It takes a lot more than unique ideas and an artistic eye to be successful in a creative industry. It takes discipline and practical skills while maintaining the ability to be off-the-wall and innovative. Learn the top skills that will serve you well as a designer or artist.

Creativity

The need for creativity as an artistic professional should go without saying. If you are in an artistic field, you need the ability to create and showcase unique and innovative products. There is no concrete creative personality type, but if you feel the need to create or build upon existing creative expression, a profession in Art and Design may be for you.

Communication

Whether you’re explaining your design to a client or a co-worker, you need to have the ability to effectively articulate your concepts and ideas. This applies to emails, face-to-face conversations, and online conferences.

Collaboration

If you are working in a team or with a client, you need to know how to effectively and efficiently collaborate with others in order to solve problems and find new opportunities. It's all about finding the great idea while everyone contributes.

Critical Thinking

Your job is to find solutions to design problems. You need to be rational, disciplined, and open-minded in order to discover how best to take advantage of new opportunities. Your job is to solve problems through artistic expression. Depending on your industry, the problems will vary greatly, giving you the opportunity to think in new and innovative ways to accomplish your goals.

Can You Be Your Own Boss?

You have a greater chance of being self- employed in the art and design fields than in any other professions.
  • Roughly 59% of Interior Designers are self-employed
  • Roughly 35% of Graphic Designers and Illustrators are self-employed.
  • Roughly 21% of Architects are self-employed
  • Roughly 60% of Artists are self-employed
  • Roughly 50% of Musicians, Singers, and related workers are self-employed
*Statistics from the United States Department of Labor

Tech Knowledge

You need to be familiar and proficient in computer programs used to create and enhance you work.

Business Sense

How do you make money as an artist or designer? You have to market yourself. No matter how great your work is, you need to know these three things:
  • Your audience
  • How to reach your audience
  • How to monetize your efforts
 

Project Management

Learn how to manage your time. Many artists have to balance their time between multiple clients or between their 9-to-5 and freelance work. You need to make sure you can meet deadlines by managing your time and resources.

Networking Skills

As unfair as it is, it’s not what you know but who you know. In order to grow your business or find jobs in the arts, you need to know the right people. Start building your network. You can do this in-person or through online networks like LinkedIn and Facebook.

Style

Your style will allow people to recognize and differentiate your work from your competitors. Start developing your unique approach to art and design and separate yourself from the crowd.

Passion

A great artist is passionate about their work and practices their art because they love their work and feel a need to create.

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