Tools & Tips

From The Drawing Board To The Desk: Jobs For Creative Artists

By Lucy Wyndham

Over 7% of Canada’s gross domestic product comes from its cultural and artistic sectors. But it’s not always possible to break into these industries and practice your skills for pay: as CBC reports, the creative sectors here in Canada are particularly vulnerable to economic problems. If you love to draw, the problem is even more pronounced: art and design jobs are hard to find, and not many artists derive great financial benefit from their work. As a result, many skilled artists decide to turn their creative hands to a job in a wider field: from working in manufacturing to creating appealing data visualizations, there are many lines of work that someone who has a creative skill like art can perform. 

The manufacturing industry

While a desk job in the production department of a manufacturing firm may seem like the worst possible idea for a creative, there are plenty of opportunities to put design skills to the test here.

If you work on product development, your artistic skills – such as appreciation of form and function, or the ability to quickly sketch new ideas for the team – will stand you in good stead. And despite continued gloom over the supposed decline of manufacturing jobs in Canada, there’s actually been some positive news in recent years – and some parts of the country are even reporting manufacturing job rate rises which sit in the thousands. 

Data science – and presentation

Big data is an important industry in Canada and beyond, but it’s also one that many people find a little bit difficult to understand and comprehend. A majority of staff in organizations which increasingly rely on big data aren’t numerate or time-rich enough to wade through graphs and charts – so there’s an opportunity here for the art-focused data scientist. By creating beautiful images which clearly portray the data in question, you’ll make yourself very useful to your colleagues.

Medical professions

Finally, it’s also possible for someone who loves their art to work in the medical professions – especially when it comes to research. If you have a science-related degree and are publishing research into anatomy, say, you won’t need to outsource the graphic creation function to someone else. This is the sort of task that many amateur artists can do. Once you’ve mastered simple body part sketching tips, you’ll be able to move on to more complex images – and see your work used ultimately to help people with medical conditions.

Working in the creative fields is a pipe dream for many, but it often doesn’t work out. Luckily, however, skills like drawing are transferable to many different professions. From medical research to manufacturing, there many different sectors you can turn your hand to as a skilled artist.


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