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Visual Arts

Visual Arts

If you enjoy creating designs and images then a career in visual arts could be for you. Visual Arts is the term used to describe the creation of art or objects which are primarily visual and intended to be appreciated by sight. They include drawings, paintings, sculpture, architecture, photography, prints and film. The field encompasses physical and screen-based visuals. 

While there is lots of scope for self employment in this sector, job opportunities include working for art studios, multimedia companies and film production studios. Visual arts professionals have extensive backgrounds in design work. Positions in this field can include work as a graphic designer, art director, industrial designer and desktop publisher.

Visual Arts brings public and private space to life, it decorates the interior of our homes and informs the design of every building. It can be created with both commercial or artistic intent. In public spaces everything from street art created by individuals, to statues of public figures paid for by local government are examples of visual art.

One of the prominent visual arts professions is photography. This can be a varied career, with many different forms of photography to specialise in. Some will do general photography for the media, whereas others will focus in areas as varied as taking product images for companies to taking high quality portraits of staff for companies. The majority of photographers are self-employed, offering their services for a variety of events, such as weddings or sports matches.

Another example of a visual art is printmaking, the creation of images on fabric, parchment, plastic, paper or other similar materials. Printmakers could develop skills in a selection of approaches such as woodcut, linocut, lithography, silk screen or etching.

Occupations in Visual Arts
(sorted by Job Zone)

Visual Merchandiser / Window Dresser

Creates displays for the windows and departments of retail outlets to attract customers into the shop.

Photographic Technician / Processing Assistant

Works in photofinishing laboratories or specialist shops processing film and producing photographic prints from negatives or digital cameras.

Tattoo Artist

Uses needles and pigments to apply a permanent design directly to a client's body, injecting ink under a layer of skin.


Creates pieces of art such as paintings, sculptures, mosaics, or photography.

Arts Administrator

Responsible for the day-to-day running of arts and cultural organisations

Arts agent / Promoter

Arts agents/promoters work to create and maintain contacts, for example gaining media coverage and exhibitions in galleries, to promote an artist and their work.

Graphic Designer

Designs graphics for use in media and multi-media products like magazines, labels, CD-ROMs, advertising and signage.


Illustrators are fine artists who convey ideas, facts and feelings using the skills of painting and drawing and their own creativity.

Illustrator - Technical / Medical

Draws technical illustrations like diagrams for instruction manuals and textbooks.

Industrial/Product Designer

Industrial designers, or product designers as they are sometimes called, design just about every consumer product and capital equipment imaginable for large scale production.


Draws cartoons for publication, which may be political, humourous, or narrative.

Film / Video Editor

Edits and prepares pre-recorded footage for a film or video.


Works with printers and printing equipment developing techniques and printing processes.

Potter / Ceramicist

Designs and makes utensils and ornaments from clay and water.


Uses a camera to record still images of people, places, events, occasions, medical settings and commercial property.

Photographer - Fashion, Press & Sport

Covers studio photography shoots and photo shoots or other newsworthy events relevant to their area of work.

Make-Up Artist - TV/Film

Uses make-up to either enhance or characterise a persons features for on stage, film or television.

Creative Director

Creates and overseas the creative design of a project.

Packaging Designer

Packaging designers create designs for containers such as bottles, cartons and boxes.


Brings animation and cartoons to life on both film and video following a pre-planned storyboard. They use drawing, modelling or computer graphics to make pictures and models come to life in order to entertain and/or inform people.

Advertising Art Director

Spend their time brainstorming, planning and arranging ideas for new advertisements.

CAD Technician
Uses a computer and special software to produce detailed drawings and designs.

Designs, plans and directs the construction of buildings of all kinds and sizes, and changes to existing buildings.

Architectural Technician / Technologist

Plays a coordinating role in the technical design elements at the centre of the building design process.

Production Designer - TV/Film

Has overall responsibility in the film and television industry for creating the style of a production and establishing and planning the visual design.

Teacher - Art and Design

Teach a wide range of art, design and craft skills to students.

Architect - Conservation

A fully qualifed Architect skilled in the principles and practice of the Conservation of old buildings and heritage sites.