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Career and Education Opportunities for Fine Artists in San Francisco, California

For those living in the San Francisco, California area, there are many career and education opportunities for fine artists. Currently, 2,700 people work as fine artists in California. This is expected to grow 11% to 3,000 people by 2016. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for fine artists are expected to grow by about 9.0%. In general, fine artists create original artwork using any of a wide variety of mediums and techniques.

The income of a fine artist is about $29 per hour or $60,790 annually on average in California. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $20 per hour or $42,650 yearly on average. Compared with people working in the overall category of Art and Design, people working as fine artists in California earn more. They earn less than people working in the overall category of Art and Design nationally. People working as fine artists can fill a number of jobs, such as: quick sketch artist, editorial cartoonist, and community-based public artist.

There are twenty-four schools within twenty-five miles of San Francisco where you can study to be a fine artist, among eighty-six schools of higher education total in the San Francisco area. Fine artists usually hold a Bachelor's degree, so it will take about four years to learn to be a fine artist if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Fine Artist

Fine Artist video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, fine artists create original artwork using any of a wide variety of mediums and techniques.

Fine artists talk with clients and other interested parties regarding the nature and content of artwork to be produced. They also study different techniques to learn how to apply them to artistic endeavors. Equally important, fine artists have to maintain portfolios of artistic work to exhibit styles and abilities. They are often called upon to submit preliminary or finished artwork or project plans to clients for approval, incorporating changes as needed. Finally, fine artists monitor events and other circumstances, research specific subject areas, attend art exhibitions, and read art publications in order to optimize concepts and keep current on art world efforts.

Every day, fine artists are expected to be able to distinguish between colors. They need to be creative and generate new ideas. It is also important that they visualize how things come together and can be organized.

It is important for fine artists to integrate and design visual elements, such as line and perspective, so as to produce desired effects such as the illustration of concepts or moods. They are often called upon to use materials such as pens and ink or computer software to generate artwork. They also cut and fasten individual or mixed raw and manufactured materials and products to fashion works of art. They are sometimes expected to develop finished art work as decoration, or to elucidate or substitute for spoken or written messages. Somewhat less frequently, fine artists are also expected to develop sketches or likenesses of posed subjects or photographs, using any combination of freehand drawing, mechanical assembly kits, and computer imaging.

Fine artists sometimes are asked to furnish entertainment at special events by performing efforts such as drawing cartoons. They also have to be able to model substances such as clay or wax, using fingers and small hand tools to fashion objects and shade and fill in sketch outlines and backgrounds, using a variety of media such as water colors and transparent washes, labeling designated colors when needed. And finally, they sometimes have to furnish entertainment at special events by performing efforts such as drawing cartoons.

Like many other jobs, fine artists must be thorough and dependable and be able to work independently and make decisions on their own.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in San Francisco include:

  • Actor. Play parts in stage, television, or motion picture productions for entertainment, information, or instruction. Interpret serious or comic role by speech, gesture, and body movement to entertain or inform audience. May dance and sing.
  • Art Director. Formulate design concepts and presentation approaches, and direct workers engaged in art work, layout design, and copy writing for visual communications media, such as magazines, books, and packaging.
  • Craftsman. Create or reproduce hand-made objects for sale and exhibition using a variety of techniques, such as welding, weaving, and needlecraft.
  • Display Specialist. Plan and erect commercial displays.
  • Fashion Designer. Design clothing and accessories. Create original garments or design garments that follow well established fashion trends. May develop the line of color and kinds of materials.
  • Film or Videotape Editor. Edit motion picture soundtracks, film, and video.
  • Florist. Design, cut, and arrange live, dried, or artificial flowers and foliage.
  • Graphic Designer. Design or create graphics to meet specific commercial or promotional needs, such as packaging, displays, or logos. May use a variety of mediums to achieve artistic or decorative effects.
  • Industrial Designer. Develop and design manufactured products, such as cars, home appliances, and children's toys. Combine artistic talent with research on product use, marketing, and materials to create the most functional and appealing product design.
  • Interior Designer. Plan, design, and furnish interiors of residential, commercial, or industrial buildings. Formulate design which is practical, aesthetic, and conducive to intended purposes, such as raising productivity, selling merchandise, or improving life style. May specialize in a particular field, style, or phase of interior design.
  • Multi-Media Artist or Animator. Create special effects, animation, or other visual images using film, video, or other electronic tools and media for use in products or creations, such as computer games, movies, and commercials.
  • Music Composer. Write and transcribe musical scores.
  • Set and Exhibit Designer. Design special exhibits and movie, television, and theater sets. May study scripts, confer with directors, and conduct research to determine appropriate architectural styles.
  • Writer. Create original written works.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Fine Artist Training

