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Career and Education Opportunities for Fine Artists in Portland, Maine

For those living in the Portland, Maine area, there are many career and education opportunities for fine artists. The national trend for fine artists sees this job pool growing by about 9.0% over the next eight years. In general, fine artists create original artwork using any of a wide variety of mediums and techniques.

The average wage in the general category of Art and Design jobs is $22 per hour or $46,005 per year in Maine, and an average of $22 per hour or $46,166 per year nationwide. People working as fine artists can fill a number of jobs, such as: apprentice, painter, landscape, technical illustrator, and paintings restorer.

There are twenty-three schools of higher education in the Portland area, including six within twenty-five miles of Portland where you can get a degree to start your career 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 Portland 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.
  • 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.
  • 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

University of Maine at Augusta - Augusta, ME

University of Maine at Augusta, 46 University Dr, Augusta, ME 04330-9410. University of Maine at Augusta is a small university located in Augusta, Maine. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 4,731 students. University of Maine at Augusta has an associate's degree and a bachelor's degree program in Fine/Studio Arts which graduated one and nine students respectively in 2008.

Maine College of Art - Portland, ME

Maine College of Art, 522 Congress St., Portland, ME 04101-3494. Maine College of Art is a small college located in Portland, Maine. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 369 students and an admission rate of 80%. Maine College of Art has 5 areas of study related to Fine Artist. They are:

  • Fine/Studio Arts, master's degree which graduated 15 students in 2008.
  • Painting, bachelor's degree which graduated 10 students in 2008.
  • Sculpture, bachelor's degree which graduated 17 students in 2008.
  • Ceramic Arts and Ceramics, bachelor's degree which graduated 8 students in 2008.
  • Fine Arts and Art Studies, Other Specialties, bachelor's degree which graduated 1 student in 2008.

University of Maine at Farmington - Farmington, ME

University of Maine at Farmington, 224 Main St, Farmington, ME 04938-9978. University of Maine at Farmington is a small university located in Farmington, Maine. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,191 students and an admission rate of 68%. University of Maine at Farmington has 2 areas of study related to Fine Artist. They are:

  • Art/Art Studies, bachelor's degree which graduated 4 students in 2008.
  • Fine/Studio Arts, bachelor's degree which graduated 2 students in 2008.

Bowdoin College - Brunswick, ME

Bowdoin College, 5700 College Station - President's Office, Brunswick, ME 04011-8448. Bowdoin College is a small college located in Brunswick, Maine. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,723 students and an admission rate of 19%. Bowdoin College has a bachelor's degree program in Fine/Studio Arts which graduated four students in 2008.

Bates College - Lewiston, ME

Bates College, 2 Andrews Road, Lewiston, ME 04240. Bates College is a small college located in Lewiston, Maine. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,776 students and an admission rate of 29%. Bates College has a bachelor's degree program in Art/Art Studies which graduated three students in 2008.

University of Southern Maine - Portland, ME

University of Southern Maine, 96 Falmouth St, Portland, ME 04103. University of Southern Maine is a large university located in Portland, Maine. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 9,930 students and an admission rate of 82%. University of Southern Maine has a bachelor's degree program in Art/Art Studies which graduated thirty-four 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: Portland, Maine

Portland, Maine
Portland, Maine photo by Pauk

Portland is situated in Cumberland County, Maine. It has a population of over 62,561, which has shrunk by 2.6% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Portland, 102, is above the national average. New single-family homes in Portland are priced at $164,700 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, twenty-three new homes were built in Portland, down from thirty-two the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Portland are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, accommodation and food services, and construction. The average commute to work is about 19 minutes. More than 36.4% of Portland residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 13.0%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Portland is 6.3%, which is less than Maine's average of 7.6%. About 14.1% of Portland's residents are below the poverty line, which is worse than the state average.

The percentage of Portland residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 40.4%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. Mariners Church, Swedenborgian Church and Stroudwater Christian Church are among the churches located in Portland. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the United Church of Christ and the United Methodist Church.

Portland is home to the Cumberland Wharf and the Browns Wharf as well as Longfellow Square and Hadlock Field. Shopping centers in the area include Mill Creek Shopping Center, Monument Square Shopping Center and Portland East Shopping Center. Visitors to Portland can choose from Motel 6, Fairfield Inn Portland Airport and Ramada Limited Portland for temporary stays in the area.