Fine and Studio Art

Becoming a successful artist requires more than the creativity and ability to bring a scene or concept to life through a variety of artistic mediums.
Some of the most recognized artists of this time period struggled to succeed during their own lifetimes, including Claude Monet, Vincent Van Gogh and Paul Gauguin. As talented as they were, they did not receive the recognition – or the income – associated with that talent.
Most true artists possess a natural creative bent and the skills necessary to bring their creativity to life, but many have no idea how to capitalize on their talent. This is where a formal education from an accredited fine arts school can help.
Possessing a college degree in the fine arts does more for an artist than teach them how to properly market their work. It also adds credibility to an artist when they are backed by a formal education.

Required Education

Those trained in the fine arts learn more than how to paint pictures. They learn the various forms of studio art – pottery, quilting, stained glass, furniture, jewelry, sketching, printing and painting.

Due to the nature of the skills being taught as part of a fine arts degree, completing an entire degree through online courses is unlikely. However, some programs offer a combination of both online and traditional courses to students.
Associate degree programs, which take on average two years to complete, will provide the basics of the fine arts. This includes the history and techniques associated with each art medium. While some entry-level positions in the field are available with only an associate degree, it is recommended that students pursue an undergraduate degree in order to be competitive in the market.

Bachelor degrees in the fine arts take the basics learned in an associate program and expand on them. Students learn marketing and communication skills required to not only sell their own art, but also to work as managers or curators for museums and art galleries. Those who wish to teach the fine arts will need to pursue a master or doctorate degree.

Regardless of the type of degree, students should select a program that has received full accreditation. Accreditation certifies the school’s programs meet or exceed the criteria set forth by the accrediting agency. At this time, there are 16 agencies recognized as being qualified to evaluate art schools. They are: the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges; the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools; the Council for Interior Design Accreditation; Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools; Middle States Commission on Higher Education; the National Association of Schools of Art and Design; the National Association of Schools of Dance; the National Association of Schools of Music; the National Association of Schools of Theatre; The North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement; the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Inc.; the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities; the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools; the Western Association of Colleges and Schools; and the European League of Institutes of the Arts.
Future Outlook

Demand for the field of fine and studio arts is expected to be well below the average for other business and industry at just 5 percent between now and 2020. Because the fine arts market is greatly dependent on the economy, during tough financial times, demand for art from all mediums is greatly reduced.
The average hourly wage for fine and studio artists is $20.90, according to figures released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Those who work in management positions within the art industry can expect to earn more than $44 per hour.

Salaries for independent artists vary.

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