Los Medanos College - Pittsburg, CA

Los Medanos College, 2700 East Leland Road, Pittsburg, CA 94565. Los Medanos College is a medium sized college located in Pittsburg, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 8,360 students. Los Medanos College has an associate's degree program in Art/Art Studies which graduated one student in 2008.

Holy Names University - Oakland, CA

Holy Names University, 3500 Mountain Blvd, Oakland, CA 94619-1699. Holy Names University is a small university located in Oakland, California. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,103 students and an admission rate of 74%. Holy Names University has a bachelor's degree program in Art/Art Studies which graduated one student in 2008.

Saint Marys College of California - Moraga, CA

Saint Marys College of California, 1928 Saint Marys Road, Moraga, CA 94556. Saint Marys College of California is a small college located in Moraga, California. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 3,809 students and an admission rate of 81%. Saint Marys College of California has a bachelor's degree program in Art/Art Studies which graduated five students in 2008.

College of San Mateo - San Mateo, CA

College of San Mateo, 1700 W Hillsdale Blvd, San Mateo, CA 94402-3784. College of San Mateo is a large college located in San Mateo, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 11,215 students. College of San Mateo has 2 areas of study related to Fine Artist. They are:

  • Art/Art Studies, associate's degree.
  • Drawing, associate's degree which graduated 4 students in 2008.

University of California-Berkeley - Berkeley, CA

University of California-Berkeley, , Berkeley, CA 94720. University of California-Berkeley is a large university located in Berkeley, California. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 35,353 students and an admission rate of 23%. University of California-Berkeley has a bachelor's degree and a master's degree program in Art/Art Studies which graduated one and six students respectively in 2008.

Chabot College - Hayward, CA

Chabot College, 25555 Hesperian Blvd, Hayward, CA 94545. Chabot College is a large college located in Hayward, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 14,299 students. Chabot College has 4 areas of study related to Fine Artist. They are:

  • Art/Art Studies, associate's degree.
  • Drawing, associate's degree and two to four year.
  • Sculpture, associate's degree.
  • Ceramic Arts and Ceramics, associate's degree which graduated 1 student in 2008.

Contra Costa College - San Pablo, CA

Contra Costa College, 2600 Mission Bell Dr, San Pablo, CA 94806-3195. Contra Costa College is a medium sized college located in San Pablo, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 7,147 students. Contra Costa College has an associate's degree program in Art/Art Studies which graduated one student in 2008.

Las Positas College - Livermore, CA

Las Positas College, 3033 Collier Cyn Rd, Livermore, CA 94551-7650. Las Positas College is a medium sized college located in Livermore, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 8,098 students. Las Positas College has an associate's degree program in Art/Art Studies which graduated two students in 2008.

Academy of Art University - San Francisco, CA

Academy of Art University, 79 New Montgomery, San Francisco, CA 94105. Academy of Art University is a large university located in San Francisco, California. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 13,335 students. Academy of Art University has associate's degree, bachelor's degree, and master's degree programs in Fine Arts and Art Studies, Other Specialties which graduated three, twenty, and thirty-six students respectively in 2008.

