An initiative of Shopera India

Artistic Careers In India

India, the traditional country as we know it to be, is huge on earning money right after graduation. And a salary scale that roams somewhere around 10,000 and lower per month, does not seem to do it for the natives – the same goes for those with family or those who live without one.

Contrary to popular belief, Medical, Engineering & Business based professions are not the only ones that can enable an individual to earn a healthy sum of money to sustain all his wishes and needs. Arts, in its own, colorful, fluctuating yet versatile state, is a pretty vast field to work on – one which is not limited to be a writer, dancer, painter or a musician only.

So this one goes for all the art enthusiasts – wake that little voice up inside your head, tell it that it’s time to work on all those dreams and wishes you’ve been keeping in check for all these years;

Here are some proper Arts based career choices for you to weigh on, and the details about how much each one pays and where you’ll be able to opt for a course on them.

1. Graphic Designer

The primary motive of a graphic designer is to assemble various images, typography or motion graphics to create a design with the optimum visual impact on customers.  They can use any kind of surface (paper, virtual, print) after working on a brief with the client, creative director or account manager, and develop their design ideas accordingly.  Certain computer skills like User interface designing, illustrating, photoshopping, Cascading style sheets, Adobe InDesign, Adobe After Effects has proven to gain leverage during the beginning period of this career. 

Types: Corporate Designing, Publication Designing, Environmental Designing, Packaging Designing, Website Designing, Advertising Designing, Book Cover Designing, Brochure Designing, Label Designing, 3D Graphic Designing, Mobile App Designing, Customize T-shirt Designing, Stationary Designing, Motion Designing, Vehicle Wrap Designing, Multimedia Designing, Logo Designing, Brand Designing, Flash Designing, Creative Designing, Photo Editing/Designing, Layout Artiste;

Required Skills:

Non-Technical – Accuracy, Communication, Creativity, Time Management, Aesthetic Sensibility, Organizing Skills, Problem Solving Ability, Storyboard Creation, Strategical Thought-process;

Technical – Adobe Acrobat, Adobe Creative Suite, Adobe Flash, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe InDesign, Adobe Photoshop, CSS, Dreamweaver, Microsoft Excel, HTML, iWork Keynote, Microsoft PowerPoint, Print Design, Photography, Quark, QuarkXpress, UI/UX Design, Typography, Web Design;

Average Earnings Per Month: 25,000 INR – 60,000 INR


•           National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad

•           Industrial Design Centre, IIT Bombay

•           Pearl Academy (Delhi, Mumbai, Jaipur)

•           NIFT (National Institute of Fashion Technology), Delhi

•           MAEER’S MIT Institute of Design, Pune

•           Srishti School of Art Design & Technology (Bengaluru, Pune, Thiruvananthapuram)

•           Indian School of Design and Innovation, Mumbai

•           GD Goenka School of Fashion & Design, Mumbai

•           Sir J J Institute of Applied Arts, Mumbai

•           Delhi College of Art, Delhi

•           Department of Design, IIT Guwahati

•           DJ Academy of Design, Tamil Nadu

•           Amity School of Fine Arts, Noida

•           Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi

•           Sri Venkateswara College of Fine Arts, Hyderabad

2. Illustrator

Usually opted as a freelance based job, the primary aim of an Illustrator is to visualize, reflect, create and portray a given theme or storyline – illuminating the plot with the help of various graphic/art mediums, gaining feedback from the audience through a different kind of a clarified point of views on the way. For a smooth start, one might need to have a proper portfolio to present the clients with, i.e. a design created for album arts or book covers – skills with CAD (computer-aided designing) and Adobe Illustrator/Photoshop/Studio can come in quite handy. A PG Diploma in Fine Arts will prove to be quite fruitful in gaining the specialization of the required set of skills, giving a chance to start off on a profound base with the prospective employers along with applying for a decent salary at the beginning of one’s career.

