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Page Index:Art

Academic Information:

What is Art?

From the "Free Dictionary"
The conscious use of the imagination in the production of objects intended to be contemplated or appreciated as beautiful, as in the arrangement of forms, sounds, or words.
Such activity in the visual or plastic arts: takes classes in art at the college.
Products of this activity; imaginative works considered as a group: art on display in the lobby.
A field or category of art, such as music, ballet, or literature.
A nonscientific branch of learning; one of the liberal arts.
A skill that is attained by study, practice, or observation: the art of negotiation.

Career Information

Typical Job Titles


  • Conservator/restorer*
  • Fine arts handler
  • Appraiser
  • Arts consultant
  • Design consultant
  • Historical preservation coordinator*
  • Artist-in-residence


  • Industrial designer*
  • Fashion designer*
  • Interior designer*
  • Executive search consultant
  • Gallery operator
  • Consumer goods salesperson
  • Marketing manager
  • Marketing consultant
  • Animator
  • Media consultant
  • Commercial artist
  • Cinematographer
  • Art director
  • Computer programmer*
  • Publicist
  • Web Designer


  • Teacher
  • Professor*
  • Librarian*
  • Curator*
  • Grants specialist
  • Art critic
  • Graphic artist/layout editor*
  • Photographer
  • Exhibit designer
  • Information specialist
  • Arts programmer (TV/Radio)
  • Arts writer/reporter
  • Book/journal editor
  • Cartoonist
  • Film/video engineer

Human Services/Management

  • Arts therapist*
  • City cultural events planner
  • Museum director*
  • Archivist*
  • Arts council director
  • Preservation council director
  • Community arts center director


Creates movement for a visual still using illustration skills and computer applications. Most animation sequences are produced for films and entertainment; some are used for industry (i.e. creating logos for television networks or translating machinery drawings into three dimensions). Works for animation studios or on a freelance basis.


Assists other people in buying art. Recruits clients, develops familiarity with wide variety of artistic styles, and maintains network of contacts among artists and gallery owners. Interviews clients about artistic preferences and presents options to them. Works for consulting firms or on freelance basis.


Creates a visual concept that can be developed into a successful print ad, television commercial, or sales campaign. Analyzes market research data and client specifications and works closely with copywriters. Creates layouts and presents to creative directors or possibly to clients. Works with an illustrator or photographer to develop a final visual. Works for advertising agencies.


Directs art and visuals for books, magazines, and newspapers according to specified guidelines. Supervises layout and selects illustrators or photographers to execute the visual effects. Works for publishing companies.


Instructs students in art skills. Evaluates student artwork and offers constructive criticism and advice concerning future work. May help with curriculum planning. Works for public/private schools or community education programs.


Organizes a book's format to establish a coherent flow and to make the text inviting to read by designing an aesthetically pleasing page within the restrictions of length, paper weight, and trim size. Chooses a typeface, designs a layout, and may create a book cover. Works for publishing companies.


Uses humorous illustration style to entertain or convey information. Works for comic book publishers, newspaper syndicates, or on a freelance basis.


Helps a company establish its identity through graphic representation. Works on a wide range of assignments, such as logo development, letterhead design, or illustrating brochures or annual reports. Works for variety of companies.


Coordinates overall look of an advertising project. Works closely with art director and copywriter to ensure consistency of final product and adherence to deadlines. Works for advertising agencies.


Writes articles giving critical analysis of artwork, exhibitions, or art-related issues. Usually writes on a freelance basis and supplements with teaching or museum work. Works for newspapers, magazines, museums, or on freelance basis.


Designs displays and exhibits for events such as conventions, museum shows, and supermarket promotions. Uses artistic design skills and knowledge of traffic flow and lighting to create original presentations of objects, ideas, and information. Usually works on a freelance basis.


Creates original artworks using a variety of mediums, such as sculpture, painting, or ceramics. Sells work to individuals or organizations. Works on freelance basis.


Draws sketches of suspected criminals based on descriptive information from crime victims. Works closely with police officers and other law enforcement officials. Works for federal, state, or local government.


Develops symbols and signs to unify a building or public complex (i.e. shopping center, subway) and make it easier to navigate. Also works with architects to design interior and exterior environments. Works for architectural or design firms.


Sells products or services by creating an appropriate image for the market the client is trying to reach. Considers headlines, copy, and visual ideas and makes a preliminary sketch. Works with art director to establish size and color limitations and completes illustrations by a specific deadline. Works for advertising agencies or on a freelance basis.


Considers manuscript and visual ideas and makes a preliminary sketch. Works with art director to establish size and color limitations and completes illustrations by a specific deadline. Works for publishers or on a freelance basis.


Designs commercially produced products, ranging from electronics to toys. Works with corporations to style or package products that attract consumers. Acts as a negotiator between engineers and marketing representatives. Works for variety of companies.


Consults with editor and publisher on editorial objectives and the consumer market. Determines a format, selects typeface, and establishes approach toward photography and illustration. May redesign already established magazines. Usually works on a freelance basis.


Designs packaging for variety of products. Often redesigns an existing package by changing color or type treatment or using graphics. Creates three-dimensional prototype to ensure package efficiency. Usually works on a freelance basis.


Draws quick sketches and first drafts for print or live-action advertisements. Works for advertising agencies.


Designs images to introduce sports events, nightly news stories, or specials. May use computer technology to produce charts, graphs, or illustrations. Works for television studios.


Uses imagination and childlike perspective to create new toys. Researches safety standards, child psychology, production, packaging, and promotion to create products that are safe, cost-effective, and fun. Works for toy manufacturers.


Creates new typefaces, often using computer graphics. May modify existing typefaces by creating new weights and proportions or developing new logos for clients. Works for type manufacturers, design studios, and advertising agencies.

*Denotes need for additional education

Typical Places of Employment

  • Advertising firms
  • Historical societies
  • Architectural firms
  • Libraries
  • Art galleries
  • Magazines & newspapers
  • Boat yards (woodworking)
  • Museums
  • Business corporations
  • Art lessons
  • Garment industries
  • Publishing companies
  • Community organizations
  • Retail stores
  • Colleges, schools &universities
  • Teaching hospitals and law firms (medical illustration for court cases)
  • Photography studios
  • City, state or federal government.

Required Skills and Abilities

  • Composing, writing
  • Working independently
  • Acting, performing
  • Decorating, designing
  • Publicizing
  • Teaching
  • Curating exhibits
  • Image digitization
  • Grant writing
  • Creating artwork
  • Organizing exhibits

Alumni Resources

(Listed below are examples of SU Alumni and their Jobs in this major-For more alumni resources, go to Mentor Network)
-Jaclyn Coldwell - Patuxent Publishing - Graphic Designer
-Holly Shiflett - Spectrum Pacific Learning Company - Associate Director of Client Services
-Jason Masten - Brown University - Technology Coordinator
-Jennifer Webb - Neiman Group - Production Manager
-Victoria Siegel - How It Works - Web Designer

Related Links: Further Explore this Career Field

Professional Associations:

The Art Association

College Art Association (CAA)

Prescott Fine Arts Association

North Carolina Arts Council

Durham Arts Council

The Light Factory

Orange County Arts Commission

Other Career-Relevant Links:

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