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Career and Education Opportunities for Fine Artists in Des Moines, Iowa

There is a wide variety of career and education opportunities for fine artists in the Des Moines, Iowa area. Currently, 230 people work as fine artists in Iowa. This is expected to grow 9% to 250 people by 2016. This is better than the national trend for fine artists, which sees this job pool growing by about 9.0% over the next eight years. Fine artists generally create original artwork using any of a wide variety of mediums and techniques.

Fine artists earn about $18 hourly or $38,860 annually on average in Iowa 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 Iowa, and not quite as good as the overall Art and Design category nationally. Fine artists work in a variety of jobs, including: quick sketch artist, community-based public artist, and craft artist.

The Des Moines area is home to fifteen schools of higher education, including four within twenty-five miles of Des Moines where you can get a degree as a fine artist. 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 Des Moines 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.
  • Film or Videotape Editor. Edit motion picture soundtracks, film, and video.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Writer. Create original written works.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Fine Artist Training

Central College - Pella, IA

Central College, 812 University, Pella, IA 50219. Central College is a small college located in Pella, Iowa. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,558 students and an admission rate of 77%. Central College has a bachelor's degree program in Art/Art Studies.

Drake University - Des Moines, IA

Drake University, 2507 University Avenue, Des Moines, IA 50311-4505. Drake University is a medium sized university located in Des Moines, Iowa. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 4,753 students and an admission rate of 69%. Drake University has 2 areas of study related to Fine Artist. They are:

  • Drawing, bachelor's degree which graduated 1 student in 2008.
  • Painting, bachelor's degree which graduated 7 students in 2008.

Simpson College - Indianola, IA

Simpson College, 701 North C St, Indianola, IA 50125. Simpson College is a small college located in Indianola, Iowa. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,052 students and an admission rate of 88%. Simpson College has a bachelor's degree program in Art/Art Studies.

Grand View University - Des Moines, IA

Grand View University, 1200 Grandview Ave, Des Moines, IA 50316. Grand View University is a small university located in Des Moines, Iowa. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,936 students and an admission rate of 95%. Grand View University has a bachelor's degree program in Fine Arts and Art Studies, Other Specialties which graduated ten students in 2008.

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: Des Moines, Iowa

Des Moines, Iowa
Des Moines, Iowa photo by BinaryBoyXP

Des Moines is located in Polk County, Iowa. It has a population of over 197,052, which has shrunk by 0.8% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Des Moines, 79, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Des Moines cost $175,000 on average, which is below the state average. In 2008, one hundred sixty-five new homes were built in Des Moines, down from three hundred nine the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Des Moines are finance and insurance, health care, and educational services. For men, it is construction, finance and insurance, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 18 minutes. More than 21.8% of Des Moines residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 6.5%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Des Moines is 7.1%, which is greater than Iowa's average of 6.1%.

The percentage of Des Moines residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 48.2%, is less than both the national and state average. Epworth United Methodist Church, Union Park Baptist Church and Seventh Day Adventist Church are all churches located in Des Moines. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the United Methodist Church.

Des Moines is home to the Activities Center and the Blank Park Zoo as well as M L King Park and Des Moines Botanical Garden. Shopping centers in the area include Merle Hay Mall, Des Moines Park Fair Mall and Southridge Mall. Visitors to Des Moines can choose from Palace Inn, Holiday Inn Express Des Moines and Casa Bella Motel for temporary stays in the area.