What Do Craft Artists Do?
If you’ve always been a creative type of person who isn’t interested in a typical office work day, you should consider a career as a craft artist. Craft artists use their creativity and imagination to construct and produce works of art for sale or exhibit. They may work in a variety of mediums including pottery, metal welding, weaving, printing, and needlework. They may work in a home setting or an art studio, and their work can be sold through online handcraft websites, local craft fairs, or art galleries.There are currently approximately 11,200 individuals working as craft artists across the nation. With a modern 3% annual growth, that number will increase slightly to over 11,600 jobs.
Craft Artists Skills and Abilities
People who work in the area of crafting must possess a love and knowledge of fine arts. You will need to be proficient in design techniques and be comfortable with models, blueprints, or other preliminary design procedures. You should have an understanding of sales and marketing to generate income from your creations. You would need to be familiar with production and packaging for your pieces. Since most of your sales would be to the general public, you need strong customer service and people skills to enhance your sales.Other skills include:
- Complex problem solving.
- Critical thinking ability.
- Manual and digital dexterity.
- Innovation and imagination.
- Effective time management.
Craft Artists Duties
One of the benefits of being a craft artist is there is no typical day. You are in charge of your creative process, but that also means you need to be able to handle a variety of tasks to be successful. You will create works of art using different approaches and materials to bring your vision to fruition. You will need to be able to cut, shape, mold, and affix different materials using hand or power tools or other instruments to produce your works. You might need to maintain a website or attend craft shows for marketing and sales. You will work directly with customers for personal service orders. You also need to devote time to developing new ideas and, procuring, organizing, and storing your raw materials. You may be expected to do some heavy lifting.
Craft Artists Tools and Technology
A craft artist may need a variety of tools depending on the type of art created. Some tools that might be used include clay or modeling tools and kilns for pottery work, glass blowing instruments for glass work, handlooms for woven work, jeweler’s pliers and needle-nose pliers for wearable arts, and any additional equipment needed. Proficiency in computer technology is also necessary in this line of work. Some craft artists work with computer aided design (CAD) software or other analytical tools to help develop ideas. Comfort in using electronic mail, internet browser software, and social media is also a must for approaching a sales and marketing strategy.
Education and Training for Craft Artists
Formal education is not mandatory to be a craft artist. Typically, an artisan would have a high school diploma and perhaps some additional coursework in fine art technique and theory. Many colleges and universities offer a bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts which would improve knowledge and skill in craft artistry. The majority of your training will come from long-term on-the-job production and experimentation.
Craft Artists Salary
Craft artists can and do make a living wage for their creative endeavors. The median salary for an artisan is around $31,100. The lowest 10% earn $18,300, while the top 10% can make over $62,400. Ability, experience, and interest in your work will all impact your earning potential.
Craft Artists by Geography
This type of work can be done in any area of the country. The majority of positions are in states with larger populations, like California, Texas, and Florida. Areas that are seeing the largest growth in craft positions are Arizona, Nebraska, and Utah.