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Career Opportunities in Creative Arts and Design

Creative Arts and Design is one of the most flexible industries that exist. The skills gained when pursuing a career in this industry are transferable to different sectors, and come in handy in various aspects of life. The most beautiful thing about starting a career in this field is that you get the opportunity to express yourself fully in your work, and there is no one pattern that everyone has to conform to – in the world of art, there is beauty in diversity. Whether you are a natural creative looking to explore your passion or you just got an associate degree in creative arts and design, here are 11 career opportunities open to you for monetization.

1. Professional Artist

This is the most common career path associated with creative art. When people hear that you are pursuing a career in creative art, they immediately picture you as a professional artist. While most professional artists are skilled in making pencil portraits, oil paintings, and so on, some others are better talented at sculpting and pottery. A professional artist who specializes in sculpturing carves images from wood, stone, glass, and other solid materials. He is the expert responsible for making statues and figurines. A potter, however, molds objects out of soft clay. Ceramic bowls, jars, flower vases, and so on are all made by a potter. Other professional artists specialize in making mosaics, and paper mache crafts.

When starting a career as a professional artist, it would be helpful to work as a studio assistant first. To get started, you will need a lot of self-confidence, networking skills, and a few great pieces to sell your skills via an art exhibition or an online showcase. Most professional artists start by working a full-time job with art as a side hustle, before establishing themselves and facing it full-time.

2. Illustration

Illustrators are usually freelancers who use their creative skills for visual storytelling. They specialize in creating designs for book covers, comic books, newspapers, magazines, and so on. A typical illustrator can make any written piece come alive using illustrations to pass the message. While most illustrators showcase their skills using drawings, some others may use pictures or digital illustrations. To get a creative career as an illustrator started, your portfolio should showcase that you can work well with CAD (Computer Aided Design) and other design formats. You would also need background knowledge of Fine Arts.

3. Photography

Photographers capture beautiful moments for clients, in pictures. The style and effect used in the picture will be adjusted to suit the client’s preference. There are so many areas of specialization open to photographers. Some photographers only cover events and programs (like weddings), some work in the field with journalists to capture imagery that serves as evidence of reported news, and some specialize in taking pictures of models in fashion events and photoshoots. There are also travel photographers who document memories of clients’ tours, and nature photographers who take pictures of plants and animals for documentation. Most photographers, however, start as general practitioners before they specialize in a particular niche.

To start a career in photography, you need to build a captivating portfolio. You can get experience to add to your portfolio by volunteering at events, and participating in project work with already thriving photographers. Networking is the best way to get clients in this career. It also helps to have a degree in Fine Arts, and a certificate from a photography master class course.

4. Videography

Videographers are creatives skilled in the art of taking motion pictures (videos). They work together with cinematographers and video editors to record depictions of real-life events and turn them into films. To become a videographer, you will need to undergo training where your photography skills will be honed and improved upon.

5. Video Editing

Video editors are creatives who add sound effects, subtitles, translation, and other features to videos, to make them more appealing. The video editor also fixes the lighting, background, and contrasts in a video to make it more comprehendible. Typically, video editors work on pre-recorded content, however, they are also capable of creating a brand new video from a combination of other videos. Digital tools are a video editor’s best friend. You can get your video editing career started using basic editing tools provided on social media platforms like Tik Tok, and Viva Video. However, to become a pro and eventually monetize the skill, you will need to take a master’s class in video editing, and enroll in formal training.

6. Animation

Animators are creatives skilled in the production of images known as frames, which can be put together to create an illusion of movement. This movement is what is referred to as animation. Essentially, animations are formed by compiling several pictures depicting each move of the characters in a story. Animators and Illustrators sometimes work together, however, neither can fill in as a replacement for the other. A typical animator may be found as part of the visual effects team on a movie set, part of the content creation team in the advertising department of an organization, or the product designing team in a gaming company.

7. Graphic Design

Graphic designers create visuals with high-resolution images. They are skilled in designing logos, fliers, banners, mock-ups, and so on, developed from unique concepts to suit a client’s taste and vision. You would often find a graphic designer as part of the advertisement and publicity team of a company, or alone as a freelancer. Graphic designers are another set of creatives who heavily employ the use of digital tools and artificial intelligence in their craft. Common digital tools used in graphic design include Canva, Photoshop, and Pixel.

8. Curator

Curators are in charge of sourcing creative art for exhibitions. They collaborate with agencies and artists to ensure that the collections are duly preserved and well presented. Content curators work with creatives who work in the digital space (like graphic designers and content writers) to source content to be displayed online. Curators search for a wide range of artworks, including ancient sculptures and precious stones. Art exhibitions are usually organized for fund-raising and to launch new artists. A typical curator should have a background in museum studies.

9. Printmaking

Printmakers are usually fine art majors. They create art using printing presses. A printmaker may use any platform as his canvas, including clothes and ceramic objects. Some of the techniques he employs in his craft include block printing, silk-screening, lithography, etching, and so on. In recent times, electronic processes have been introduced. To get a career in print-making started, you need to acquire training in design or illustration. You can build your clientele by reaching out to prospects with a few copies of your work – graphic tees are a great start to showcase your skills.

10. Coaching / Teaching

A career in creative arts and design doesn’t stop when you become a veteran creative. You can use your passion and knowledge to inspire others who want to start a career in the industry by becoming a coach. To become an art teacher, coach, or mentor, you will need excellent communication skills and an in-depth understanding of your particular creative niche. You may start by organizing tutorials for passionate students via YouTube videos or boot camps or apply to be an art teacher in a learning institution. If you would like to teach in a learning institution, however, you will need to obtain a bachelor’s degree or postgraduate degree (depending on the institution you apply to).

11. Interior Decoration / Design

Interior designers and decorators are responsible for designing office spaces, buildings, and event venues. These professionals pick the furniture, wallpaper, and other design choices to suit their client’s styles and preferences.

How to Start a Career in Creative Arts and Design

When building a career in creative art and design (regardless of niche), building networks and volunteering is vital. To build your portfolio you may need to volunteer to make a few free crafts or designs for prospective clients. A good way to showcase your work as often as possible is by entering your best pieces into contests and applying them to exhibitions.

PS: Be sure to connect with experts in your niche and fellow learners at every given opportunity.

Is this a good Career Path?

In Nigeria, creative arts and design may not be a vocational industry, but it brings money. It also allows you to explore your passion and gain transferable skills that come in handy when transitioning to other career paths. If you are creative and imaginative, starting a career in creative arts and design will be very rewarding for you – you get paid for doing what you love!

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