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Scenic Artist

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Scenic artists paint backdrops, murals and prop pieces for theatre, TV and film productions. They take the designs and ideas provided by a production or set designer and create the set pieces, which could be anything from a cityscape to a wall decorated in period style.

The Work

You could be:

Pay

The figures below are only a guide. Actual salaries may vary, depending on:

Salaries for scenic artists may start at around £17,000 a year and with 1-2 years’ experience this can rise to around £21,000 a year. With more experience, the salary can be higher. However, many scenic artists work freelance and charge an hourly or daily fee. This can depend on the type of work and their reputation.

The Broadcasting Entertainment Cinematograph and Theatre Union (BECTU) website publishes the latest rates as proposed by the British Film Designers Guild Art Department Salary Guide (June 2017).

Conditions

Workforce Employment Status

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Getting In

Applications for the RCS go through UCAS Conservatoires.

All applications to Art Schools (Duncan of Jordanstone at Dundee University, Edinburgh College of Art at Edinburgh University, Glasgow School of Art, Gray's School of Art at Robert Gordon's and Moray School of Art at UHI) are through UCAS, with some courses having a closing date of 15th January and others having the closing date of 24th March.

You can look for work with theatres and film or TV production companies, including those that produce TV commercials. Most film studios are based in London and south-east England, but there are theatres and TV companies based around the UK.

Workforce Education Levels (UK)

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Job Outlook Scotland

Employment

Unemployment

Percentage of workforce registered as unemployed (Scotland)

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Job Outlook Scotland and UK

  Scotland
2017
345
5.5 %
FALL
2022
327
  United Kingdom
2017
11361
3.6 %
FALL
2022
10971

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What Does it Take?

You need to have:

You need to be:

Training

Getting On

More Information

There are a number of websites advertising jobs in the theatre, film and TV industries, such as The Stage and Mandy.

Young Scot and Creative Scotland operate the 'Nurturing Talent - Time to Shine Fund', which aims to support young people aged 14-20 and interested in developing skills in: Drama, Dance, Music, Film, Visual Arts, Literature or Digital Arts. Both individuals and groups can apply for funding ranging from £50 to £600. For more information see the Young Scot website.

The Creative and Cultural Skills website has a careers section called Creative Choices which covers careers information, jobs and opportunities in the theatre.

Video

Courtesy of Creative Choices

Contacts

The following organisations may be able to provide further information.

Association of British Theatre Technicians (ABTT)
Tel: 020 7242 9200
E-mail: office@abtt.org.uk
Website: http://www.abtt.org.uk/
Twitter: @theabtt

BECTU Scotland (Broadcasting Entertainment Cinematograph and Theatre Union)
Tel: 0141 314 0060
E-mail: info@bectu.org.uk
Website: http://www.bectu.org.uk
Twitter: @bectu
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BECTUOfficial

Creative and Cultural Skills
E-mail: edinburgh@ccskills.org.uk
Website: http://www.ccskills.org.uk/
Website (2): https://ccskills.org.uk/careers
Twitter: @CCskills
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ccskills

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

Creative Skillset Scotland
Tel: 020 7713 9800
E-mail: info@creativeskillset.org
Website: http://creativeskillset.org/
Twitter: @SkillsetSSC
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/creativeskillset

Creative Skillset works with the UK’s screen-based creative media industries to develop skills and talent from classroom to boardroom.

Stage Management Association (SMA)
Tel: 020 7403 7999
E-mail: admin@stagemanagementassociation.co.uk
Website: http://www.stagemanagementassociation.co.uk/
Twitter: @SMAssoc

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Career Area

Art and Design

Career Sectors

3 Dimensional Design

Fashion or Textile Design

Fine Art or Graphic Design

Interior Design or Display

Photography