How To Become an Art Director

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.

Like a chicken and an egg. Except, thats an opening bad joke to this inspiring article. To become one or the other, you should be aware of the qualifications required, the obligations involved, and the best course of action. Although creativity and the arts are closely related, there are many differences between the two roles. Nevertheless, they are complementary, and it is quite possible to wear both during one’s career.

Become An Art Director In A Year

Requirements for art directors

The majority of art directors have at least a bachelor’s degree, usually in the arts or fine arts. Future art directors frequently major in graphic design, visual communications, or digital media. To advance their careers, some art directors may also decide to continue their education by earning a master’s degree in business administration or fine arts.

What does an art director do?

An organization’s team of creatives, such as designers, are managed by an art director. Typically, art directors oversee the project’s overall design and control the people who work on its various creative components. A project’s aesthetic appeal and style are an art director’s main concerns.

An art director’s responsibilities can vary greatly depending on the project, the company, the industry, and other factors, but some typical ones include the following:

An art director may work in several industries. Publishing, advertising, film and video production, and specialized design service companies are among the industries that frequently depend on the expertise of art directors.

How to become an art director

The actions you should take to pursue a career as an art director are as follows:

1. Earn a bachelors degree

A bachelor’s degree is the bare minimum requirement for almost all jobs as an art director. You can pursue a number of degrees to support your desire to work as an art director, including degrees in graphic design, advertising, and fine arts. Additionally, there are degrees in art management that combine artistic practices with business management.

2. Get an art-related internship

Consider working as an intern in the arts field while you are pursuing your bachelor’s degree or right after. If at all possible, look for an internship in the field you want to work in, such as publishing or film production.

3. Seek a full-time art position

These jobs provide you with the chance to develop your artistic abilities and gain the necessary experience to become an art director.

4. Consider further education

Many art directors also possess a master’s degree in fine arts or a related field, though this is not always necessary. Getting a master’s degree can help you become a better art director and give you the managerial skills you need to manage a group of creatives.

5. Request or apply for promotion

Consider requesting a promotion to the art director position if you already hold employment there and have the required experience in a lower-level position. Even if you don’t have three to five years of experience, don’t be afraid to ask about and apply for an art director position if it becomes available at your company.

It’s crucial to express interest to let your managers know that you’re passionate about and committed to the position of art director. You can also submit an application for an art director position with a different business or agency.

Skills for art directors

While there are many both soft and hard skills needed to be an art director, the following are some of the most crucial abilities that most successful art directors share:

Leadership skills

Being a director of any kind requires strong leadership skills. As an art director, you will be in charge of supervising team members and seeing that the project is finished on schedule. If you’re thinking about becoming an art director, you should develop your leadership abilities regardless of the field you work in.

Project management skills

Every aspect of various creative projects, including the creation of films, media, and advertisements, is overseen by art directors. Being organized and capable of managing multiple project elements, such as the budget and schedule, are essential for success as an art director.

Communication skills

To successfully complete a project, art directors must be able to communicate with both their team and their clients. An essential part of being an art director is being able to effectively communicate deadlines and expectations to team members as well as comprehending and interpreting client desires.

Aesthetic judgment

You will be responsible for developing and producing a project’s overall aesthetic as an art director. Effective art directors must possess strong aesthetic judgment whether they are implementing a new design for a client’s website or creating a video game.


Is it hard becoming an art director?

You have to put in the time, effort, perseverance, and in many cases, a college education to become one. As you cannot enter the industry as an Art Director right away, reaching such heights undoubtedly requires a certain level of expertise and years of experience. However, the reward of being one can be overwhelming.

How long does it take to become an art director?

Before becoming art directors, the majority of them had five or more years of work experience in a different field. They may have previously worked as graphic designers, fine artists, editors, photographers, or in another art or design profession, depending on the industry.

Do art directors make good money?

Art Directors made a median salary of $97,270 in 2020. In that year, the top 25 percent earned $136,310, while the bottom 25 percent earned $71,610.

What degree is best for art director?

Top 10 Undergraduate Degrees That Will Help You Become a Creative Director
  • Graphic Design. For those who want to be creative directors, this is the most sensible option.
  • Multimedia Design or Animation. …
  • Advertising. …
  • Fashion Design. …
  • Journalism. …
  • Fine Arts. …
  • Marketing and Communications. …
  • Game Design.

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