Are you considering pursuing an art education? Are you (or your family and friends) worried that you will be limited to a few career options, such as creating fine art for galleries or graphic art design? While these are two options that many artists pursue, they are not the only careers for those with an art degree. Artists have a multitude of creative career paths beyond traditional roles, and many of these careers are in high demand, fulfilling, and interesting. Here are some unusual and interesting career possibilities for artists:

Concept Artist

Concept artists help bring ideas and concepts to life through their artwork. This type of artist will create visual designs and illustrations for various industries, including video games, film, and advertising. They work closely with developers and producers to help create a visual representation of their ideas and plans for the rest of the team. Concept artists have to be able to take mental images from another person and recreate them and must be willing to rework and redesign things until they have arrived at the correct idea.

Technical Artist

Technical artists often work on projects like instruction manuals, textbooks, and how-to guides for many different companies and industries. Instructional design companies rely on artists and graphic designers to create technical, highly accurate representations of machines, processes, and technology. Without the technical illustrations in textbooks and instruction manuals, visual or complicated processes would be much harder to explain and teach.

Medical Illustrator

Medical illustrators play a crucial role in communicating complex medical information visually by creating precise artwork to illustrate medical concepts and processes. These highly skilled artists combine artistic talent with scientific knowledge to create illustrations, animations, and visualizations for medical textbooks, research papers, and educational materials. Because many medical concepts, parts of the body, and processes cannot be photographed well, illustrations and animations are very important to help convey ideas and techniques.

Art Therapist

Art therapists are professionals who have been trained to use art as a therapeutic tool. It can help people express themselves, explore emotions, and improve mental well-being. Art therapists work in various settings, including hospitals, rehabilitation centers, and mental health facilities, and with people of a variety of ages and situations.

Art Director for Theme Parks

Theme parks require a lot of visual and artistic elements in order to be attractive and develop a theme. Art directors help to design and oversee the visual elements and aesthetics of theme park attractions. This job could include various artistic endeavors such as creating immersive environments, developing storylines, overseeing the sketching of storyboards, and planning decorative elements. Art directors must be good communicators and be able to collaborate with a team of artists and designers.

Visual Effects (VFX) Artist

Visual effects artists use computer programs and technology to create effects for movies, video games, and advertisements. This career requires the ability to plan ahead, use complicated computer programs, and have a strong mental image of the effects they are trying to create. VFX artists are highly skilled and usually have animation and art degrees as well as receive on-the-job training and work closely with animation and effects teams.

Tattoo Artist

Tattoo artists create the designs that people get tattooed onto their skin. In some cases, artists create their own designs to come up with and execute unique and personalized designs, created to meet the needs of their clients. In other cases, the artist has a variety of ready-made images for the client to choose from or uses the artwork of other artists as well as their own. Tattoo artists have to learn how to create designs in a variety of styles and how to modify existing art to satisfy their customers, as well as how to work in a sanitary and safe environment.

Toy Designer

Toy designers are part of the teams that develop and design toys and collectibles for companies in the toy industry. This job involves visualizing ideas, creating prototypes, and working closely with the rest of the team to create engaging, interesting, and fun toys. In many cases, the designer has to be able to create visual images from descriptions and verbal or written instructions given to them by the project lead or team. Designers may have to revise and recreate their plans several times.

Street Artist/Muralist

Muralists create large decorative artwork for the public to enjoy on buildings, walls, and other outdoor surfaces. Street artists often use their work to convey social or political messages and engage with the local community. Stores and building owners will often hire muralists to decorate their bare walls with attractive images that give a sense of the building’s purpose or the local community. Other street artists are hired by city planners and developers to help create art and design public areas.

Forensic Artist

Forensic artists are specialists that use artistic skills to assist law enforcement in solving crimes. These trained artists create composite sketches of suspects, reconstruct facial features from skeletal remains, and produce age-progressed images for missing-person cases. Traditionally, forensic artists sketched subjects and victims by hand, while many are now starting to use computer technology to help them get the correct facial features and proportions with the assistance of witnesses and evidence.

Wildlife Illustrator

Wildlife illustrators combine a passion for art and nature by creating detailed and attractive illustrations of plants, animals, and ecosystems. It often work closely with scientists, conservationists, and publishers to depict the natural world in a visually captivating and educational manner. Some of these specialize artists are also train scientists themselves, giving them an advantage in the market. The graphics created by wildlife illustrators are use in textbooks, scientific publications, educational materials, and training manuals.

Puppet Designer/Builder

Puppet designers plan and construct puppets for various mediums, such as theater productions, television shows, and films. This designers bring characters to life by crafting intricate, attractive, or amusing designs and integrating mechanisms for movement and expression. In some cases, they work closely with producers and developers to design a puppet that fits their needs and mental image. In other cases, they are free to plan and design the puppets in their own way.


These are just a few examples of the many unique and interesting career paths available to artists. This is not a conclusive list as the field of art is diverse and wide. Artists with training, talent, and a creative, open mind can find opportunities to apply their skills and creativity in various industries and settings from scientific applications to highly artistic creations and everything in between.