Sculptors are the movers and shapers of the art world. They are fine artists
who create three-dimensional art from clay, glass, wire, plastic, metal, plaster,
wood, stone and concrete.
They create to satisfy their own need for self-expression and display their
work in museums, corporate collections, art galleries and private homes.
"Stone has a way of either teaching you patience, or teaching you to walk
down the road," says stone sculptor Michael Kaczor of Pecos, New Mexico.
"You can work and work and work with stone, and there's no result. But
you have to keep putting in all that work to eventually achieve a result.
It's not like painting where you splash on some color and say, 'Ah, I like
that.' You have to chip for three days before you see it might work."
You have to be willing to get your hands dirty in this career. Sculptors
use a variety of materials and may be exposed to the odors of glues and paints.
Sculptors are self-employed artists who work in studios. They either market
their own work, or hire an agent to do it. Still, very few sculptors make
a full-time living from their artwork alone.
Kaczor agrees that sculptors often have to do other things to make a living.
He explains that there'll always be a market for good work, but you have to
work hard to sell what you create.
The entrepreneurial spirit will come in handy. "There are long periods
when nothing occurs, then there are short bursts of intense activity," says
Kaczor. "I can't put a handle on what's going to drive people to purchase
Self-marketing and promotion are important. You can do the finest work
in the world, but if no one knows about it then you've wasted your time.
"It's like any business. You can create anything, but if you don't have
any marketing abilities or any place to distribute your work, you're stuck
with a whole room full of beautiful stuff," Kaczor notes.
Being an artist might seem like a low-stress way of life. But it's not
always like that. "While I carve, the stress is exhausting and often the feeling
is similar to writing the final examination after a year of study at university,"
says stone sculptor Chris Rose.
To combat that stress, Rose says you have to have the willpower to succeed,
and to expose yourself to the possibility of failure.
"One has to recognize the concept of perfection is an 'ideal.' You strive
for it, but will never attain it," he explains. "One has to have patience
and perseverance. And perhaps most importantly, one has to be willing to take
a risk. Try something new, try something difficult, and be willing to take
Fashion art from blocks of stone or other materials
Watch a one-minute video showing what it's like to work in this career or related careers
Fine Artists, Including Painters, Sculptors, and Illustrators
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