“I have a pretty cool job. I get to colour and draw and play and have fun and get paid for it…If someone tells you you can’t do it just paint your face and go dance somewhere, you’ll be fine.” – Becka Viau, Visual Artist
If you love to sketch, draw, and create, becoming a professional visual artist probably sounds like a dream job. Sharing your work by selling or exhibiting your work can be both satisfying and profitable, if you’re able to find buyers and funders that support your creative vision. Many artists also supplement their incomes by teaching art and collaborating with others to create works or exhibitions. Working as a visual artist on PEI has many advantages. A small, but inclusive community can help you find space to display and sell your work, while a low cost-of-living allows you to focus more on developing your skills in the early stages of your career. By using the internet, you can also connect with buyers, creative professionals and other artists anywhere in the world. Many visual artists also attend art school or take post-secondary art classes. These programs can help you learn new skills while honing your own craft and making a name for yourself as an artist.
Painter/Drawer, Animator, Art Teacher, Illustrator, Photographer, Video Game Artist, Comic Book Artist, Graphic Novelist
Many exhibitions, workshops and events take place for visual artists at the Confederation Centre of the Arts in Charlottetown.
OTHER JOB OPTIONS
Art Historian, Gallery or Museum Curator, Graphic Artist, Designer
LET'S TALK MONEY
$24,672/year (Canada-wide average) [Source: Hill Strategies 2010]
GET TO BUSINESS
Skills in sales, marketing and communications will help you sell your artworks on P.E.I. and online around the world. Business management skills will help you successfully manage your career as an independent artist.
Holland College School of Visual Arts & Journalism, Fundamental Arts, Video Game Art & Animation, Photography & Digital Imaging | UPEI Department of Fine Arts, Minor in Fine Arts | NSCAD University (Halifax), Bachelor of Fine Arts | Mount Allison University
EXAMPLE PATH TO SUCCESS
Begin by taking as many art courses as you can in high school. This will expose you to new styles of creative expression and help you gain skills while you develop your unique style. You can then attend art school, which will help transform you into a professional working artist and allow you to make many connections in the art world. As you create a commercial practice and profit off selling your artworks, you can also reach out to galleries, art councils and festivals across the world to participate in exhibitions and share your passion.