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The creative arts and design industry is notoriously difficult to crack - but if you do, it can be a very lucrative career. Often people just think of artists and designers, but the industry stretches much further than this, covering gallery curators, photography, musicians and increasingly digital roles such as web designers. It’s an industry that’s rapidly growing in the UK.
The work can be stressful because it tends to be project based and largely driven by deadlines. Meeting these deadlines can result in long hours and periods of significant overtime.
Initially the salaries within this industry can be low and the vast majority of work placements will be unpaid. Often people will work part-time to support themselves as they gather work experience and build up a portfolio of work.
Perseverance pays off, however, and senior designers who have proved themselves to be reliable can be very well paid within a company.
Artistic or performance based work will be different to those working in design for a company or consultancy – there really is no set career path for these lines of work.
Many workers in this industry choose to freelance, which allows you to be flexible and selective about the work that you do, but it can be difficult in the early stages. It does not guarantee a regular income and can be quite unstable.
Although there are a lot of courses to provide professional training and you can get a degree, it is possible to thrive in this industry by teaching yourself and working off merit.
The work could take you travelling internationally, particularly if you work within media or TV that’ll require you to be on set. Similarly if you are a performer you might go on tour, or work on a cruise ship that’ll take you around the world!
This industry allows you to have a creative outlet and express yourself whilst being paid for it, which is something that not many areas of work offer.