The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

March 3, 2013

Artists have many careers to choose from


It’s most likely that you have heard the term “starving artist,” and understand that it means you may be working your fingers to the bone in your chosen field of art, but only making enough to keep yourself in paint and maybe brushes, as well as the occasional Ramen noodles (yuck). This does sound rather ominous, but things have changed.

Today, there is a long list of careers in art ranging from graphic design to metal welding art.

Unless there are earthquakes and tsunamis, now is an excellent time to prepare yourself a cup of tea!

There is one career in art that seems to appeal to young men especially and that is video game artist. Another career offering creative opportunity is in the field of animation. Animation has evolved into an amazingly huge part of advertisements, movies, websites, games, music videos and cell phones.

Graphic design is another important category of art. Also known as communication designs, this type of art lends itself to such things as creating pictographs, doing the layout of a magazine, designing for product covers, user interface and advertisements.

Set designs requires an artist to think big. A degree is a must for this type of art. The artist would have to envision set layouts, as well as speaking to the carpenters for set building and interior design people.

Comic book art is a field in which a talented artist is asked to step in and fulfill the requirements needed for pictures in the comic book. Graphic novels have really taken the world by storm, and are being converted into movies as fast as you can speak. What does an illustrator do? Well, whether someone needs a book cover designed or pictures (illustrations) for a children’s book, both would be the job of an illustrator.

A caricaturist is a special kind of an artist. While in Chicago two years ago, we had our pictures drawn by a caricaturist at Navy Pier. I have heard others call this type of artist a cartoon artist, but they are not. They simply glance at the person and notice the most distinguishing features and go from there. If you have big ears, you can pretty much guarantee they will be bigger if done by this type of artist. Their work is often seen in newspapers and magazines that cover world events.

Printmaking has many varieties. There are etching, engraving, lithography, and screen printing for only some of them. They are all still much in demand.

Fashion design has defined the past and will define the future. An artist who has a flair for sketching both people and clothing, along with an excellent imagination, could go far in this field. I am going to mention the following three because they follow along with fashion design: jewelry design, footwear design, and handbag design.

Another area that has become even more highly used is, of course, interior design. An artist is required to give a makeover to a certain room, house, office, or set. They must use the current trends to do this.

Architecture is another form of design. Architects must talk with civil engineers and carpenters in order to verify the possibility of their design coming to fruition. They can plan entire cities, large parcels of land, buildings and landscapes.

How about a nice drink of tea? Hot tea is a wonderful drink on a gray, gloomy day like today. A drink of tea always makes me feel that I am at home. How about you?

Industrial artists most often need to merge the art world, design, engineering and advertising world in order to create a universal product. An artist like this needs to create a concept. They must use the elements and principles of art and allow for the utility of the product.

Have you ever seen an ad that simply stayed in your memory, sometimes since you were a child? Creating an advertisement requires the artist to create templates to portray each scene of the ad.

Pottery making requires basic practice, some testing and re-testing, a personal workshop, or much available workshop, plus publicity. For pottery makers to be successful, their creations should be aesthetically appealing. Their designs could be unconventional in order to attract the customers they are seeking.

Sculpting has always been an exciting and most beautiful style of art. Sculptors can create what is asked of them or use their own imagination. They should also exhibit their work online or through gallery exhibitions.

If you have the ability to use your eccentric and artistic abilities to create extraordinary designs, then furniture design may be in your future. Many pieces of furniture being designed today are eco-friendly.

Origami art is just not for children. There are a handful or origami artists around the world who are revolutionizing the way a piece of paper can be made into an absolutely delightful piece of art.

There are other art careers not listed here, and they are many. There is no simple definition of an artist today, as you can see from the list above. I’ll drink tea to that!

Art activities

And now presenting news from the organization sponsoring this article, the Danville Art League.

— We are sponsoring The Town and Country Art Show and the Sharon Schmitz Regional Open Art Competition beginning Tuesday and running through March 27.

This is a feast for the eyes when you consider the fact that there are so many types of art going to be shown. There should not be a soul who walks away without seeing something he or she loves. Age wise, there will be children to adults entering the two shows. The public is certainly welcome, as they have always been in the past when our show was held at the Danville Village Mall. Please, make this a family time to come and see the visual art that Danville and the surrounding area have to offer.

— March 16 — There will be a free workshop. One will be Collage Making taught by Carol Garver, and the other will be an Abstract Checkerboard taught by Kem Wiggins. Yes, she is the very teeny tiny woman who is also my friend, but please do not be concerned. She can teach art with a vengeance and does not let her size stop her from doing anything. Pssst! You will love her as a teacher! As for Carol Garver, she is a truly excellent teacher, as we all know, and her chicken salad is to die for (even though no one has had to do that to prove how much they like it).

— March 21 — There will be a general meeting including a presentation from The Idea Store in Champaign and will be most interesting.

— Roberta Williams will teach a class on watercolor techniques from 1-3:30 p.m. April 20-21 and May 1 and May 11. A supply list will be available when you register.

— April will bring the Veterans Administration Art Show to the Danville Art League once again. I was completely amazed at the work they had done last year. You shouldn’t miss it.

Since we have acquired our new building, we have seen many people come for classes, to work on their art, to view gallery exhibitions, or just to come in and see what we are all about. Which are you? If you are not one of the four groups, please visit the Danville Art League. We’re friendly, we love art, and certainly those two things help the world go round.

Eileen Dunavan is a member of the Danville Art League. Her column appears once a month.