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Career and Education Opportunities for Fine Artists in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

If you want to be a fine artist, the Milwaukee, Wisconsin area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. Currently, 590 people work as fine artists in Wisconsin. This is expected to grow by 7% to about 630 people by 2016. This is not quite as good as 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.

Income for fine artists is about $12 per hour or $26,930 annually on average in Wisconsin. Nationally, their income is about $20 hourly or $42,650 annually. Incomes for fine artists are not quite as good as in the overall category of Art and Design in Wisconsin, and not quite as good as the overall Art and Design category nationally. Jobs in this field include: portrait painter, crayon painter, and manga artist.

The Milwaukee area is home to thirty-nine schools of higher education, including nine within twenty-five miles of Milwaukee where you can get a degree as a fine artist. Given that the most common education level for fine artists is a Bachelor's degree, 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 Milwaukee 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 Wisconsin-Milwaukee - Milwaukee, WI

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, 2200 E Kenwood Blvd, Milwaukee, WI 53201-0413. University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee is a large university located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 28,995 students and an admission rate of 96%. University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee has 3 areas of study related to Fine Artist. They are:

  • Visual and Performing Arts, master's degree which graduated 11 students in 2008.
  • Art/Art Studies, bachelor's degree which graduated 11 students in 2008.
  • Fine Arts and Art Studies, Other Specialties, bachelor's degree and master's degree which graduated nine and thirteen students respectively in 2008.

Carthage College - Kenosha, WI

Carthage College, 2001 Alford Park Dr, Kenosha, WI 53140-1994. Carthage College is a small college located in Kenosha, Wisconsin. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,990 students and an admission rate of 77%. Carthage College has a bachelor's degree program in Fine/Studio Arts which graduated one student in 2008.

Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design - Milwaukee, WI

Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design, 273 E Erie St, Milwaukee, WI 53202-6003. Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design is a small school located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 672 students and an admission rate of 75%. Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design has 4 areas of study related to Fine Artist. They are:

  • Fine/Studio Arts, bachelor's degree.
  • Drawing, bachelor's degree.
  • Painting, bachelor's degree.
  • Sculpture, bachelor's degree.

Alverno College - Milwaukee, WI

Alverno College, 3400 S 43rd St, Milwaukee, WI 53234-3922. Alverno College is a small college located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,782 students and an admission rate of 89%. Alverno College has a bachelor's degree program in Art/Art Studies which graduated two students in 2008.

Wisconsin Lutheran College - Milwaukee, WI

Wisconsin Lutheran College, 8800 W Bluemound Rd, Milwaukee, WI 53226-4699. Wisconsin Lutheran College is a small college located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 753 students and an admission rate of 76%. Wisconsin Lutheran College has a bachelor's degree program in Art/Art Studies which graduated two students in 2008.

Mount Mary College - Milwaukee, WI

Mount Mary College, 2900 N. Menomonee River Pky, Milwaukee, WI 53222-4597. Mount Mary College is a small college located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,821 students and an admission rate of 58%. Mount Mary College has 2 areas of study related to Fine Artist. They are:

  • Art/Art Studies, bachelor's degree.
  • Fine/Studio Arts, postbaccalaureate certificate.

Concordia University-Wisconsin - Mequon, WI

Concordia University-Wisconsin, 12800 N Lake Shore Dr, Mequon, WI 53097-2402. Concordia University-Wisconsin is a medium sized university located in Mequon, Wisconsin. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 6,549 students and an admission rate of 62%. Concordia University-Wisconsin has a bachelor's degree program in Art/Art Studies which graduated one student in 2008.

Carroll University - Waukesha, WI

Carroll University, 100 N East Ave, Waukesha, WI 53186. Carroll University is a small university located in Waukesha, Wisconsin. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 3,320 students and an admission rate of 73%. Carroll University has a bachelor's degree program in Fine Arts and Art Studies, Other Specialties which graduated two students in 2008.

Cardinal Stritch University - Milwaukee, WI

Cardinal Stritch University, 6801 N Yates Rd, Milwaukee, WI 53217-3985. Cardinal Stritch University is a medium sized university located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 5,300 students and an admission rate of 90%. Cardinal Stritch University has 2 areas of study related to Fine Artist. They are:

  • Visual and Performing Arts, master's degree which graduated 14 students in 2008.
  • Art/Art Studies, associate's degree and bachelor's degree which graduated zero and one students respectively 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: Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Milwaukee, Wisconsin photo by Towpilot

Milwaukee is located in Milwaukee County, Wisconsin. It has a population of over 604,477, which has grown by 1.3% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Milwaukee, 87, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Milwaukee cost $167,400 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, ninety-six new homes were built in Milwaukee, down from one hundred sixty-seven the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Milwaukee are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is administrative and support and waste management services, construction, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 23 minutes. More than 18.3% of Milwaukee residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 6.0%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Milwaukee is 10.6%, which is greater than Wisconsin's average of 7.7%.

The percentage of Milwaukee residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 47.5%, is less than both the national and state average. Church of the Epiphany, Saint Mark African Methodist Episcopal Church and German Full Gospel Church are among the churches located in Milwaukee. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Lutheran Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Milwaukee is home to the Caroline Hall and the Wood as well as Cannon Park and Fifth Ward Playground. Shopping malls in the area include Juneau Village Shopping Center, Times Square Shopping Center and Grand Avenue Mall Shopping Center. Visitors to Milwaukee can choose from Edge-O-Town Motel, Manor House Hotel and Days Inn West Allis for temporary stays in the area.