Someone who has a good eye for interior design, and more specifically a knack for selecting the best artwork to occupy a space, should consider a career as an art consultant. Consultants are hired by corporations, hotels, health care facilities, smaller businesses and private art collectors. Anyone who is looking for that perfect artwork to spice up a room can look to an art consultant for assistance. Every client has different preferences and environments to work with, which presents the consultant with a new challenge in each project.
Just the Right Piece
An art consultant meets with the client to discuss what area of the building needs artwork to make it more appealing to customers, visitors or family. The consultant uses her knowledge of art and design to select pieces of art that will create the overall mood the client desires to achieve. The consultant installs the artwork or places artistic sculptures in such a way that they will be effective additions to the building’s decor. Most consultant firms also offer custom framing, which allows the artwork to flow perfectly in specific situations. Some consultants are also able to give appraisals of artwork based upon their expertise of popular art styles and high-selling artists.
How They Do It
Art consultants work closely with national and international galleries, recognized and local artists, and other reliable art sources to offer the best range of art possible for their clients. They can even commission artwork to be made for a special occasion and can work with any budget and space. Consultants must have a great eye for detail and be able to work closely and communicate effectively with clients, as well as communicate and maintain good relations with the galleries, artists and other resources the consultant uses on a regular basis. They must stay up to date with the newest trends in the art world to keep their work fresh and exciting.
Becoming a Connoisseur
Most professional art consultants have earned at least a bachelor of arts in art history -- or sometimes fine arts -- and many have continued on to graduate school to earn their master’s degree. Art history courses provide a wealth of information that will prove useful in a career where appreciation of artwork is key. At the prestigious Savannah College of Art and Design, art history majors learn about the life stories and artistic techniques of famous artists, as well as the theory and relevance of art in the world. They learn to look at art in a new light after analyzing pieces and taking basic required courses in drawing and design and color theory.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics puts the 2012 median annual salary of interior designers, a similar field with much the same qualifications, at $47,600. The salary website Glassdoor has a range of annual salaries for art consultants from $38,000 to $56,000.
According to the BLS, the job outlook for people in the arts and design fields will be about average, which is 13 percent growth through 2022. Offices and homes will continue to be refurbished to become more environmentally friendly, which offers employment opportunities for art consultants.
2016 Salary Information for Interior Designers
Interior designers earned a median annual salary of $49,810 in 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. On the low end, interior designers earned a 25th percentile salary of $36,760, meaning 75 percent earned more than this amount. The 75th percentile salary is $68,340, meaning 25 percent earn more. In 2016, 66,500 people were employed in the U.S. as interior designers.