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Employment for Artists and Craftsmen

Updated on March 3, 2020
Tricia Deed profile image

Tricia Deed is a freelance writer of arts and crafts. She enjoys bringing an array of different projects to your attention.

Art and Craft Statue

Man with Wings.
Man with Wings. | Source

U. S Bureau of Statistics 2018 Salaries for Craft and Fine Artists

Yearly Salary
Year 2018
Artists and related workers, all other
Fine artists including painters, sculptors, and illustrators
Craft artists
$34, 240
Top Industries
Federal government, excluding postal service
Motion picture and sound recording industries
Personal Care Services
Independent artists, writers, and performers.

This information is researched from the United States Bureau of Statistics at U.S These are the average incomes for the majority of artists and craftsmen. The lower 10% average $22,020 per year and the higher 10% average $101,400.

Artist VS Craftsman

There seemingly appears to be an ongoing argument as to who deserves the greater credit for their genius...the artist or the craftsman.

The definition of which is more important rests heavily on the thinking and attitudes of the general public or a culture. Some cultures give no recognition; it just is.

In many ways both arts and skills are important and often times coexist within the final product.

For many centuries a fine artist was truly considered "the artist" to be recognized and highly respected for his art work which hangs on a wall. Collectors of art work have placed values of millions of dollars on these paintings.

The craftsman who made your cup to drink a beverage or a chair to sit on was given very little credit for his creations. Larger financial rewards are spent by antique collectors for past craft creations.

Today's craftsmen earn hourly salaries for utilitarian production.

There are the traditional thinkers which separate the two disciplines and then there are people like me that see the coexistence of the artists and the craftsmen and they both deserve recognition.

The monetary value of a creation often sets a high standard. Dollars have a strong command for dictating greatness. Often, it is the subjective beliefs of customers that determines the value of an item regardless of who creates or makes it.

Visit art and craft shows and take note of the asking price for original works.


Assorted crafts of chair, bag, flip flops, and hat.
Assorted crafts of chair, bag, flip flops, and hat. | Source

Artist vs Artisans

An artist produces original works for aesthetic value.There are no duplicates. Artisans or craftsmen manufacture or replicate a product many times.

It can be confusing at times trying to understand the differences. Most people keep it simple by defining that an artist creates beauty only. The artisan or craftsman creates items for practical uses.

However; a person can be both an artist and a craftsman originating and making an imaginative product visible to others.

Fine artists earn college degrees in order to perfect their skills or to learn of other art interests for better career prospects and refinement of their skills.

Craftsmen may not need a formal education as they are able to learn on the job, are self educated, or have an original creation that they refine for practicality. Both the artist and the craftsman have an interest in selling their products.

Artisans may have more opportunities for income because their product is essential and practical. The income of the fine artist may be slower because their product is considered nonessential and usually sells best during a strong economy. A poor economy will dictate that a coffee cup is a better investment than a painting to be mounted on a wall.

The May 2018 United States Bureau of Labor Statistics report noted that both the artist and the craftsman earn a median annual wage of $48, 960.

Woman in Green Painting

Woman in green dress holding pink rose bouquet painting.
Woman in green dress holding pink rose bouquet painting. | Source

Art and Craft Education

Artists and craftsmen require certain skills and tools that need to be learned for these two disciplines. Artists and craftsmen are creative thinkers. The creative ideas that emerge from an individual’s mind will need to build into its physical form for all to see.

Artists and craftsmen record their ideas with sketches or drawings, written notes, templates or models. They will use a wide array of materials, technology, mechanical assembly applications, tools, skills, visual techniques, and whatever else to complete the product.

An inventory list, photos, description write-ups, advertising and marketing techniques are marketing steps self or a professional marketing team will do.

Art Exhibit

Woman wearing white long sleeved blouse looking at photos.
Woman wearing white long sleeved blouse looking at photos. | Source

Building a Business

After creating a product, both the artists and the craftsmen will spend much of their time selling their wares and building their reputations. They work full-time or part-time jobs. It is common for many of these people to work a regular job or are self-employed while building their arts or crafts business.

The USA. Gov Bureau of Statistics department say artists and craftsmen make $45,000 a year working for an employer. The other fifty percent are self-employed earning a part-time or full-time income.

If you are self-employed as I was, prepare to work a regular job until the art or craft interest which you have can make a stable income.

A successful person, knows how to apply basic business principles, how to sell, and provide customer service. Advertising, marketing, and selling are daily activities:

  • Advertising is spreading the word about your product.
  • Marketing is the technique that moves your product.
  • Selling is asking for a money value that finalizes ownership of a product.

You may wish to hire others to advertise, market or sell the product or do it yourself.

How to Sell

The product is ready. You are ready to ask for the money. It sounds simple enough, but we how do you sell your product?


  • Display products on a shelf, the customer selects, and checks out at the register.
  • The client is familiar with your work and describes or presents you with a drawing of what they want, and you make and fill the order according to their specifications.
  • Hire commissioned salespeople to sell your product line.

Single or group sales for a new line of products:

  • Invest in a sales presentation that brings results. An effective sales presentation that sells products contains emotional content.
  • Sell yourself gaining trust and confidence from the potential client.
  • Show the product presenting emotional benefits. How to use the product to fit their needs.
  • Allow the client to respond with questions or a decision. Questions indicate that the client is interested.
  • The options may be a trial offer, a discounted rate if purchased today, or ask the retail price to close the sale today.

Working Outdoor Artist

Man painting a child.
Man painting a child. | Source

Where to Sell


  • Art galleries and auctions

  • Private exhibits in homes and commercial locations

  • Local retail businesses

  • Museums

  • Art and craft shows

  • Art dealers

  • Online market places


  • Art and craft shows

  • Online market pl places

  • Flea markets and swap meets

  • Home parties

  • Consignment shops

  • Trade shows

Performing Artist

A young soloist playing a violin in a performance.
A young soloist playing a violin in a performance. | Source

Arts and Crafts Employment

This list shows some of the arts and crafts which may be used for gainful employment as an artist, designer, or craftsman.

  • Art Instructor
  • Animation
  • Illustration, Sketch artist, Cartoonist
  • Video, Photography, Movies, Television, Computer
  • Architecture
  • Body art, Tattooing
  • Sculptors
  • Calligraphy
  • Ceramics, Glass artists
  • Collage
  • Drawing, Painting
  • Furniture
  • Graphic art, Print making
  • Jewelry
  • Sand, Metal, Wood
  • Contemporary Art
  • Performance
  • Poster
  • Tapestry, Textile, Fiber
  • Medical Arts, Scientific Arts

Employment locations:.

  • Work environment:
  • Office setting
  • Publishing house for magazines and newspapers
  • Schools and colleges
  • Tourist locations
  • Federal government
  • Art studio, loft, warehouse, or different types of commercial buildings depending on the product
  • Museums and historical sites
  • Advertising and public relations firms
  • Factory
  • Medical and hospital facilities
  • Private home.

Art and Craft Business Ideas 2019

Artist and Craftsman

Are you an artist, a craftsman, or both?

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