Craft and fine artists
Published on: Monday, November 22, 2021
By: K Krishnan
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As lifestyle changes, people can afford to spend money on paintings, sculpture, pottery and decorative items. They no longer think that it is a waste of money to buy such items.  When people spend a lot of time in their homes, they want to create an environment which makes them feel calm, soothing and happy. They want to be a bit luxurious.

When lifestyle is changing, we must have people who can be creative and artistic. We look for people who have passion for crafts and fine arts. Many young people today choose careers in art and design. They know that there is a future in these creative fields. Many pursue diplomas and degrees in colleges and universities. 

Who are craft and fine artists?

Craft and fine artists use a variety of materials and techniques to create original works of art for sale and exhibition. Craft artists create objects, such as pottery, glassware, and textiles, that are designed to be functional. Fine artists, including painters, sculptors, and illustrators, create pieces of art more for aesthetics than for function.

What do they do? 

Craft and fine artists typically do the following:
  • Use techniques such as knitting, weaving, glassblowing, painting, drawing, and sculpting
  • Develop creative ideas or new methods for making art
  • Create sketches, templates, or models to guide their work
  • Select which materials to use on the basis of colour, texture, strength, and other criteria
  • Shape, join, or cut materials for a final product
  • Use visual techniques, such as composition, colour, space, and perspective, to produce desired artistic effects
  • Develop portfolios highlighting their artistic styles and abilities to show to gallery owners and others interested in their work
  • Display their work at auctions, craft fairs, galleries, museums, and online marketplaces
  • Artists create objects that are beautiful, thought provoking, and sometimes shocking. They often strive to communicate ideas or feelings through their art.

Craft artists work with many different materials, including ceramics, glass, textiles, wood, metal, and paper. They use these materials to create unique pieces of art, such as pottery, quilts, stained glass, furniture, jewellery, and clothing. 

Many craft artists also use fine-art techniques – for example, painting, sketching, and printing – to add finishing touches to their products.

Fine artists typically display their work in museums, in commercial or non-profit art galleries, at craft fairs, in corporate collections, on the Internet, and in private homes. 

Some of their artwork may be commissioned (requested by a client), but most is sold by the artist or through private art galleries or dealers. The artist, gallery, and dealer together decide in advance how much of the proceeds from the sale each will keep.

Most craft and fine artists spend their time and effort selling their artwork to potential customers and building a reputation. In addition to selling their artwork, many artists have at least one other job to support their craft or art careers. 

Some teach art in colleges and universities. Some become writers or work for newspapers and magazines. 

Some artists work in museums or art galleries as art directors or as archivists, curators, or museum workers, planning and setting up exhibits. 

What are the areas of specialisation?

