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Art is the product of creative thought and the human interpretation of ideas and emotions. Artists express thoughts, feelings and ideas by creating paintings or drawings. They put ideas or images into concrete presentations, giving special attention to material, colour, line, form and texture.

It is a reflection of and an integral part of human history, progress, and culture. Artists today, as in the past, reflect, record and comment on the world, the beliefs, moments of magnificence and failure, fears and ambitions of society. The artist skilfully gives physical expression to a vision so that the observer can feel and understand the world in the same way.

They create a variety of works using various media including paint, pencil, wood, clay, metal or other materials. They decide on a subject or idea for a work, and then select and prepare the supplies e.g. by stretching the canvas or mixing paints. Some artists create works for their own satisfaction while others undertake commissioned works or portraits.

Quick sketch artists usually draw people, animals, still life pictures or landscapes. Some work from photographs.

The works of talented artists are exhibited in art galleries and sometimes sold abroad. Some sell their work to the public by exhibiting in such places as competitions, shows and flea markets. To develop one's talent usually takes a lot of money for materials and many hours of practice. Once artists become better known, they may be given commissions to produce works for individuals or organizations.

Generally, it is extremely difficult to make a living from art alone, thus most artists cannot support themselves solely on the sale of their work and have to hold down other jobs.

Some artists also teach art in schools or other educational institutions or give lessons at home or in a studio.

Satisfying Aspects
- utilising your talent and pleasing others
- being creative
- the possibility of becoming famous or at least respected and well known

Demanding aspects
- having to earn money in other jobs, thus not spending as much time as one would like on one's own artistic projects
- frustration with not achieving what one had envisaged
- having to do work that might satisfy a client but not necessarily satisfying your creative instincts

An artist should:
- have superior artistic ability;
- be creative;
- have imagination and initiative;
- be practically inclined;
- be able to give form to thoughts and ideas;
- be able to handle frustration and rejection;
- be able to take criticism;
- be willing to work hard;
- have manual dexterity and eye-hand co-ordination;
- have good observational ability;
- be able to visualise objects three dimensionally.

School Subjects
National Senior Certificate meeting degree requirements for a degree course
National Senior Certificate meeting diploma requirements for a diploma course

Each institution will have its own minimum entry requirements.

Compulsory Subjects: Visual Arts
Recommended Subjects: None

Degree: BA (Fine Art) - various universities - UJ, UFS, US, Wits, RU, UP, UFH.

Diploma: Various diplomas are offered at most universities of technology and universities - e.g. UJ, UFH, WSU, CUT, VUT, TUT

Certificate and short courses: Various courses are offered at colleges and specialized art colleges.

Increasing emphasis is being placed on formal education in preparing for this field. A broad liberal arts background, specialized training at an art college, a university of technology or a university, and private study with established artists is the best possible preparation.

Although formal training is stressed many successful artists have had no such training or have studied on their own. Such artists are usually exceptionally gifted people. For admission to formal training and employment, be prepared to show a portfolio of your work and attend an assessment interview..

- universities, universities of technology, schools (teaching art)
- performing arts councils (manager of requisites or set designer)
- art galleries and museums (educational officer or curator)
- newspapers and magazines (art critic or journalist)
- radio and television (art programmes, set designs and graphics)
- commercial art firms (as graphic designer or liaison officer)
- self-employed and freelance work

National Arts Council    
P O Box 500
Gauteng, 2113
Tel: (011) 838-1383 Fax: (011) 838-6363E-mail:      
Tel: 082 230 CALL
Tel: 082 230 2255
Fax: (011) 388-1045

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