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Become An Art Supervisor

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Working As An Art Supervisor

  • Thinking Creatively
  • Interacting With Computers
  • Getting Information
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work
  • Deal with People

  • Mostly Sitting

  • Repetitive

  • Stressful

  • $87,000

    Average Salary

What Does An Art Supervisor Do

Art directors are responsible for the visual style and images in magazines, newspapers, product packaging, and movie and television productions. They create the overall design and direct others who develop artwork or layouts.

Duties

Art directors typically do the following: 

  • Determine how best to represent a concept visually
  • Determine which photographs, art, or other design elements to use
  • Develop the overall look or style of a publication, an advertising campaign, or a theater, television, or film set
  • Lead graphic designers, set and exhibit designers, or other design staff
  • Review and approve designs, artwork, photography, and graphics developed by other staff members 
  • Talk to clients to develop an artistic approach and style
  • Coordinate activities with other artistic and creative departments
  • Develop detailed budgets and timelines
  • Present designs to clients for approval

Art directors typically oversee the work of other designers and artists who produce images for television, film, live performances, advertisements, or video games. They determine the overall style in which a message is communicated visually to its audience. For each project, they articulate their vision to artists. The artists then create images, such as illustrations, graphics, photographs, or charts and graphs, or design stage and movie sets, according to the art director’s vision.

Art directors work with art and design staffs in advertising agencies, public relations firms, and book, magazine, or newspaper publishers to create designs and layouts. They also work with producers and directors of theater, television, or movie productions to oversee set designs. Their work requires them to understand the design elements of projects, inspire other creative workers, and keep projects on budget and on time. Sometimes they are responsible for developing budgets and timelines. 

The following are some specifics of what art directors do in different industries:

In publishing, art directors typically oversee the page layout of catalogs, newspapers, or magazines. They also choose the cover art for books and periodicals. Often, this work includes publications for the Internet, so art directors oversee production of the websites used for publication.

In advertising and public relations, art directors ensure that their clients’ desired message and image are conveyed to consumers. Art directors are responsible for the overall visual aspects of an advertising or media campaign and coordinate the work of other artistic or design staff, such as graphic designers.

In movie production, art directors collaborate with directors to determine what sets will be needed for the film and what style or look the sets should have. They hire and supervise a staff of assistant art directors or set designers to complete designs.

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How To Become An Art Supervisor

Art directors need at least a bachelor’s degree in an art or design subject and previous work experience. Depending on the industry, they may have worked as graphic designers, fine artists, editors, or photographers, or in another art or design occupation before becoming art directors. 

Education

Many art directors start out in another art-related occupation, such as fine artists or photographers. Work experience in art or design occupations develops an art director’s ability to visually communicate to a specific audience creatively and effectively. They gain the appropriate education for that occupation, usually by earning a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Fine Arts degree.

To supplement their work experience in those occupations and show their ability to take on a more creative or a more managerial role, some complete a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) degree.

Work Experience in a Related Occupation

Most art directors work 5 years or more in another occupation before becoming art directors. Depending upon the industry, they may work as graphic designers, fine artists, editors, photographers, or in another art or design occupation before becoming art directors.

For many artists, including art directors, developing a portfolio—a collection of an artist’s work that demonstrates his or her styles and abilities—is essential. Managers, clients, and others look at artists’ portfolios when they are deciding whether to hire an employee or contract for an art project.

Important Qualities 

Communication skills. Art directors must be able to listen to and speak with staff and clients to ensure that they understand employees’ ideas and clients’ desires for advertisements, publications, or movie sets.

Creativity. Art directors must be able to come up with interesting and innovative ideas to develop advertising campaigns, set designs, or layout options.

Leadership skills. Art directors must be able to organize, direct, and motivate other artists. They need to articulate their visions to artists and oversee the work as it progresses.

Resourcefulness. Art directors must be able to adapt their latest designs to the changing technology used in their industry.

Time-management skills. Balancing competing priorities and multiple projects while meeting strict deadlines is critical for art directors.

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Art Supervisor Demographics

Gender

Male

45.7%

Female

44.7%

Unknown

9.6%
Ethnicity

White

59.3%

Hispanic or Latino

18.9%

Black or African American

10.7%

Asian

8.2%

Unknown

2.9%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

40.0%

French

25.0%

German

10.0%

Mandarin

10.0%

Danish

5.0%

Dutch

5.0%

Italian

5.0%
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Art Supervisor Education

Schools

School of Visual Arts

24.5%

Pratt Institute-Main

8.5%

New York University

7.4%

Virginia Commonwealth University

5.3%

Boston University

5.3%

Fashion Institute of Technology

5.3%

Portfolio Center

4.3%

Kutztown University of Pennsylvania

3.2%

Savannah College of Art and Design

3.2%

Miami Dade College

3.2%

Loyola Marymount University

3.2%

Art Center College of Design

3.2%

The College of New Jersey

3.2%

University of Cincinnati

3.2%

Kansas State University

3.2%

Bowling Green State University

3.2%

George Mason University

3.2%

Kean University

3.2%

Eastern Michigan University

2.1%

Pennsylvania State University

2.1%
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Majors

Graphic Design

26.6%

Fine Arts

12.4%

Design And Visual Communication

6.6%

Business

6.2%

Elementary Education

4.7%

Education

4.4%

Educational Leadership

4.4%

General Education, Specific Areas

4.0%

Communication

3.6%

Rehabilitation Science

3.3%

Entertainment Business

2.9%

Computer Science

2.9%

Psychology

2.9%

Advertising

2.9%

Theatre

2.6%

Visual And Performing Arts

2.2%

Liberal Arts

2.2%

Management

2.2%

Nursing

1.5%

Computer Programming

1.5%
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Degrees

Bachelors

49.6%

Other

22.5%

Masters

14.9%

Associate

5.7%

Certificate

3.9%

Doctorate

2.3%

Diploma

1.0%
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Top Skills for An Art Supervisor

  1. Art Direction
  2. Supervisor Art
  3. Customer Service
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Logged jobs into production, scheduled, provided art direction, monitored progress.
  • Managed wide variety of customer service and administrative tasks to resolve customer issues quickly and efficiently.
  • Provided administrative performance management and oversight which included proposals, policies and procedures development, and visual presentations.
  • Provided individual/dyadic art therapy supervision for art therapists working towards registration as art therapists.
  • Concepted and developed direct mail campaigns, package design and collateral materials for Wyeth, GlaxoSmithKline, and Pfizer.

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Top Art Supervisor Employers

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