Types: Comic Book Illustrator, Courtroom Illustrator, Forensic Artistes, Film Storyboarding, Medical Illustrator, Fashion Illustrator, Fine Art Illustrator;

Required Skills:

Non-Technical – An Eye for the Details, Traditional/Digital Drawing Skills, Creative Streak, Color Sense, Pattern Invention, Visual Texture Identification, Self-Promotional & Self-Motivational Skills, Ample Amount of Patience;

Technical – Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Freehand (Adobe Creative Cloud), Affinity Designer, CorelDraw;

Average Earnings Per Month: 25,000 INR – 70,000 INR


•           NID (National Institute Of Design), Ahmedabad

•           IDC (Industrial Design Center), IIT Bombay

•           Pearl Academy (Delhi, Mumbai, Jaipur)

•           NIFT (National Institute of Fashion Technology), Delhi

•           MAEER’S MIT Institute of Design, Pune

•           Srishti School of Art Design & Technology (Bengaluru, Pune, Thiruvananthapuram)

•           ISDI (Indian School of Design and Innovation), Mumbai

•           GD Goenka School of Fashion & Design, Mumbai

•           Sir J J Institute Of Applied Arts, Mumbai

•           Delhi College of Art, Delhi

3. Printmaker

Printmaking is the process of making artwork through the medium of printing, the primary base of which is paper; the printed art pieces are original rather than just being just another photographic reproduction of a painting. The imagery of a print-made art conveys a message or a metaphor, just like any other type of artwork, and can be acquired through drawing, etching, block-printing, woodcuts, silk screening, and lithography – whether through a manual mechanism or through electronic and digital processes. A degree in illustration is preferred before anyone takes on this career stream; interning with a renowned arts organization will prove helpful to the employee in the long run.

Types: Relief Printing (Woodcut, Linocut, Metalcut), Intaglio Printing (Engraving, Etching, Mezzotint, Aquatint), Planographic Printing (Lithography, Monotyping), Stencil Printing (Screenprinting, Pochoir), Collagraph Printing, Drypoint Printing, Viscosity Printing, Mixed-media Printing, Digital Printing (Dye based, Pigment based, Giclée based), Foil imaging;

Required Skills:

Non-Technical – Diverse (Realistic & Constructive) Design Skills, Ability To Take Criticism, Knowledge In The History of Arts, Time Management, Communication & Interpersonal Skills, Composition Skills (Shapes & Proportions, Orientation, Balance & Harmony, Contrast & Tonal Values, Rhythm & Gamut, Perspective, Symmetry, Stylization, Visual Focus);

Technical – Understanding The Application & Utility Of Various Material Mediums (Wood, Metal, Paper, Cloth, Glass, Clay, Rock), Knowledge of Various Printing & Carving Tools;

Average Earnings Per Month: 30,000 INR – 70,000 INR


•           Government College of Art, Chandigarh

•           Himalayan University, Arunachal Pradesh

•           Kurukshetra University, Kurukshetra

•           Sir J J Institute of Applied Arts, Mumbai

•           MIT World Peace University, Pune

•           Manipal Institute of Technology, Manipal

•           Lovely Professional University, Punjab

•           University of Delhi, Delhi

•           Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University, Delhi

•           Jadavpur University, Kolkata

•           College of Engineering, Guindy

•           Maulana Abul Kalam Azad University of Technology, Kolkata

•           Gujarat Technological University, Ahmedabad

•           Anna University, Chennai

4. Art Professor/Teacher/University Lecturer

The ability to express one’s self through art or knowing how to influence art on our culture and history is a very important part of our civilization as we know it. An Art Professor needs true commitment and motive for taking up art as his/her primary teaching subject, as they will be required to spread the very same knowledge in his/her students, making sure that they maintain the trend later onwards. An Art professor needs to do two jobs at the same time – be an artist, and a teacher, as both are directly related to each other in this profession. A high level of confidence, excellent communication skills, psychological knowledge, and obviously – a true artistic sense is needed to qualify for this job. One should have a heartfelt desire to gain knowledge on his/her choice of artistic field – which can take up to 5-10 years for the least, and the intention to spread the said knowledge amongst a younger mass of students; the early years of any Arts Student are primarily shaped by the influence of their teacher, so it is to be kept in mind that this, indeed, is a life-changing career choice. Many renowned artists take up teaching as their primary profession after they feel sated with the recognition they’ve earned for themselves.

