is a creative professional who expresses ideas, emotions, or concepts through various artistic mediums such as painting, sculpture, drawing, or mixed media.

What Skills does a Fine Artist need?

To become a fine artist, you’ll need a passion for creating beautiful, unique artwork using various techniques like painting, drawing, or sculpture.  You must also be highly motivated and have entrepreneurial skills to promote your art.

What Qualification does a Fine Artist Need?


Becoming a fine artist doesn’t typically require formal qualifications in the traditional sense, but it often involves a combination of education, artistic skill development, and personal dedication. Many fine artists pursue a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in Fine Arts or a related field from an accredited institution to gain foundational knowledge, artistic techniques, and critical thinking skills. These programs often cover art history, various artistic mediums, techniques, and provide opportunities for artistic exploration and experimentation. However, what’s crucial is a strong artistic portfolio showcasing creativity, originality, and a unique artistic voice. Practical experience gained through creating art, participating in exhibitions, residencies, or collaborating with other artists significantly contributes to an artist’s growth and recognition in the art world. Continual self-driven learning, dedication to craft, and actively engaging with the art community also play pivotal roles in a fine artist’s career development.

Different Types of Fine Artist:

The term “fine artist” covers various disciplines and styles within the art world. Some common types of fine artists include:

  1. Painter: Creates artworks using various painting mediums such as oil, acrylic, watercolor, or mixed media on canvas, paper, or other surfaces.
  2. Sculptor: Shapes and forms three-dimensional artworks using materials like clay, stone, metal, wood, or found objects.
  3. Printmaker: Utilizes techniques like etching, lithography, screenprinting, or woodcut to create multiple copies of their artworks.
  4. Illustrator: Creates visual interpretations for books, magazines, advertisements, or digital media using drawing, painting, or digital techniques.
  5. Mixed Media Artist: Incorporates multiple materials and techniques like collage, assemblage, or combining various art forms into their artworks.
  6. Photographer: Captures and creates visual art through photography, utilizing various styles and techniques to convey narratives or emotions.
  7. Digital Artist: Creates artworks using digital tools, software, or technology, often exploring digital painting, graphic design, or multimedia art.
  8. Installation Artist: Designs and creates site-specific, immersive artworks that engage with a particular space, often using mixed media or unconventional materials.
  9. Conceptual Artist: Focuses on conveying ideas, concepts, or philosophies through artworks, often challenging traditional art forms and emphasizing the thought behind the artwork.
  10. Performance Artist: Uses their body, actions, or interactions with the audience to create live, ephemeral, or time-based artworks.

These types of fine artists often overlap, and many artists might work across multiple disciplines or hybrid forms, combining different techniques and mediums to express their artistic vision.

What Can You do to Build a CV to become a Fine Artist?

If you want to become a fine artist, there are many things you can do whilst still at school to start building a C.V.

  1. Opt for Art Classes: Enroll in art classes offered at school or in the community to learn foundational art principles, techniques, and art history.
  2. Develop Artistic Skills: Dedicate time to practicing various art techniques, experimenting with different mediums (painting, drawing, sculpture, etc.), and honing skills through consistent practice.
  3. Create Art Projects: Work on personal art projects or themes that interest you, experimenting with different styles, concepts, and mediums, and document your progress.
  4. Participate in Competitions and Exhibitions: Enter art contests, submit artworks to exhibitions, or showcase art at local events or galleries to gain exposure and build your portfolio.
  5. Seek Mentorship or Guidance: Connect with art teachers, local artists, or mentors who can provide guidance, feedback, and advice on your artistic development.
  6. Attend Workshops and Art Events: Participate in art workshops, artist talks, and events to learn from professionals, gain inspiration, and expand your artistic knowledge.
  7. Document and Photograph Artwork: Maintain a portfolio of your artworks, taking quality photographs or scans to showcase your skills and artistic progression.
  8. Experiment and Explore: Explore different art forms, mediums, and styles, pushing the boundaries of creativity and expressing diverse ideas through art.
  9. Research and Art Critique: Study art history, explore various art movements, and analyze renowned artists’ works to gain insights into different artistic approaches and techniques.
  10. Network and Engage: Connect with other artists, join art clubs or groups, attend art-related forums, and engage with the local art community to share ideas and experiences.

By actively engaging in these activities, a student can develop their artistic skills, gain exposure, and start building a strong foundation for a future career as a fine artist.

Learn more about Art Careers.

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The Arty Teacher

Sarah Crowther is The Arty Teacher. She is a high school art teacher in the North West of England. She strives to share her enthusiasm for art by providing art teachers around the globe with high-quality resources and by sharing her expertise through this blog.

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