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Career and Education Opportunities for Fine Artists in Detroit, Michigan

Detroit, Michigan provides a wide variety of opportunities, both career and educational, for fine artists. There are currently 1,830 working fine artists in Michigan; this should grow by 9% to 2,010 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%. Fine artists generally create original artwork using any of a wide variety of mediums and techniques.

The income of a fine artist is about $30 per hour or $64,110 yearly on average in Michigan. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $20 per hour or $42,650 per year on average. Compared with people working in the overall category of Art and Design, people working as fine artists in Michigan earn more. They earn less than people working in the overall category of Art and Design nationally. Fine artists work in a variety of jobs, including: art restorer, artist, and oil painter.

There are seventy-three schools of higher education in the Detroit area, including twelve within twenty-five miles of Detroit where you can get a degree to start your career as a fine artist. Given that the most common education level for fine artists is a Bachelor's degree, you can expect to spend about four years studying 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 Detroit 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.
  • 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

University of Michigan-Ann Arbor - Ann Arbor, MI

University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, , Ann Arbor, MI 48109. University of Michigan-Ann Arbor is a large university located in Ann Arbor, Michigan. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 40,618 students and an admission rate of 42%. University of Michigan-Ann Arbor has 4 areas of study related to Fine Artist. They are:

  • Art/Art Studies, bachelor's degree and master's degree which graduated seventy-seven and eleven students respectively in 2008.
  • Drawing, bachelor's degree which graduated 2 students in 2008.
  • Fine Arts and Art Studies, Other Specialties, bachelor's degree which graduated 1 student in 2008.
  • Medical Illustration/Medical Illustrator, master's degree.

Henry Ford Community College - Dearborn, MI

Henry Ford Community College, 5101 Evergreen Rd, Dearborn, MI 48128-1495. Henry Ford Community College is a large college located in Dearborn, Michigan. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 15,571 students. Henry Ford Community College has 2 areas of study related to Fine Artist. They are:

  • Art/Art Studies, associate's degree which graduated 4 students in 2008.
  • Ceramic Arts and Ceramics, associate's degree which graduated 1 student in 2008.

College for Creative Studies - Detroit, MI

College for Creative Studies, 201 E Kirby, Detroit, MI 48202. College for Creative Studies is a small college located in Detroit, Michigan. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,358 students and an admission rate of 27%. College for Creative Studies has a bachelor's degree program in Fine Arts and Art Studies, Other Specialties which graduated twenty-two students in 2008.

Wayne State University - Detroit, MI

Wayne State University, 656 West Kirby Street, Detroit, MI 48202. Wayne State University is a large university located in Detroit, Michigan. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 31,025 students and an admission rate of 79%. Wayne State University has a bachelor's degree and a master's degree program in Art/Art Studies which graduated 125 and seven students respectively in 2008.

Eastern Michigan University - Ypsilanti, MI

Eastern Michigan University, , Ypsilanti, MI 48197. Eastern Michigan University is a large university located in Ypsilanti, Michigan. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 22,137 students and an admission rate of 75%. Eastern Michigan University 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, master's degree which graduated 12 students in 2008.

Oakland Community College - Bloomfield Hills, MI

Oakland Community College, 2480 Opdyke Rd, Bloomfield Hills, MI 48304-2266. Oakland Community College is a large college located in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 24,957 students. Oakland Community College has 2 areas of study related to Fine Artist. They are:

  • Art/Art Studies, associate's degree which graduated 5 students in 2008.
  • Ceramic Arts and Ceramics, associate's degree which graduated 1 student in 2008.

Cranbrook Academy of Art - Bloomfield Hills, MI

Cranbrook Academy of Art, 39221 Woodward Avenue, Bloomfield Hills, MI 48304. Cranbrook Academy of Art is a small school located in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 150 students. Cranbrook Academy of Art has 3 areas of study related to Fine Artist. They are:

  • Painting, master's degree which graduated 11 students in 2008.
  • Sculpture, master's degree which graduated 9 students in 2008.
  • Ceramic Arts and Ceramics, master's degree which graduated 7 students in 2008.

Oakland University - Rochester Hills, MI

Oakland University, , Rochester Hills, MI 48309-4401. Oakland University is a large university located in Rochester Hills, Michigan. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 18,169 students and an admission rate of 78%. Oakland University has 3 areas of study related to Fine Artist. They are:

  • Visual and Performing Arts, bachelor's degree which graduated 19 students in 2008.
  • Fine/Studio Arts, bachelor's degree.
  • Drawing, bachelor's degree which graduated 1 student in 2008.

Concordia University-Ann Arbor - Ann Arbor, MI

Concordia University-Ann Arbor, 4090 Geddes Rd, Ann Arbor, MI 48105. Concordia University-Ann Arbor is a small university located in Ann Arbor, Michigan. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 872 students and an admission rate of 63%. Concordia University-Ann Arbor has a bachelor's degree program in Art/Art Studies.

Madonna University - Livonia, MI

Madonna University, 36600 Schoolcraft Rd, Livonia, MI 48150-1176. Madonna University is a small university located in Livonia, Michigan. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 4,015 students and an admission rate of 76%. Madonna University has a bachelor's degree program in Fine Arts and Art Studies, Other Specialties.

Monroe County Community College - Monroe, MI

Monroe County Community College, 1555 South Raisinville Road, Monroe, MI 48161-9746. Monroe County Community College is a small college located in Monroe, Michigan. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 4,514 students. Monroe County Community College has an associate's degree program in Fine/Studio Arts which graduated three students in 2008.

Marygrove College - Detroit, MI

Marygrove College, 8425 W McNichols Rd, Detroit, MI 48221-2599. Marygrove College is a small college located in Detroit, Michigan. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,879 students and an admission rate of 43%. Marygrove College has a bachelor's degree program in Art/Art Studies which graduated six 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: Detroit, Michigan

Detroit, Michigan
Detroit, Michigan photo by Durova

Detroit is located in Wayne County, Michigan. It has a population of over 912,062, which has shrunk by 4.1% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Detroit, 86, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Detroit are priced at $108,900 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, eighty-five new homes were built in Detroit, down from one hundred fifty-four the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Detroit are health care, educational services, and transportation equipment. For men, it is transportation equipment, construction, and administrative and support and waste management services. The average commute to work is about 28 minutes. More than 11.0% of Detroit residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 4.2%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Detroit is 27.0%, which is greater than Michigan's average of 14.3%.

The percentage of Detroit residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 37.7%, is less than both the national and state average. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Muslim Estimate and the Lutheran Church.

Detroit is home to the Memorial Park Marina and the Detroit Golf Club as well as Chene Park and Mallett Playground. Visitors to Detroit can choose from Corktown Inn, Clark's Motel and Days Inn of Downtown Detroit for temporary stays in the area.