Canada College - Redwood City, CA

Canada College, 4200 Farm Hill Blvd., Redwood City, CA 94061-1099. Canada College is a medium sized college located in Redwood City, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 5,775 students. Canada College has an associate's degree program in Art/Art Studies which graduated one student in 2008.

College of Marin - Kentfield, CA

College of Marin, 835 College Ave, Kentfield, CA 94904-2590. College of Marin is a medium sized college located in Kentfield, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 6,577 students. College of Marin has an associate's degree program in Art/Art Studies which graduated six students in 2008.

Dominican University of California - San Rafael, CA

Dominican University of California, 50 Acacia Ave, San Rafael, CA 94901-2298. Dominican University of California is a small university located in San Rafael, California. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,073 students and an admission rate of 53%. Dominican University of California has a bachelor's degree program in Art/Art Studies which graduated two students in 2008.

San Francisco Art Institute - San Francisco, CA

San Francisco Art Institute, 800 Chestnut St, San Francisco, CA 94133-2299. San Francisco Art Institute is a small school located in San Francisco, California. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 592 students and an admission rate of 71%. San Francisco Art Institute has 2 areas of study related to Fine Artist. They are:

  • Painting, bachelor's degree, postbaccalaureate certificate, and master's degree which graduated zero, five, and thirty-two students respectively in 2008.
  • Sculpture, bachelor's degree, postbaccalaureate certificate, and master's degree which graduated zero, five, and twelve students respectively in 2008.

College of Alameda - Alameda, CA

College of Alameda, 555 Ralph Appezzato Memorial Parkway, Alameda, CA 94501. College of Alameda is a medium sized college located in Alameda, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 6,576 students. College of Alameda has an associate's degree program in Art/Art Studies.

San Francisco State University - San Francisco, CA

San Francisco State University, 1600 Holloway Ave, San Francisco, CA 94132. San Francisco State University is a large university located in San Francisco, California. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 30,014 students and an admission rate of 67%. San Francisco State University has 3 areas of study related to Fine Artist. They are:

  • Visual and Performing Arts, bachelor's degree which graduated 1 student in 2008.
  • Art/Art Studies, bachelor's degree and master's degree which graduated two and three students respectively in 2008.
  • Fine/Studio Arts, bachelor's degree and master's degree which graduated one and eight students respectively in 2008.

Mills College - Oakland, CA

Mills College, 5000 MacArthur Blvd, Oakland, CA 94613. Mills College is a small college located in Oakland, California. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,481 students and an admission rate of 55%. Mills College has a bachelor's degree and a master's degree program in Art/Art Studies which graduated seven and twelve students respectively in 2008.

California State University-East Bay - Hayward, CA

California State University-East Bay, 25800 Carlos Bee Blvd, Hayward, CA 94542. California State University-East Bay is a large university located in Hayward, California. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 12,353 students and an admission rate of 71%. California State University-East Bay has 2 areas of study related to Fine Artist. They are:

  • Art/Art Studies, bachelor's degree which graduated 2 students in 2008.
  • Fine/Studio Arts, bachelor's degree which graduated 15 students in 2008.

John F Kennedy University - Pleasant Hill, CA

John F Kennedy University, 100 Ellinwood Way, Pleasant Hill, CA 94523-4817. John F Kennedy University is a small university located in Pleasant Hill, California. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 1,511 students. John F Kennedy University has 2 areas of study related to Fine Artist. They are:

  • Fine/Studio Arts, bachelor's degree and master's degree which graduated zero and five students respectively in 2008.
  • Fine Arts and Art Studies, Other Specialties, master's degree which graduated 9 students in 2008.

Berkeley City College - Berkeley, CA

Berkeley City College, 2050 Center St, Berkeley, CA 94704. Berkeley City College is a medium sized college located in Berkeley, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 6,000 students. Berkeley City College has 2 areas of study related to Fine Artist. They are:

  • Art/Art Studies, associate's degree.
  • Drawing, two to four year.

