How to Become a Sculptor

How to Become a Sculptor

Sculpture is a type of art form that involves 3-dimensional pieces of art constructed out of a variety of materials. Sculptors are highly creative fine artists that design and create a variety of sculptures by joining or molding materials.

What does a sculptor do?

Sculptors design and create 3-dimensional structures using clay, plastic, glass, paper, fabric, metal, wire, or other materials. They also carve and cut sculptures from blocks of stone, concrete, wood, ice, and plaster. Many sculptors perform molding, casting, welding, and firing tasks to get the desired look of their sculptures. Many also apply paint and other mediums. Some sculptors use many different materials to create unique artwork. Others incorporate additional elements such as light, motion, and sound. Many sculptors create artwork for a variety of businesses and organizations for display and decoration purposes. Some sell their work to government and public organizations such as public parks. Some also teach sculpting classes to a variety of students.

What kind of training does a sculptor need?

Sculptors typically need at least a high school diploma and excellent artistic ability. Many sculptors have completed formal training in fine arts from community colleges, universities, or private art schools. Some sculptors have a master degree in fine arts with concentration on sculpting. Prospective sculptors typically complete courses in art, art history, sculpture, sculpting techniques, stone carving, ceramics, figure modeling, and mold making and casting. Many aspiring sculptors complete internships or shadow experienced workers to gain practical experience in the field. New sculptors typically start out creating simple sculptures and then move on to more advanced forms of artwork as they gain the necessary skills and experience. Most sculptors create detailed portfolios of their work to present to potential employers and clients. Many sculptors complete continuing education and participate in workshops and training sessions to improve their skills and keep up with advancements in the field.

What are the prospects for a career as a sculptor?

Employment of sculptors is expected to grow about as fast as average for all professions, increasing 9% from 2008 to 2018 (1).

Job prospects should be good with strong competition. Sculptors with advanced training and extensive experience will have the best job opportunities.

How much do sculptors make?

As of January 2010, the average annual salary for sculptors is $31,000; average annual sculptor salaries vary greatly on location, employer, education, experience, and benefits (2).

A career as a sculptor is a great choice for people with a strong interest in creating a variety of sculptures using many different types of materials. Sculptors must have a solid understanding of many different sculpting techniques and the ability to interpret and connect a variety of art forms. Excellent artistic ability, creative thinking, abstract thinking, and good problem solving skills are necessary characteristics. Sculptors must have excellent communication and interpersonal skills because they often work with a variety of other artists and clients.

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