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Aidan Brooks

Dr. Canavan

ENG 1010 July 26, 2016

Career Interview

Fine Arts Artist

If you love arts and find happiness in creating beautiful things, you should explore visual

arts as a career. Visual arts are an expanding field in a modern-day society. Businesses need vis-

ual artists because they are doing marketing through the internet where excellent design and vis-

ual work create a strong advantage. A successful artist is more than photo-realistic painting or

painting on a canvas. Art is anything from illustrating a book to helping a company market their

product in an effective way. Finding your niche in art is part of the growth in skills that all artists

experience. Do not give up on your dreams too soon. If you feel the drive to create, you can do

so somewhere in the creative world.

I will explore aspects of a career as a self-employed artist. Self-supporting artists have

many of the same benefits and challenges in their career paths. As a young student myself, I have

questions about this career path. These questions are common among college freshman. In this

paper, I will research and answer some of the most asked questions. To learn about a career as an

independent artist, I interviewed Heather Campbell, who is a successful Utah artist with her own

business. Her art is 3-D sculptural art using mixed media ranging from clay to junkyard scraps.

She shows in the Myers gallery in Park City and has a website.


I believe those who choose art as their profession do it because they passionately want to

improve on society’s beauty and to express emotions physically. I asked Campbell why she

picked this profession. She said that she had to because it gives meaning to her life and it makes

her happy. This profession also creates a safe space for her to resolve her emotions.

Many art teachers and fellow art students have told me that this field is

challenging because

it is competitive and the pay is inconsistent and undependable. Campbell says this is true; how-

ever, a high-risk job keeps you motivated. I predict Campbell will tell me that a portfolio is the

most significant asset to have in this profession. An excellent portfolio shows clients what to ex-

pect from an artist. Throughout the interview, Campbell does stress how crucial it is to have an

up-to-date and strong portfolio to show current and potential clients your skills and products.

I assume education requirements for artists are flexible. I believe that taking art classes to

strengthen your portfolio and skills is necessary. Campbell is self-taught, but tells me if she could

go back to when she was my age, it would have been advantageous to pursue a higher education.

Campbell stresses that education helps an artist to learn the language of art and how to use vari-

ous materials. However, she says that education alone will not make you a good artist; you must

constantly create, practice to improve your technique, and stay self motivated.

I think a main aspect of this job is knowing how to self promote and successfully market

your product. Campbell’s sister is a successful Los Angeles based artist who is exceptional at self

promotion. Campbell informs me that knowing how to confidently promote your product is cru-

cial and will determine your success as an artist.

Campbell says that the best relationship with a client is one where the client comes to you

because they love your art. She loves her relationships with her clients because she is instantly


connected to a stranger through her art. Therefore, it is essential to learn how to self promote in

the art world so clients can find you. Financially successful artists know how to accurately price

their art and how to negotiate with clients so they are not underpaid.

I figure that success in this job requires a good work ethic and a set work schedule. Camp-

bell informs me that this is partially true. She tells me that art is like a wild animal. You never

know where it will go or how it will act. Sometimes her art urges her to work all through the

night because inspiration can come any time and you must follow it. Art has its own schedule

that you need to nurture. The essence of the job is chasing your ideas and motivating yourself to

work on those ideas.

I imagine this job is fulfilling although it is stressful and self-dependent. Ultimately, I feel

you will have good self-worth through the process of creating and completing art projects. I an-

ticipate Campbell will tell me to not over focus on style as an artist’s style will evolve and

change over time. Past teachers taught that it is best to sketch daily, to keep your mind active and

to keep building skills on various techniques. Campbell reinforces my ideas and emphasizes that

it is a priority to keep creating and practicing everyday, despite how much you like the project.

She emphasizes that you can only get better if you learn from your mistakes and from trying.

I envision that being a part of an artist community is invaluable for your career because as

an artist you must actively self promote, and artist communities are key to networking. Campbell

tells me it is valuable to have an artist-friend group because they can give you support and honest

critique of your work. Art communities are interconnected and are invaluable alliances to share

ideas and to alert each other about art shows or events. An effective way to find an artist commu-

nity is by attending art fairs and discussing the artists’ work with them and other attendees. An-


other way to break into the art world is to find a collective studio space and join it. Normally,

you can rent time by the hour or by the month. The benefits of a monthly rent is studio usage

anytime day or night and any day of the week as your schedule permits or as your art inspires

you to create.

I was curious to know why Campbell works with sculpture. Campbell told me the things

she likes most is the tactile side of it; she likes to feel the materials. The art world is versatile

with many different styles and materials to work with. If you feel that you are creative and have a

longing to do art, but you can’t draw; you may want to try sculpture. It is essential that artists

continuously investigate and explore different styles and materials so they can discover their

niche and allow their art to evolve. If you do not quickly know where you might fit into the art

world, keep your spirits up because art is in every aspect of life and many options are available

to you.

An art career, however, has some real downsides. Campbell says the hardest part of this job

is having places for your work, keeping yourself motivated, and earning money to support your

art. Making sculptural art is taxing on your body and it can be hard to fight physical pain when

your spirit is pushing you to create. Many artists will struggle with tendonitis from overworking

their hands. You may have experienced these mental and physical demands if you have been cre-

ating art for some time.

I wondered how artists use writing in their careers. Campbell tells me that writing is a fun-

damental part of her job as she writes notes on her work that convey her feelings and thoughts on

each piece. She tells me that writing is an extension of her art and has the same high standards.


Another argument on the importance of higher education for artists is the likelihood of

improving your professional writing skills. Campbell reveals that a post, high-school education

enhances your credibility in the art world.

Living and working as an artist is stressful, but it is worth the effort to find purpose in life. I

urge you as a young adult to throw yourself into the art world no matter how intimidating it may

seem. The way to success is through making artist and customer connections, learning from fel-

low artists, and working hard to improve your art and your own unique style.

Works Cited

Campbell, Heather. Personal Interview. 15 July 2016.


Career Interview Questions


1. Why did you pick this job?

2. What do you like most about your job?


3. What are key requirements for this job including education and work experience?

4. Can you give me a brief job description?


5. What did you do to gain experience for this job?

6. How many hours a day do you usually work on your job?

7. What is your relationship like with your clients?

8. Do you ever team up with other artists?

9. What is the hardest part about this job?

End point

10. What benefits do you get from this job (satisfaction)?

11. What does your typical work day look like?

12. If you could go back, would you do this job again?

13. What do you wish you knew when you were my age?