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Careers In Culture

Visual Arts and Crafts - What You Need to Do

What Visual People Do

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An artwork's journey

The fields of visual arts, crafts and design offer creative careers for many different kinds of people. Check out the different career paths. One of them could be right for you.

An artwork – whether it is a painting, photograph, digital image, print or sculpture – begins with a creator then follows a path that usually ends in a gallery or someone’s home or office. But more and more paths become available as artists continue to expand the definition of exhibition space using any available venue to present their work, be it on the street, at a community-based public gallery, or through a virtual gallery. Many individuals are important links in the chain between the visual artist and his or her public. Scroll through the image below to see what people in each of these positions do.

Artwork's Journey

Installation artist
Work can be comprised of any or all visual media, with special consideration to the exhibition space as pad of the artwork.

Makes multiple images on paper from an inked plate (such as intaglio, silkscreen and lithography).

Takes portrait, commercial, documentary or artistic photographs.

Creates paintings in oils, acrylics, watercolours or mixed media.

Creates three-dimensional works out of various materials.

Art supplies dealer
Sells artists' materials such as paints, canvas, paper, brushes. Framer: Mounts and frames artwork for display.

Art shipper
Specializes in packing and transporting artwork.

Art dealer
Exhibits, markets and sells artwork, and helps promote artists.

Art buyer/consultant
Advises and assists collectors who purchase or rent art.

Artist-run centre coordinator
Administers a public art gallery or museum.

Art museum director
Administers a public ad gallery or museum.

Collections manager/registrar
Documents and keeps track of a gallery's collection.

Conceives, researches, designs and organizes art exhibitions.

Preserves or restores art objects.

Art exhibition designer
Designs layout and signage for art exhibitions.

Installation technician
Installs and takes down exhibitions.

Communication director
Performs public and media relations for a gallery.

Gallery assistant
Assists the gallery with all aspects of the business.

Art historian
Teaches, researches and writes about ancient to recent art, including social impact, and art trends and movements.

Art researcher
Researches an artist and his/her work in terms of exhibitions, art history and public impact.

Education coordinator
Provides educational and interpretive programs for the public at an ad museum.

Art researcher: Researches an artist and his/her work in terms of exhibitions, art history and public impact. Education coordinator: Provides educational and interpretive programs for the public at an ad museum. Artist-run centre coordinator: Administers a public art gallery or museum. Art museum director: Administers a public art gallery or museum.

Designing a print product

Graphic design has many branches. Designers working in print have careers in journalism, book publishing, advertising, television and product packaging – just about any field where the message requires fresh and striking visual images. They may work producing magazines, newspapers, journals, corporate reports or designing promotional displays and packaging. Some specialize in creating distinctive logos and brands or developing signs and signage systems—called environmental graphics—for business and government. An increasing number are developing material for web pages, interactive media, and multimedia projects. Scroll through the image below to see what people in each of these positions do.

Designing a print product

Creates humorous illustrations for the print product.

Shoots photographs to accompany the print product.

Creates images for the print product.

Seeks a designer or company to produce a new design.

Graphic design salesperson
Markets the expertise of a graphic design company.

Project manager/producer
Oversees a graphic design project.

Art director
Conceives design concepts. Graphic designer: Creates/executes designs.

Book designer
Designs covers and inside pages.

Magazine designer
Conceives covers and page designs.

Manufactures the finished print product.

Designing a digital media product

Whether creating digital media products such as websites, CD-ROMs, interactive games or computer-based training programs, digital media designers bring words alive with images. Some designers have moved from print design into digital media. Others started out in the traditional fine arts. This generation of digital media designers is the first to grow up with today's universal design tool – the computer. Scroll through the image below to see what people in each of these positions do.

Artwork's Journey

Classical animator
Uses drawing techniques to create animated sequences.

Computer animator
Uses software programs to create animated sequences.

Graphic artist
Prepares illustrations for the product.

Hires a new media company to create a product.

Marketing representative
Sells the expertise of a new media company.

Retail sales clerk
Sells new media products to the public.

Technical support person
Helps resolve customers' technical problems with the company's products.

Project manager/producer
Works with the client to oversee production.

Art director/creative director/game designer
Develops the theme, approach and style of the product.

Technical director
Oversees programmers who use specialized software to develop the product.

IT manager
Provides additional services such as web hosting and maintenance and upgrading of websites and other electronic applications.

Writes visual, audio and text script.

Translates text for new products in development.

Designs computer programs/software applications to implement production designs.

Audio-visual production specialist
Produces audio, video and photographic materials.

Taking a craftwork from studio to buyer

Making crafts is both an art and a business. Craftspeople work by hand, creating products that people use, or one-of-a-kind works that collectors display in their homes and workplaces. Many other professionals help craftspeople get their work to market. Scroll through the image below to see what people in each of these positions do.

Artwork's Journey

Makes artistic candles.

Binds books by hand in leather, linen or paper.

Creates artworks in iron.

Creates artwork in clay.

Fabric artist
Creates artwork in fabric.

Uses fabric to create one-of-a-kind quilts

Creates objects in blown, etched and stained glass.

Creates items in gold or silver, such as jewellery and metal objects.

Leather worker
Makes leather goods such as wallets, belts and briefcases.

Textile designer
Creates original fabric designs.

Produces decorative and functional items in clay.

Creates rugs, tapestries and clothing in fabric.

Makes furniture and/or decorative objects from wood.

Musical instrument maker
Makes instruments from materials such as wood, leather, string and metal.

Crafts supplier dealer
Sells materials for making crafts.

Crafts retailer
Sells crafts to the public.

Crafts co-operative manager
Manages store owned by craftspeople to set their work.

Crafts curator
Organizes exhibitions in crafts galleries/museums.

Crafts instructor
Teaches techniques for making crafts.