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Career and Education Opportunities for Fine Artists in Santa Rosa, California

Santa Rosa, California provides a wide variety of opportunities, both career and educational, for fine artists. There are currently 2,700 working fine artists in California; this should grow by 11% to 3,000 working fine artists in the state 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.

Fine artists earn about $29 hourly or $60,790 yearly on average in California and about $20 per hour or $42,650 annually on average nationally. Incomes for fine artists are better than in the overall category of Art and Design in California, and not quite as good as the overall Art and Design category nationally. Fine artists work in a variety of jobs, including: police sketch artist, card painter, and beaded jewelry artist.

There are three schools within twenty-five miles of Santa Rosa where you can study to be a fine artist, among seven schools of higher education total in the Santa Rosa area. The most common level of education for fine artists is a Bachelor's degree. You can expect to spend about four years training to become a fine artist if you already have a high school diploma.


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 Santa Rosa 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Writer. Create original written works.


Pacific Union College - Angwin, CA

Pacific Union College, One Angwin Ave, Angwin, CA 94508-9707. Pacific Union College is a small college located in Angwin, California. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,279 students and an admission rate of 76%. Pacific Union College has a bachelor's degree program in Fine/Studio Arts which graduated four students in 2008.

Sonoma State University - Rohnert Park, CA

Sonoma State University, 1801 E Cotati Ave, Rohnert Park, CA 94928-3609. Sonoma State University is a medium sized university located in Rohnert Park, California. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 8,912 students and an admission rate of 83%. Sonoma State University has 2 areas of study related to Fine Artist. They are:

  • Art/Art Studies, bachelor's degree which graduated 16 students in 2008.
  • Fine/Studio Arts, bachelor's degree which graduated 4 students in 2008.

Santa Rosa Junior College - Santa Rosa, CA

Santa Rosa Junior College, 1501 Mendocino Avenue, Santa Rosa, CA 95401-4395. Santa Rosa Junior College is a large college located in Santa Rosa, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 26,350 students. Santa Rosa Junior College has 5 areas of study related to Fine Artist. They are:

  • Visual and Performing Arts, associate's degree which graduated 8 students in 2008.
  • Art/Art Studies, one to two year, associate's degree, and two to four year which graduated two, seventeen, and zero students respectively in 2008.
  • Drawing, one to two year and two to four year which graduated five and zero students respectively in 2008.
  • Sculpture, two to four year.
  • Ceramic Arts and Ceramics, two to four year.


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: Santa Rosa, California

Santa Rosa, California
Santa Rosa, California photo by Njaelkies Lea

Santa Rosa is situated in Sonoma County, California. It has a population of over 155,796, which has grown by 5.6% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Santa Rosa, 159, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Santa Rosa are priced at $193,300 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, one hundred fifty new homes were built in Santa Rosa, down from three hundred sixty-eight the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Santa Rosa are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 23 minutes. More than 27.6% of Santa Rosa residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 9.1%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Santa Rosa is 10.1%, which is less than California's average of 12.3%.

The percentage of Santa Rosa residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 32.1%, is less than both the national and state average. United Pentecostal Church, Bethlehem Lutheran Church and Bennett Valley Baptist Church are among the churches located in Santa Rosa. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Southern Baptist Convention.

Santa Rosa is home to the Sonoma County Administration Center and the Quarry Picnic Area as well as Live Oak Park and Coffey Park. Shopping malls in the area include Montgomery Village Shopping Center, Saint Francis Shopping Center and Flamingo One Stop Shopping Center. Visitors to Santa Rosa can choose from Amansi, Astro Motel and Beautiful Weddings & Events for temporary stays in the area.