 Types: Visual Arts (Ceramics, Drawing, Painting, Sculpting, Printmaking, Designing, Crafts, Photography, Video, Filmmaking, Architecture, Conceptual Arts, Textile Arts) Professor, Applied Arts ( Industrial Designing, Fashion Designing, Interior Designing, Graphic Designing, Furniture Designing, Carpet Designing, Tapestry, Embroidery, Batik, Jewelry Designing, Precious Metalwork Designing, Pottery, Goldsmithing, Basketry, Mosaic Art, Glassware Art, Illuminated Manuscripts Designing And Book Illustration/Designing) Professor, Performing Arts (Acrobatics, Ballet, Dance, General Gymnastics, Magic, Mime, Music, Opera, Puppetry, Speech, Theatre) Professor;

Required Skills:

Non-Technical – Innate Ability To Adapt To Any Situation (this profession requires extensive travelling) & Patience, Competitiveness, Communicativeness, Psyche-Analysis, Hands-On Expertise In The Chosen Field Of Art;

Technical – Proper Knowledge On Application & Utilization Of Tools For Chosen Art Form, i.e. Graphic Software (CorelDraw, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe InDesign etc.) in Case of Illustration & Graphic Design Techniques, Camera & Lighting Equipment for Photography, Sculpting Tools For Pottery, Stone & Clay Modelling etc.;

Average Earnings Per Month: 30,000 INR – 70,000 INR


 A Post Graduate/Ph.D. Degree in any arts stream from one of the mentioned institutions;

5. Animator

Have you ever seen a Magic Lantern or a Zoetrope? An Animator’s purpose is to bring the previously mentioned optical toys’ utility on screen – they use various different frames, illustrations, images, and techniques to give life to a story/perspective on the silver screen. Think of them like directors – only with a set of unique skills of using hand drawn/ graphically designed images instead of real-life people. Most of the visual/CGI effects you can see in movies, nowadays, starting from mammoths & dinosaurs to beautiful scenarios – all of these are created by expert animators. Starting from the favorite cartoons from your childhood to the giant shark in “Jaws”, Animators have come a long way weaving magic in the name of surrealism since 1888.

Types: Traditional Hand-drawn 2D Animation, 2D Vector Based Animation, 3D Computer Animation, Stop Motion Animation, Motion Animation, Mechanical Animation, Audio-Animatronics & Autonomatronics, Chuckimation, Puppetry Animation, Clay Animation, Zoetrope Animation, Cut-out Animation, Sand Animation, Typography Animation, Paint-on-glass Animation, Drawn-on-film Animation, Experimental Animation, Erasure Animation, Pinscreen Animation, Flipbook Animation;

Required Skills:

Non-Technical – Quick Thinking, Creativity, Sky-High Imagination Power, A Knack in Drawing with physical & Digital tools Alike, On Spot Story–Sketching, Ability To Meet Deadlines, Excellent Presentation & Communication Skills.

Technical – Pre-existing knowledge about utilizing Autodesk Maya, Cinema 4D, Blender, ZBrush, Adobe Animate, Adobe After Effects, Toon Boom Harmony, TVPaint, Adobe Photoshop, Moho (Anime Studio), Dragonframe, iStopMotion can prove to be a real tool in increasing your efficiency, and hence, increasing the starting range of salary;

Average Earnings Per Month: 30,000 INR – 80,000 INR


•           National Institute of Film and Fine Arts, Kolkata

•           Saint Xavier’s Institute, Kolkata

•           Maya Institute of Advanced Cinematics (MAAC)

•           Arena Animation

•           FX School, Mumbai

•           Picasso Animation College, Delhi

•           Mayabious Academy, Kolkata

•           Toonz Academy, Thiruvananthapuram

•           Zee Institute of Creative Arts (ZICA), Kolkata

•           Whistling Woods International Institute, Mumbai

•           Industrial Design Centre, IIT Bombay

•           NSHM Knowledge Campus, Kolkata

•           World University of Design, Haryana

•           Asian Academy of Film and Television, Noida

•           Unitedworld Institute of Design, Ahmedabad

•           MIT Institute of Design, MIT Art, Design and Technology University, Pune

