Job type

Fine artist

£15k - £100k

Typical salary

18 – 41

Hours per week

Fine artists create original works of art using methods like painting, drawing and sculpture.

More info

  • Work as an artist creating work for exhibitions, private sales or commissions
  • High levels of independence and can be highly fulfilling work
  • Can be financially unpredictable and dependent on the economy and your reputation

You could specialise in one medium like photography, painting or printmaking.


  • Creating work from your own ideas or a commission from an individual or an organisation
  • Selling your work through an agent or through galleries, exhibitions, shops or online
  • Researching subjects, materials and new artistic techniques
  • Networking with agents, dealers, gallery owners and other artists and attending exhibitions
  • Joining artists' groups


You might also work as an 'artist in residence' running classes and workshops in places like schools, prisons or hospitals, teach art classes privately, in colleges or through community learning, or run local art projects.

Your earnings will depend on demand and what you or your agent can negotiate. You may combine exhibiting and selling your work with other part-time or full-time jobs. You'll arrange your own working hours, which may involve fitting your art work around another full-time or part-time job.

You may work in a studio, at home, in rented space within a shared studio, or in specialist facilities like a print or sculpture workshop.

You'll need

You'll need a high level of creativity, a good appreciation of colour and shape, self-motivation, business skills to promote and market your work, and the ability to cope with a changing workload. This role requires a high level of skill and talent in your chosen art form.

There are no set requirements for this role and If you're exceptionally talented and have taught yourself, you may be able sell your work without formal training or qualifications.

You'll need a high level of skill and talent in your chosen art form. To develop these skills, you could train by doing a degree or postgraduate award in art and design, art history, fine art, visual arts or graphic arts.

You could also do a Level 4 Higher National Certificate or Level 5 Higher National Diploma in Art and Design or Art Practice.

Volunteering with community arts projects can open up possibilities and extend your network of contacts, which could be useful for finding work.

You'll need to be able to promote yourself in different ways, like having an online presence through your own website, blog or through social media, like Instagram, joining together with other artists or 'collectives' and organising your own shows in galleries or other venues.

You could also get an agent, raise funds through crowdfunding websites or illustrate products like books or greetings cards.

Entering competitions or open exhibitions can also raise your profile as an artist. The Artists Information Company regularly lists opportunities.


You could move into areas like art therapy or art conservation.