A career in the fine arts is a fulfilling option to those who are dedicated to their art medium of choice.  Many who enter a fine arts curriculum wonder how much general and specific fine arts salaries are.  A fine arts salary is often dependent on the location of the artist and their prospective niche.  The salary of an established artist with a niche that is in demand will tend to make more than a generalist, or a specialty that has been outmoded by technical advancements. Having separate portfolios for separate niches is essential for an artist that plans to make lots of commissions.

The fine arts salary for a musician is  between $23,000 and $60,000 in the United States.  While a musician would likely focus on one instrument, being able to effectively improvise and interpret the needs of the patron/employer and playing a range of styles is the key to a high salary. 

A sculptor has a fine arts salary of around $30,000.  The term “sculptor” has a wide range of actual meanings, from those who chisel their works out of stone to those who design in clay or other mediums.  A sculptor often works on a commission basis, taking ideas of their patrons and making them into 3d pieces of art.  It is not unheard of for a sculptor to spend months on a single large project instead of many smaller ones.  Some commercial venues for sculpting come in designing architectural fixtures, making designer home goods, and creating pieces for niche catalogs.

An artist who specializes in drawing or painting has an average fine arts salary of $38,000. This varies greatly depending whether the artist is working for a firm or has their own studio.  Many artist increase their fine arts salaries by illustrating for books, doing cartooning for newspapers, or paintings for a gallery.  Many increase their earnings by working with photographic studios, taking photographs and turning them into paintings and sketches.
    Graphic design is another large field in the fine arts.  The average fine arts graphic designer salary is $45,000.

A graphic designer can work on silk screening or computer designs, or a variety of other mediums, and differs from a painter and illustrator because of the technology needed to make their designs. Fine arts salaries will vary based on whether the artist makes designs for major corporations or whether they work on their own line of product.  Many enjoy ongoing commissions from media outlets such as music or film studios.

With most of these careers, an option to work part time for a commercial industry is always open.  If you decide to study music, there are positions available to make soundtracks and theme songs for movies, television, and commercials.  These opportunities often give the prospective fine arts salary a boost, especially when the artist is just beginning to make a name for themselves.  As an artist, it is essential to keep a steady line-up of projects in order to maximize your potential fine arts salary, as well as to make your brand known to future buyers.

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