•           IIFA Multimedia, Bangalore

•           PA Inamdar College of Visual Effects Design and Art (VEDA), Pune

•           Frameboxx Animation Institute, Mumbai

•           Amity University

•           National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad

•           Vellore Institute of Technology (VIT), Vellore

6. Fine Artistes

One of the most obvious career choices in the Arts stream, one can easily earn quite a high amount as a fine artiste, with ample dedication and of course, talent. This competitive career path also demands ample amount of self-belief, stamina and the ability to promote one’s self, as this is one of those few career paths which keeps changing through each day (if not hours). Previous work experience can prove to be useful further into the path, such as working as a studio assistant or assistant art director/intern – this will help you earn enough resources and also help you learn the pros and cons and do’s and don’ts of the career you might want to work on in the near future. One should be knowledgeable of renowned art dealers, galleries and places to spread the business in, and proper measures should be taken to solidify the opportunities for future growth in this otherwise volatile job.

Types: Painter, Sculptor, Architect, Musician, Writer (Poet/Author/Lyricist), Performing Artistes (Theatre and Dance), Film, Photography, Video Production/Editing, Designing, Sequential Artiste & Conceptual Artiste;

Required Skills:

Non-Technical – True Passion For The Chosen Stream Of Art; Resourcefulness, Competitiveness, Open To Criticism & Thriving To Do Better Through Each Day;

Technical – Excellence With The Tools Used For The Chosen Medium Of Art i.e. Props For A Dancer, Musical Instruments For A Musician, Paint & Brushes For A Painter, Pen, Paper and Mind For A Writer and Others Alike.

Average Earnings Per Month: 30,000 INR – 1,00,000 INR


•           College Of Art, New Delhi

•           Faculty Of Visual Arts, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi

•           Sir J J College Of Applied Arts, Mumbai

•           Faculty Of Fine Arts, Maharaja Sayajirao University Of Baroda, Vadodara

•           Faculty Of Fine Arts, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi

•           College Of Fine Arts, Thiruvananthapuram

•           Jawaharlal Nehru Architecture And Fine Arts University, Hyderabad

•           Government College Of Fine Arts, Chennai

•           Department Of Fine Arts, Mahatma Gandhi Kashi Vidyapith, Varanasi

•           College Of Fine Arts, Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath, Bengaluru

•           Film And Television Institute Of India

•           Satyajit Ray Film & Television Institute, Kolkata

•           Center for Research in Art of Film and Television (CRAFT), Delhi

•           Whistling Woods International, Mumbai

7. Arts Administrator/Director

An Art Administrator needs to plan and organize art activities and ensure that they turn out the best they could ever be. The focus of this career is mainly based on all kinds of business activities based on Arts and anything remotely relatable to artistic means – starting from fulfilling day-to-day operations, regarding events and shows/galas in theaters, museums, symphonies, jazz organizations, opera houses, and ballet companies, and many other professional/ non-profit organizations such as auction houses, art galleries, music companies etc. An Arts Administrator might need to get used to doing every kind of administrative chores, such as staff management, marketing, budget management, public relation management, fundraising, program development and evaluation, board relations, supervise and negotiate contracts, attend/manage public speeches, design Arts Education activities & manage databases of subscribers and other information. Graduate/Post Graduate/Doctorate degrees on any available Arts/Fine Arts Subject is required to get a head start in this career – having a background in Applied Arts is a plus.

Types: Art Administration, Art Management, Artistic Direction (Theater & Opera Houses), Museum Direction, Gallery Management, Project/Exhibition Management, Educational Arts Management, Front House Administration, Arts Programming, Sponsorship Management, Executive Direction;

Required Skills:

Non-Technical – Artistic Sense (A Solid Artistic Background is Preferred), Impressive Oral & Written Communication Skills, People Management, Employee Evaluation, Logical Reasoning & Organization Skills, Financial Risk Management Skills, Flexibility Under Time & Stress, Ability To Apply Artistic Motive Whenever Deemed Possible, Team Building Capability;

Technical – Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint), Basic Computer Skills, Applicable Knowledge in Microsoft Project or Dynamics, Primavera & Odoo, Ability To Work With Software Like QuickBooks ;