Craft and fine artists specialise in one or more types of art. The following are examples of types of craft and fine artists:
  1. Cartoonists create simplified or exaggerated drawings to visually convey political, advertising, comic, or sports concepts. Some cartoonists work with others who create the idea or story and write captions.Others create plots and write captions themselves. Most cartoonists have humorous, critical, or dramatic talent, in addition to drawing skills.
  2. Ceramic artists shape, form, and mold artworks out of clay, often using a potter’s wheel and other tools. They glaze and fire pieces in kilns, which are large, special furnaces that dry and harden the clay.
  3. Digital artists use design and production software to create interactive art online. The digital imagery may then be transferred to paper or some other form of printmaking or made available directly on web-accessible devices.
  4. Fiber artists use fabric, yarn, or other natural and synthetic materials to weave, knit, crochet, or sew textile art. They may use a loom to weave fabric, needles to knit or crochet yarn, or a sewing machine to join pieces of fabric for quilts or other handicrafts.
  5.  Fine-art painters paint landscapes, portraits, and other subjects in a variety of styles, ranging from realistic to abstract. They may work in a variety of media, such as watercolors, oil paints, and acrylics.
  6. Glass artists process glass in a variety of ways – such as by blowing, shaping, staining, or joining it – to create artistic pieces. Some processes require the use of kilns, ovens, and other equipment and tools that bend glass at high temperatures. These workers also decorate glass objects, such as by etching or painting.
  7. Illustrators create pictures for books, magazines, and other publications and for commercial products, such as textiles, wrapping paper, stationery, greeting cards, and calendars. Illustrators increasingly use computers in their work. They might draw in pen or pencil and then scan the image, using software to add colour, or they might use a special pen to draw images directly onto the computer.
  8. Jewelry artists use metals, stones, beads, and other materials to make objects for personal adornment, such as earrings or necklaces. 
  9.  Medical and scientific illustrators combine drawing skills with knowledge of biology or other sciences. Medical illustrators work with computers or with pen and paper to create images, three-dimensional models, and animations of human anatomy and surgical procedures. Scientific illustrators draw animal and plant life, atomic and molecular structures, and geologic and planetary formations. These illustrations are used in medical and scientific publications and in audiovisual presentations for teaching purposes. Some medical and scientific illustrators work for lawyers, producing exhibits for court cases.
  10. Public artists create large paintings, sculptures, and displays called “installations” that are meant to be seen in open spaces. These works are typically displayed in parks, museum grounds, train stations, and other public areas.
  11. Printmakers create images on a silk screen, woodblock, lithography stone, metal etching plate, or other types of matrices. A printing hand press then creates the final work of art, inking and transferring the matrix to a piece of paper.
  12. Sculptors design and shape three-dimensional works of art, either by molding and joining materials such as clay, glass, plastic, and metal or by cutting and carving forms from a block of plaster, wood, or stone. Some sculptors combine various materials to create mixed-media installations, such as by incorporating light, sound, and motion into their work.
  13. Sketch artists are a type of illustrator who often use pencil, charcoal, or pastels to create likenesses of subjects. Their sketches are used by law enforcement agencies to help identify suspects, by the news media to show courtroom scenes, and by individual customers for their own enjoyment.
  14. Tattoo artists use stencils and draw by hand to create original images and text on skin. With specialised needles, these artists use a variety of styles and colours based on their clients’ preferences.

Education and Training 

Most fine artists pursue postsecondary education to improve their skills and job prospects. A formal educational credential is typically not needed to be a craft artist. 

However, it is difficult to gain adequate artistic skills without some formal education. 

A number of colleges and universities in Malaysia offer bachelor’s and master’s degrees in subjects related to fine arts. You may want to check out with Sabah Institute of Art, University College Sabah Foundation, Malaysia Institute of Art, Tunku Abdul Rahman College, University Kuala Lumpur, LimKokWing University, MSU, etc. 
  • Important Qualities for Artists 

If you have a passion for crafts and fine arts, these are some of the qualities that you need. 

Artistic ability. 

Craft and fine artists create artwork and other objects that are visually appealing or thought provoking. This endeavour usually requires significant skill and attention to detail in one or more art forms.

Business skills. 

Craft and fine artists must promote themselves and their art to build a reputation and to sell their art. They often study the market for their crafts or artwork to increase their understanding of what prospective customers might want. Craft and fine artists also may sell their work on the internet, so developing an online presence is often an important part of their art sales.


Artists must have active imaginations to develop new and original ideas for their work.

Customer-service skills. 

Craft and fine artists, especially those who sell their work themselves, must be good at dealing with customers and prospective buyers.


Artists must be good at manipulating tools and materials to create their art.

Interpersonal skills. 

Artists should be comfortable interacting with people, including customers, gallery owners, and the public.

Craft and fine artists advance professionally as their work circulates and as they establish a reputation for their particular style. 

Successful artists continually develop new ideas, and their work often evolves over time.

Until they become established as professional artists, many artists create artwork while continuing to hold a full-time job. 

Others work as an artist part time while still in school to develop experience and to build a portfolio.

Self-employed and freelance artists try to establish a set of clients who regularly contract for work. 

Some of these artists are recognised for their skill in a specialty, such as cartooning or illustrating children’s books. They may earn enough to choose the types of projects they undertake. 

Future Employment

Much of the projected employment growth in these occupations is due to recovery from the Covid-19 recession that began in 2020 and is likely to occur early in the decade.

Employment growth for artists depends largely on the overall state of the economy and whether people are willing to spend money on art, because people usually buy art when they can afford to do so. 

During good economic times, people and businesses are interested in buying more artwork; during economic downturns, they generally buy less. However, there is always some demand for art by private collectors and museums.

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