How To Start Your Dream Career in Arts and Design

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Many people dream of a career in arts and design, whether it’s photography, graphic design or illustration. There’s something so satisfying about the idea of creating things for a living, and a career in the arts can be wonderfully exciting and varied.

When I’m not blogging, I work as a freelance musician. Having studied music at University, a career in the arts (in my case, music) was the obvious choice for me. However, it didn’t happen overnight. In this post, I am going to share some of my experiences and tips on how to get started on your dream career in arts and design.

If working in arts and design is something you have always dreamed of, I’d encourage you to follow that dream. Whether you have just graduated from University or you are looking for a career change later in life, I hope this post will help point you in the right direction.

Tips for Getting A Career

How To Start Your Dream Career in Arts and Design

Apply for an Internship

An internship is a great way to immerse yourself in the field and get real-world experience of what a career in arts and design would be like. It will also look amazing on your CV, and boost your job prospects later on. These arts and design internships in London would be the ideal opportunity to give your career a head-start in this creative and culturally rich city.

Take a course

Maybe you have just graduated with an arts degree but you don’t feel done with education yet. Or maybe you finished your education years ago but you need a refresher, especially if you have never studied an arts-related course. Either way, taking a course can be a great way to develop your artistic skills and get a better idea of your strengths.

Practise your art

Just because you don’t yet have a career in arts and design doesn’t mean you can’t practise your art. Use your spare time creatively and develop your skills. For example, if you want to be a professional photographer, take lots of photos in your everyday life. If you want to be an illustrator, draw regularly. You will naturally improve your skills over time, and your creations might even come in useful in your future job!

A woman holding a camera and smiling.
Photo by Portuguese Gravity on Unsplash


If you can’t find any job openings in your dream career, why not start by volunteering? For example, if you want to be a graphics designer, offer to design logos for your friends and family if they have any websites or small businesses. By doing the thing you love and are passionate about, you will get noticed and people will be willing to start paying you for it!

Keep your options open

If you want a career in arts and design but you don’t know exactly what you want to do, that’s absolutely fine. Sometimes it takes time and experience to figure out what your dream career really is! Apply for a variety of arts-related jobs and opportunities, take what you can get and see what you like. You can always change to something different later on. An internship (see above) is another great way to gain clarity on what you want to do.

Start small

Remember that having your dream CAREER doesn’t necessarily mean having your dream JOB right away. It’s unlikely that you will be able to jump straight to the top of your chosen field, so you will need to start small and work yourself up, step by step. Be patient – if you are passionate and determined then you will get there!

A behind view of a man working on graphic design on a computer. He is wearing a headset and has a microphone beside him.
Photo by Faizur Rehman on Unsplash

Consider freelance work

The advantage of freelance work is that you can design your own dream career instead of working to someone else’s demands. However, it does take time and hard work to build up. As I mentioned earlier, I work as a freelance musician. When I first started my music career, I got a part-time job in an unrelated industry and built up my freelance work on the side. If you want to be a freelancer, I recommend doing the same. This takes the financial pressure off until you are ready to transition to a full-time freelancer.

Design a great CV

If you are applying to jobs in arts and design, you will need to submit a CV. It’s important to make your CV as good as possible because this will give a great first impression to any potential employers. As an artistic person, your CV is an opportunity to show off your creative design skills and let your personality shine.

Use social media to your advantage

Social media has a huge presence in the world of arts and design, and this can be leveraged to your advantage. Use your social media accounts as a platform to share your creative work, like an online portfolio. You can also network with other artists in the field you want to get into. Social media is a great way to get your work out into the open and find career opportunities.

A close-up view of a hand holding a digital pencil and drawing a face on a tablet. There is a mug of coffee next to the tablet, and a keyboard in the background.
Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Tell people about your art

Never underestimate the power of word of mouth for building your career. Word of mouth has been the main channel through which I’ve found work as a musician. When enough people know about you, your name will get passed around and you’ll find yourself getting enquires from friends of friends of friends who are in need of a photographer, designer, musician or whatever artistic talent you possess.

Do you want a career in arts and design?

What is your dream career? Have you ever wanted a career in arts and design? Or do you already have one? I’d love to hear about your dreams and experiences – let me know in the comments below.

If you’ve been thinking of getting into a career in arts and design but weren’t sure where to start, I hope this post has been helpful and that you’ve picked up some tips to help you on your way. I wish you the very best of luck with your future career!

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How To Start Your Dream Career in Arts and Design


  1. Great points. I can’t say enough about the opportunities that are out there in the freelance world for those with experience in arts and design. Many companies don’t have enough work available to hire someone internally, especially smaller businesses, so they search for someone that can help them tackle each project as it arises. It wouldn’t take long to find enough clients to fill your schedule once you start making a name for yourself. The power of positive reviews and word-of-mouth advertising can take a freelance business from just starting to a reliable income quickly!

    1. Sophie says:

      That’s so true – I think there is high demand for people with arts and design skills. It’s a great area to get into freelance work! Thanks for commenting.

  2. Well-written and informative blog. I hope you post some more blogs again quickly. Keep sharing!

    1. Sophie says:

      Thank you!

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