Did you know that even the earliest humans had an artistic side to them? Some of the oldest cave paintings discovered date all the way back to the Ice Age, more than 64,000 years ago!

Since then, art and design have been integral to human civilisation as mouthpieces for our emotions and culture. The works of Michelangelo and Da Vinci, to the more modern Peter Blake and David Hockney, continue to inspire movies, posters and TV shows.

Today, the art and illustration market in the UK has expanded beyond anyone’s imagination. As per Statistica.com, the United Kingdom is one of the world’s leading art markets. The country is also home to some of the most respected art galleries which feature works of the best local and international artists.

What is the scope of art and design degrees in the UK?

Illustration and design-oriented degrees, especially those in fashion and graphic design, have immense scope in the UK. A Creative Industries Federation report revealed that the UK’s creative industries employed more than 2 million people in 2019 and generated a revenue of £101.5 billion.

An increasing boom in the digital media industry has only broadened the career scope in the sector. Art and design graduates can now look for opportunities in advertising and marketing, photography, and TV and film productions.

Have an inclination for design and marketing? The BA (Hons) Fashion, Management and Marketing from the London College of Contemporary Arts (LCCA) might be the right degree for you.

The fashion marketing degree exposes you to the creative processes involved in visual culture, marketing communications, and branding. You will also develop a good understanding of the role of art and design in today’s visual culture.

What are some of the career opportunities in the art and design domain?

There are numerous career options in the art and design industry that you can pursue. Here are a few exciting art and design job profiles which might interest you.

  1.     Art directors

What they do: Art directors contribute to visual culture by curating the art we see and admire in museums, theatres or magazine collections. They are involved in every stage of the curation process from coming up with the theme of the collection to selecting and restoring individual pieces.

Career opportunities: As an art director, you can be hired by publishing companies, advertising agencies, movie production companies, theatre companies, or museums.

Salary considerations: Payscale.co.uk reports that an average art director in the UK earns about £36,000 per year. This amount can increase with experience.

  1.     Craft and fine art valuation specialists

What they do: Not everyone has a keen eye for spotting a brilliant piece of art or sculpture among a hoard of other items. Craft and fine art valuators identify unique works of art such as glassware or pottery and determine the right prices for art purchases. They also negotiate with auction houses and collectors to buy original art pieces for their clients.

Career opportunities: Most art valuators work as freelancers that are hired by the rich and the wealthy. You can also join reputed auction houses like Sotheby’s.

Salary considerations: As per Glassdoor data, salaries in this field start around £18,500 per year. Top-tiered valuation experts can charge approximately 5-10% of the price of the exhibit in negotiation.

  1.     Fashion designers

What they do: Fashion designers are at the creative heart of the thriving global fashion industry. From the clothes you wear to the shoes on your feet, you are surrounded by the creativity of fashion designers. Fashion designers also come up with the theme of a particular collection along with the designs of the dresses, footwear and accessories.

Career opportunities: Fashion design graduates can start their career by working at large fashion houses. In time, they can become chief designers, design department heads, design supervisors or creative directors.

Salary considerations: Payscale.com puts the average annual salary of a UK-based fashion designer at £28,000. Your salary can vary depending on your years of experience and your client portfolio.

Apart from these roles, you can also pursue an artistic career as a floral designer, industrial designer, interior décor professional or a graphic design artist.

The kind of career opportunities open to you as an art and design graduate also depend on your course curriculum. Courses heavily oriented towards the business side of the industry like fashion marketing in London can prepare you for administrative or managerial careers in the domain.

On the other hand, art courses in London based on illustration or fashion design can help you to approach the more creative roles in the field. Ultimately, it is up to you to decide on your choices and professional priorities.