Craft and fine artists use a variety of materials and techniques to create art for sale and exhibition. Craft artists create handmade objects, such as pottery, glassware, textiles, and other objects that are designed to be functional. Fine artists, including painters, sculptors, and illustrators, create original works of art for their aesthetic value, rather than for a functional one.
Craft and fine artists held about 50,300 jobs in 2014. About half were self-employed.
How to Become a Craft or Fine Artist
Most fine artists earn a bachelor’s or master’s degree in fine arts in order to improve their skills and job prospects. A formal educational credential is typically not needed for craft artists. Craft and fine artists improve their skills through practice and repetition.
Employment of craft and fine artists is projected to grow 2 percent from 2014 to 2024, slower than the average for all occupations. Employment growth of artists depends in large part on the overall state of the economy, because people usually make art purchases when they can afford to spend the money.
This occupation supported 51,400 jobs in 2012 and 50,300 jobs in 2014, reflecting a decline of 2.1%. In 2012, this occupation was projected to increase by 2.5% in 2022 to 52,700 jobs. As of 2014, to keep pace with prediction, the expected number of jobs was 51,600, compared with an observed value of 50,300, 2.5% lower than expected. This indicates current employment trends are worse than the 2012 trend within this occupation. In 2014, this occupation was projected to increase by 1.8% in 2024 to 51,200 jobs. Linear extrapolation of the 2012 projection for 2022 results in an expected number of 52,900 jobs for 2024, 3.3% higher than the 2014 projection for 2024. This indicates expectations for future employment trends are worse than the 2012 trend within this occupation.