Average Earnings Per Month: 40,000 INR – 1,10,000 INR


•           Faculty Of Visual Arts, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi

•           College of Art, University of Delhi, New Delhi

•           Faculty Of Fine Arts, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi

•           Sir J J Institute of Applied Arts, Mumbai

•           Kala Bhavana (Institute of Fine Arts), Visva Bharati, Birbhum

•           Department of Fine Arts, Kurukshetra University, Kurukshetra

•           Stella Maris College, Chennai

•           Bharati Kala Mahavidyalaya (College of Fine Arts), Pune

•           Department of Fine Arts (Mahatma Gandhi Kashi Vidyapith), Varanasi

•           L.S. Raheja School of Art, Mumbai

•           Lady Shri Ram College (LSR) for Women, New Delhi

•           Loyola College, Chennai

•           Christ University, Bangalore

•           St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai

•           Miranda House, New Delhi

•           St. Stephen’s College, Delhi

•           Madras Christian College, Chennai

•           Hansraj College, Delhi

•           Women’s Christian College, Chennai

•           St. Joseph’s College, Bangalore

•           Mount Carmel College, Bangalore

•           DAV College, Chandigarh

•           The Oxford College of Arts, Bangalore

•           Sacred Heart College, Kochi

•           Isabella Thoburn College, Lucknow

8. Photographer

Using a given range of equipment and lighting setups, a photographer’s preliminary motto is to capture stories and metaphors in the form of photographs; a photographer’s field of work is vast and may vary time and context-wise – starting from wedding, food, fashion photography, ending with photojournalism, advertising, wildlife photography and much more. A heavily competitive field of work, photography is deemed as one of the best creative outlets, one with the option of showcasing your art in galleries and museums to selling them to magazines, newspapers and publication houses for a hefty amount of money. Patience, programming and resources are some of the most important necessities to establish one’s self in this field, and once you get acclaimed as a reputed photographer – there’s no looking back throughout the rest of your life. Photographers need an extensive amount of traveling – that might include unsafe places if required so, it is the reasons why many of the photographers acquire licensed arms for self-defense purposes. Certain types of photography may require one to have an ample amount of photoshop and/or editing skills – mainly for industrial purposes. At the starting point, it is suggested that one works with a renowned photographer, or volunteer and opt for work-shadowing with famous agencies and editorial houses.

Types: Fashion Photography, Landscape Photography, Wildlife Photography, Aerial Photography, Action/Sport Photography, Pet Photography, Event Photography, Real Estate & Architecture Photography, Astrophotography, Photojournalism, Concert Photography, Macro Photography, Medical Photography, Micro Photography, Educational Photography, Baby Photography, Family Photography, Satellite Photography, Scientific Photography, Food Photography, Vehicle Photography, Travel Photography, Street Photography, Nude/Erotic Photography, Marine/Underwater Photography, Advertising Photography, Stock Photography, Wedding Photography, Equine Photography, Paparazzi, Portrait Photography, Fine Arts Photography, Commercial Photography, Forensic Photography;

Required Skills:

Non-Technical – Artistic Ability, Hand-Eye Coordination, Color, Design & Formatting Judgement, Patterns, Shapes, Light & Shadow Placement Sense, Emotional Storytelling Ability, Accurate Subject-Studying, Attentiveness Towards Creativity & Details, Engaging Personality, Outstanding Perseverance, Unfaltering Patience (A Perfect Shot Might Make You Wait For Days On A Row), Hardcore Dedication, Ability To Work Both As A Team And As An One Man Army. Understanding rights, responsibilities of Intellectual Properties and A Problem Solving Ability Through Critical Thinking (Marketing & Interpersonal Skills Are A Plus!);

Technical – Extensive Knowledge In Digital Imaging, Editing Software, Electronic Image Handling, Film Development, High-Resolution Imaging, Image Manipulation, ISO Speeds, Lenses, Printing, Resizing, Shooting; Proper & Quick Utilization Photographical Equipment In Any Given Situation – Ranging From A Small Cell Phone To The Most High End Equipment Available In The Market;

