Artist Kaitoi

Artists turn creative ideas into works of art using media such as paint, clay, wood and stone.

Artists may do some or all of the following:

  • research designs for artwork
  • discuss client's requirements (if working on a commission piece)
  • choose methods and materials such as paints, canvas, wood or stone
  • produce drawings, prints, paintings, sculptures, carvings or other art forms
  • display artworks for show and sale
  • liaise with clients, gallery owners and patrons
  • arrange exhibition space and advertising for shows.

Useful Experience

Useful experience for artists includes:

  • design work or art courses
  • work as an art gallery assistant
  • work on community projects such as mural painting
  • work in an art supply shop.

Personal Qualities

Artists need to be:

  • creative and imaginative
  • observant, with an eye for detail
  • patient, motivated and disciplined
  • confident and able to accept criticism
  • good communicators
  • good at managing their time.

Useful Experience

Useful experience for artists includes:

  • design work or art courses
  • work as an art gallery assistant
  • work on community projects such as mural painting
  • work in an art supply shop.

Subject Recommendations

There are no specific secondary education requirements, but useful subjects include art, art history, graphics, photography, English and maths.

A tertiary entrance qualification is usually required to enter further training. However, you may be able to get special entry into a programme without the usual qualifications if you have a portfolio showing the quality of your work.

Artists may have to spend many years working with little recognition or income before achieving any success. Hard work and dedication alone may not be enough for an artist to get to a position where they can earn a living through their art, and some choose to use their artistic skills in other occupations such as animator/digital artist, graphic designer or set designer.

Artists specialise in areas such as:

  • carving
  • craft work
  • painting
  • pottery or ceramics
  • textiles
  • sculpting
  • weaving.
Artist