University of San Francisco - San Francisco, CA

University of San Francisco, 2130 Fulton St, San Francisco, CA 94117-1080. University of San Francisco is a medium sized university located in San Francisco, California. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 8,772 students and an admission rate of 64%. University of San Francisco has 2 areas of study related to Fine Artist. They are:

  • Visual and Performing Arts, bachelor's degree.
  • Fine/Studio Arts, bachelor's degree which graduated 3 students in 2008.

Skyline College - San Bruno, CA

Skyline College, 3300 College Dr, San Bruno, CA 94066-1698. Skyline College is a medium sized college located in San Bruno, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 9,515 students. Skyline College has an associate's degree program in Art/Art Studies which graduated four students in 2008.

Notre Dame de Namur University - Belmont, CA

Notre Dame de Namur University, 1500 Ralston Ave, Belmont, CA 94002-1908. Notre Dame de Namur University is a small university located in Belmont, California. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,478 students and an admission rate of 97%. Notre Dame de Namur University has 2 areas of study related to Fine Artist. They are:

  • Art/Art Studies, bachelor's degree which graduated 3 students in 2008.
  • Fine/Studio Arts, bachelor's degree which graduated 1 student in 2008.

California College of the Arts - Oakland, CA

California College of the Arts, 5212 Broadway, Oakland, CA 94618-1487. California College of the Arts is a small college located in Oakland, California. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 1,688 students. California College of the Arts has 6 areas of study related to Fine Artist. They are:

  • Art/Art Studies, bachelor's degree which graduated 1 student in 2008.
  • Fine/Studio Arts, master's degree which graduated 1 student in 2008.
  • Painting, bachelor's degree and master's degree which graduated thirty-five and fourteen students respectively in 2008.
  • Sculpture, bachelor's degree and master's degree which graduated ten and three students respectively in 2008.
  • Ceramic Arts and Ceramics, bachelor's degree and master's degree which graduated six and one students respectively in 2008.
  • Fine Arts and Art Studies, Other Specialties, master's degree which graduated 7 students in 2008.

Laney College - Oakland, CA

Laney College, 900 Fallon St, Oakland, CA 94607. Laney College is a large college located in Oakland, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 13,104 students. Laney College has 2 areas of study related to Fine Artist. They are:

  • Art/Art Studies, associate's degree which graduated 3 students in 2008.
  • Ceramic Arts and Ceramics, associate's degree.

CERTIFICATIONS

Certification of Medical Illustrators: The Board of Certification of Medical Illustrators administers a certification program for illustrators who seek a recognizable means of credentialing.

For more information, see the Association of Medical Illustrators website.

LOCATION INFORMATION: San Francisco, California

San Francisco, California
San Francisco, California photo by Optigan13

San Francisco is located in San Francisco County, California. It has a population of over 808,976, which has grown by 4.2% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in San Francisco, 180, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in San Francisco cost $218,300 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, fifty-seven new homes were built in San Francisco, up from fifty-five the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in San Francisco are professional, scientific, and technical services, health care, and educational services. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, accommodation and food services, and construction. The average travel time to work is about 31 minutes. More than 45.0% of San Francisco residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 16.4%, is higher than the state average.

The percentage of San Francisco residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 41.8%, is less than both the national and state average. Gold Mountain Monastery, Golden Gate Community Church of the Nazarene and Golden Gate Lutheran Church are among the churches located in San Francisco. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Muslim Estimate and the United Methodist Church.

San Francisco is home to the Pier 88 and the Prayer Book Cross as well as Helen Wills Playground and Music Concourse. Shopping malls in the area include Yerba Buena Square Shopping Center, Fox Plaza Shopping Center and Galleria At Crocker Center Shopping Center. Visitors to San Francisco can choose from Astoria Hotel, A-1 Inn Motel and Best Western Canterbury Hotel for temporary stays in the area.