Students graduating with a degree in Fine Arts don’t have the easiest task ahead of them.  Making the most of the opportunities that a Fine Arts degree offers means that you’ll need a certain amount of perseverance and independence: you will often start out working alone, trying to make a name and create an audience for yourself.  But the rewards more than make up for the initial hardship, as evidenced by the large number of sculptors, painters, illustrators, restoration artists, museum curators, and more.

Portrait Artist – There are always people who want to commemorate themselves or their loved ones by way of art-and who are willing to pay for the honor.  Portrait artists work on commission; in a sense, this is a very stable option for a fine arts major because your job is scheduled and your paycheck guaranteed before you begin drafting sketches.  Portrait artists can work on many levels.  Depending on the client and the market that you choose to pursue, you might do only a few, very time-intensive jobs a year.  Or you might opt to finish multiple jobs in a week and work with clients who want less expensive and less involved final products.  You can find yourself painting anything from couples to entire families to pets as a portrait artist.

Illustrator – Illustrators can work freelance or on a salary.  The former might find jobs illustrating everything from children’s books to novel covers to billboard ads-it all depends on the particular needs of particular clients.  Over time and with enough positive feedback and connections, freelance illustration can become a steady, lucrative job.  Other illustrators find permanent positions.  This might involve a daily or weekly illustration for a magazine or newspaper, for example.

Art Restoration – The job of a restoration artist is to make it appear as if he or she had done no job at all.  Art restoration involves touching up corroded, weather-damaged, and time-worn art that includes paintings, pottery, mosaics, frescoes, statuary, and more.  Art pieces may sometimes be delivered to your studio for the job to be done, but oftentimes you will need to travel to a work that is too damaged to be safely transported.  Artists specializing in restoration need an in-depth understanding of different styles, techniques, and historical periods, as well as a capacity for researching everything from historical context to chemical reactions.

Art Curator – If you love being surrounded by the finest art, then a career as an art curator may be perfect for you.  Working as curator for an art museum or private art collection not only exposes you to great examples of work, but it also gives you the opportunity to seek out and purchase even more of it.  In addition to constantly finding additions to the art collection that you manage, curators also write about art, evaluate art donations, and travel to observe other displays.

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