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Visual Artist Duties and Responsibilities

The overall objective of a Visual Artist is to produce visually appealing works of art. Reaching this objective requires the artist to perform several tasks. We reviewed several job listings and identified the following as the core duties of a Visual Artist.

Develop Ideas Before starting a project, a Visual Artist must come up with a viable idea. Visual Artists also create sketches and project plans to help them stay on track and ensure the finished piece meets the specifications of the client or employer.

Create Graphics Some Visual Artists create graphics for use in marketing materials and advertising campaigns. To ensure the graphics complement the rest of the campaign, a Visual Artist works closely with creative directors, advertising writers and marketing experts.

Build Visual Presentations Sales departments often rely on Visual Artists to produce presentations for pitch meetings, business expos and other sales events. Before working on a presentation, a Visual Artist must meet with sales personnel and determine the overall goal of the project.

Select Project Materials Visual Artists are responsible for choosing the right materials for each project. To choose the right materials, a Visual Artist must take several factors, such as where the finished piece will be displayed, into account. In some cases, Visual Artists use several materials to create mixed-media pieces.

Modify Materials While creating a sculpture or model, a Visual Artist may have to modify raw materials. Molding clay and bending metal are just two of the tasks a Visual Artist must perform when working on sculpturing and modeling projects.


Visual Artist Skills

Because Visual Artists have a great deal of freedom, they must be able to manage their time effectively. Success in this field also depends upon an artist's ability to listen to client specifications and come up with visually appealing ideas. In addition to these minimum qualifications, a Visual Artist must possess the following skills. Core skills: We reviewed several job descriptions and determined that employers are looking for Visual Artist candidates with the following skills. Develop these skills if you want a chance to break into the field.
  • Sketching diagrams and illustrations
  • Transforming raw materials into paintings, sculptures, illustrations and other works of art
  • Collaborating with cross-functional teams, such as advertising, marketing, and sales professionals
  • Managing creative projects from start to finish
Advanced skills: Although the following skills are not required for every Visual Artist, we saw several job postings that listed them as preferred qualifications. Improve your career by adding these Visual Artist skills to your résumé.
  • Understanding the principles of effective marketing and advertising
  • Creating greeting cards, book jackets and other commercial forms of art

Visual Artist Resources

We looked high and low for resources to help you jumpstart your career as a Visual Artist. The list includes LinkedIn groups, industry associations, and books for painters, sculptors, illustrators, and other fine artists. Use these resources to connect with industry professionals and learn more about working as a Visual Artist. On LinkedIn

Visual Artists and Their Advocates - Share ideas with other Visual Artists.

Fine Artists - Discuss your work with artists, art collectors, and agents.

Artists@Work - Learn about the business from experienced artists. Industry Groups

National Association of Independent Artists - Raise your profile in the art community by joining the NAIA.

International Digital Media & Arts Association - Join iDMAa for access to conferences, journal articles, and marketing opportunities.

AIGA - Share your portfolio, access training opportunities, and meet like-minded artists by joining the Professional Association for Design. Visual Artist Books

Taking the Leap: Building a Career as a Visual Artist - Build your art business by learning how to negotiate royalties, sell your artwork, and work with gallery personnel.

Career Opportunities in the Visual Arts - Learn about the 65 careers available to Visual Artists.

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