Artist

Note: Completion of a TAFE SA course does not guarantee an employment outcome. Formal requirements other than educational qualifications (eg licensing, professional registration), may apply to some occupations.

Job Prospects Openings 5 years to November 2019: < 5,000
Salary Range Median weekly earnings: Varies to Source: Australian Government Department of Employment 2015
Brief We see artists' work displayed in galleries, on greeting cards, on coffee tables, in public spaces and even in mining company board rooms. In South Australia, there are approximately 1,100 artists. The main age group is 45-54 years of age with majority of South Australian artists being females. Around half of Artists are working on a full-time basis largely working in the Cultural and Recreational Services industry.

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Introduction

No matter what medium artists choose to work with, their art continues to challenge, entertain and inspire communities around the world. Artists express thoughts, feelings, images and ideas through different creative mediums. They can use materials such as oils, water colours, acrylics, inks, plaster, clay, multi media technologies or recycled objects to either paint, sculpt, model or illustrate works of art.

Education Requirements

There are no educational requirements to become an artist, though there are many formal qualifications available in fine and visual arts to enhance your skills and your employment prospects. Currently 28% of the Industry have Advanced Diploma or Diplomas, 12% have Bachelor degrees, 9% have Graduate Diplomas or Graduate Certificates and 9% have Certificate III or IV. So while 38% of the industry have no formal post school qualifications it is still strongly recommended that further study is undertaken to improve your chances of gaining employment in the Industry.

TAFE SA offers courses relevant to this occupation including the Certificate III Program in Visual Arts (Digital Arts), Certificate IV Program in 3D Ceramics and Sculpture and Certificate IV Program in Visual Arts (Photomedia).

Flinders University offers a Bachelor of Arts/Advanced Diploma of Visual Arts where you study concurrently at both the University and TAFE SA to complete both Awards.

Still Unsure? Then try a short course also offered through TAFE SA such as Screen Printing, Stencil Art or Experimental Drawing, Check the website for the full list of short courses.

Career Path

Artists need strong skills in selling and promoting their work. Those working in their own studios may work seven days a week, doing a mixture of administration duties and creating pieces for exhibition and also mass produced items for commercial retail. This takes efficiency and organisation.

Nature of the Job

''Often a painting doesn't start out as an intellectual exercise. It starts out as a response to something happening in the natural world around me, or to a matter of social concern such as the Tiananmen Square massacre in China,'' says a local artist. Some artists choose to sketch an idea before actualising it; others work using intuition, imagination or develop ideas based on previous works. Many works of art are conceived as a response to social and cultural events and as such, artists are important chroniclers of real and imagined history. Think about famous events and people. The Mona Lisa or Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo may well be influenced by artist's interpretations. Other works are purely experimental and push the boundaries of what we perceive as art. Whether its a painted Campbell's soup can or half a cow pickled in formaldehyde exhibited by controversial British artist, Damien Hirst, artists are creatively reinventing the rules all the time.

Typical Physical Working Environment

Artists create works that communicate an impression or an idea through painting, drawing, printmaking, carving, sculpting, photography, film-making, music, acting and dancing. Artists may concentrate on a specific area of work or may use a combination of these techniques.

They first and foremost need to have an artistic ability. It is essential that they good hand-eye coordination as well as creativity and self-discipline. It is also sometimes necessary to have good promotional and marketing skills and a knowledge of business/management skills, if artists intend to be self-employed.

Typical Occupational Example

THINK OUTSIDE THE FRAME
''I get called to paint murals on walls, do workshops with school kids, public art commissions, or paint on canvas. I just got back from Los Angeles where I painted the set for a new movie" says local artist Daniel. There are many opportunities for artists besides the traditional arena of exhibition work. Be prepared to look at wider avenues of work such as community and public art, crafts for tourists, teaching, art reviewing, gallery employment or art administration. For example, some commercial companies like BHP/Billiton have commissioned artists to paint scenes reflecting the changes in the mining industry. Employment prospects for visual artists are growing in the areas of community and public art. Artists also need to be multi-skilled, especially using the latest technologies. For example, rather than designing a series of sculptures, it helps if you're able to animate them as well. Aboriginal art is another great growth area and expenditure by international visitors in the purchase of craft and artworks is substantial. ''According to the Department of Communications, Information Technology and the Arts, on an annualised basis, total overseas expenditure on art and craft items was $296 million of which $155 million was on Aboriginal art and craft,'' says an Industry professional.

Jam Factory Contemporary Craft and Design
Phone: (08) 8410 0727
Email: contact@jamfactory.com.au
Website: www.jamfactory.com.au

National Association for the Visual Arts
Phone: (02) 9368 1900
Email: admin@visualarts.net.au
Website: www.visualarts.net.au

Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance (SA/NT)
Phone: (08) 8223 6055
Email: sa@alliance.org.au
Internet Address: http://www.alliance.org.au

Further Information

For further information about all TAFE SA Courses, phone 1800 882 661 or enquire online