Five Jobs for Art Lovers

Words by Anna Connole • 12/13/2017

Transform your passion and talent into a career.

Let's say Picasso, O'Keeffe and Warhol are your heroes. You know their work on sight and have even imitated or learned from it in your own art practice. Painting and sculpture don't exactly seem like contemporary career options, but there's no reason you can't put your artistic abilities or knowledge of art history to work for you. Let's look at five potential careers for people who see visual art as a lot more than "pretty." 

1. Museum Curator

Collections of artwork in museums are overseen and managed by museum curators. With an artistic eye and a huge responsibility, curators interpret art to group, contextualize and showcase it in museums and galleries. You don’t have to be able to sketch or sculpt to be a curator, but training, passion and education in art are absolutely required. Curators are not just in charge of finding art and showcasing it to the public; they must care for it. This career surrounds a person in art every day while also demanding they understand the business and public relations sides of the art world.

Average Salary: $46,000

2. Art Vendor

If you’re an art lover with the talent to create too, then do it. There are plenty of ways to make a living with your art. You could sell pieces at local markets, online with Etsy or Ebay or advertise to clients in your hometown and create products that people specially request. It takes dedication and work to keep putting yourself out there, but you’ll have real people buying what you created and, more importantly, appreciating it.

Average Salary: $42,000

3. Teacher

Becoming an art teacher is a steadier career than creating art full time. Through teaching, you are able to pass down your talents to class after class, whether it be to eight-year-olds painting up a storm or to high schoolers hungry for art history. Plus, there’s no reason you have to stop showcasing your own work as a teacher. Being in the classroom keeps your skills sharp, and you'll have summers off to explore your own work. 

Average Salary: $54,000

4. Art Restorer

This job gives you the opportunity to work on the very art you love most. Art restorers are in charge of repairing damages to painting, murals, sculptures, ceramics and more. Whatever type of art it is, a restorer must complete research and study the history of the creator in order to restore the art to its original form. Cleaning and preserving works is an important task, too. It is the perfect job for skilled, meticulous and passionate artists who have completed the necessary certification or training courses.

Average Salary: $52,000

5. Tour Guide

Guiding tours at an art museum is the perfect job for those who delve deep into art history. It can be a part-time or full-time job for someone who wants to share their love of art with others. Training for each exhibit is required, as any guide needs to be up to speed on what they're showing off. You're basically compensated to learn and talk about the art you adore. 

Average Salary: $27,000

Photo by Eric TERRADE on Unsplash

About the Author

Anna Connole

A Northern Virginia native, Anna looks forward to studying communications at James Madison University. Her main interests are photography, journalism and supporting the Washington Nationals.