Drawing and Painting: Potential Careers | Minneapolis College of Art and Design

Drawing and Painting: Potential Careers

MCAD Career Development can help you find work and help employers find you. In addition to job listings, the staff is available to meet one-on-one with students and alumni to assist with career development. Services include assistance writing and editing resumes, cover letters, and other professional correspondences; career exploration and industry research; interviewing practice; networking strategies; and industry-specific practices.

Fine Artist

Sells work to individuals, galleries, interior designers, architects, libraries, community centers, churches, banks, hotels, government and elsewhere on a freelance basis or by commission. At times works on commission, but most often creates and sells work afterwards.

Instructor or Professor

Teaches classes either as a part-time adjunct or full-time instructor at a college or university. Designs courses or assists with curriculum development. Typically requires a terminal degree such as an MFA.

Independent Curator

Like a traditional curator, selects the works or content to be included in an exhibition or event. Works outside of—as well as in cooperation with—individual institutions. Pushes the boundaries of the term “curator.”


Illustrates for advertisements, books, magazines, fashion, and more. Creates layout sketches of designs, logo ideas, and illustrations that are included in reports, print materials, direct mail, point of purchase displays, posters, signage, commercials, trailers, and billboards.

Art Therapist

Uses the creative process of art making to improve and enhance the physical, mental, and emotional well-being of individuals of all ages. Using artistic self-expression, helps people to resolve conflicts and problems, increase self-esteem and self-awareness, and achieve insight.

Arts Administrator

Manages programs in education, therapy, or public service. Oversees and applies for grants, reports to donors and board, and makes plans for the organization.

Art Restoration Specialist

Cleans, repairs, and restores damaged works of art close to the original condition. Regularly handles and works with rare and valuable pieces.

Visiting Artist

Mixes studio time with teaching one or more classes. Hones skills while utilizing the resources of the host organization.

Commercial Artist

Produces art for promotional materials and commercials.


Creates extremely large works of art, often paintings, applied to a wall, ceiling, or floor. Uses different styles to bring beauty to an interior or exterior space.

Portrait Artist

Captures the intimate likeness of a person on paper, canvas, or another surface. Usually specializes in one or many types of portrait art such as celebrity, historical, political, etc.

Tattoo Artist

Professionally applies tattoos typically based on what individual clients want.