Fine Artist

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Fine artists create original works of art using a variety of materials and techniques, such as paintings, photographs, fine prints or three dimensional pieces. They may work from their own ideas to express their views about the world, or they may create a piece of work to order from an individual or organisation (a commission).

The Work

You could be:


Pay rates vary, depending on:

The better known you are, the more you can charge. Until you become well known, you might find it difficult to make a sufficient income from your artwork alone. There is an interactive artist's fees toolkit in the Resources section of the Artist's Information Company website. (You need to be a member to access this).

The Artquest website also has guides on finance, pay and general advice on working as an artist.

If you sell your work through an agent, you need to pay the agent a fee. This could be as much as a third of the selling price.

Earnings can vary from very little, to a substantial amount if successful in selling a lot of your art work.


Workforce Employment Status

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Getting In

For art school courses you need to apply through UCAS. 

This is a very competitive area of work. It is difficult to become established as an artist. Most artists work freelance and have another job, especially in the early stages.

What Does it Take?

You need:

You need to be able to:


Getting On

More Information

Young Scot and Creative Scotland operate the 'Nurturing Talent - Time to Shine Fund', which aims to support young people aged 11-25 and interested in developing creative or artistic skills. Both individuals and groups can apply for funding up to £1,000. For more information see the Young Scot website.


Courtesy of Swarez Art


The following organisations may be able to provide further information.

a-n The Artists Information Company
Tel: 0300 330 0706

This site includes useful information on employment and self-employment in this area of work.

Association of Illustrators
Tel: 020 7759 1010
Twitter: @theaoi

Creative and Cultural Skills
Tel: 020 7015 1800
Twitter: @CCskills

Creative and Cultural Skills is the Sector Skills Council for advertising, crafts, cultural heritage, design, music, performing, literary and visual arts.

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