Average Earnings Per Month: 30,000 INR – 1,50,000 INR


•           Light And Life Academy, Ooty

•           The One School, Goa

•           Pixel Institute of Photography, New Delhi

•           Osmania University, Hyderabad

•           Asian Academy of Film and Television, Noida

•           Sir J J Institute of Applied Arts, Mumbai

•           Jawaharlal Nehru Architecture and Fine Arts University, Hyderabad

•           The Indian Institute of Digital Art and Animation, Delhi

•           Sri Aurobindo Centre for Art & Communication, New Delhi

•           International Institute of Mass Media (IIM), New Delhi

•           CREO Valley, Bangalore

9. Interior Designer

The art & science of improving the inner features of a building/enclosed aesthetically to achieve a healthier and more comfortable environment is called interior designing. An Interior Designer is required to plan, research & manage such projects which may involve a large number of people working on multiple aspects i.e. roof designs, wall designs, furniture, placement etc., sometimes with the help of various other art installments – here, one has to create symphonies with a room and it’s components instead of musical notes. This profession, like any other artistic occupations, requires the person to have a hefty amount of creativity, a mind that keeps spinning ideas with each step, as well as the logic to give those ideas a tangible form along with high level of confidence and people-management/interaction skills. Interior Decorators can work in both domestic and industrial fields, such as designing someone’s home, an office, a restaurant or even a recreational park.

Types: Minimalist Styled Designing, Contemporary Styled Designing, Traditional Styled Designing, Transitional Styled Designing, Rustic Styled Designing, French Country Style Designing, Shabby Chic Style Designing, Coastal/Hamptons/Cottage/Nautical Styled Designing, Beach Styled Designing, Hollywood Regency Style Designing, Scandinavian Styled Designing, Urban Modern Styled Designing, Bohemian Styled Designing, Eclectic Styled Designing, Mid-Century Modern Styled Designing, Industrial Styled Designing, Modern Farmhouse Styled Designing, Modern Country Style Designing, Art Deco Styled Designing, Asian Zen Styled Designing, Feng Shui Style Designing, Mediterranean Styled Designing, Victorian Styled Designing & Craftsmen Styled Designing;

Required Skills:

Non-Technical – Excellent Aesthetic Sense, Attentiveness To Client Demands, Basic Hand-Drawing Skill, Colour Balancing, Commitment, Excellent Interpersonal Skills, Problem Solving Mentality, Creative Sense, Spatial Awareness, Function/Fun Balance Measurement, Health Awareness, Ambience (Harmony & Mood) Creation, Schedule & Project Flexibility, Budget & Timeline Management, Imaginative Visualization;

Technical – Familiarity With Colour Codes, Knowledge Of Fabrics, Knowledge Of Each Designing Style And Trend, CAD (Computer Aided Designing), Precision Sketching, Digital Imaging, 3D Interior Design Modelling Tools (i.e. SketchUp), Architectural Detailing & Building Codes – Application Of Construction Techniques In Certain Enclosed Spaces Such As Stairs, Doors, Lighting Details, Kitchen Planning Can Prove To Be Extremely Useful In Times Of Need (Spatial/Functional Design Manipulation);

Average Earnings Per Month: 40,000 INR – 2,50,000 INR


•           National Institute of Design (NID), Ahmedabad

•           CEPT University, Gujarat

•           Pearl Academy, New Delhi

•           Sir J J School of Art, Mumbai

•           Arch Academy of Design, Jaipur

•           Karnavati University, Gandhinagar

•           IILM School of Design

•           College of Architecture & Centre for Design, Nashik

•           Vogue Institute of Fashion Technology

•           Exterior Interiors Private Limited, Kolkata

•           Shri Devi College of Interior Designing, Mangalore

No matter which skill set you might be lacking – practice will build you up into a professional in no time – but there is one skill that nobody or nothing else can improve on your behalf – and that, is the key component in all of the wonderful stream of careers listed above: Passion. Unrelenting, unfaltering, undying Passion, one that seethes right out from the core of your heart.

So, let’s call it a wrap for the day, shall we? Above lies the information of what you can do about the dreams you want to work on for real, and the places that will help you do so; however, if you are still confused, visit Career Aptitude Test for ‘scientific and methodical’ guidance.

Don’t sulk over there waiting – be smart, come on – it’s time to make some art!

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