Creative professions are diverse, but most individuals will likely have an advantage if they have a strong education and experience. For the fashion artist, this will probably include an arts-related bachelor's degree and a strong portfolio of previous work. This portfolio can be obtained through freelance work, internships, and school work. Comfort with computer design technology is another important asset to become a fashion artist.
Fashion artist duties usually focus on designing clothing and other fashion-targeted items. This work may be conducted by traditional hand drawing methods, or computer software may be used to generate images. In general, fashion artist careers can be obtained in department store corporations, advertising departments, and specialty fashion design firms, among others. Individuals who become a fashion artist may seek employment specifically at these businesses, but fashion artists often work as independent freelancers with a number of clients. A strong clientele may eventually enable the fashion designer to start his or her own business.
In order to become a fashion artist, most individuals will need some higher education. This focused coursework will allow prospects to hone artistic skills and to learn specific fashion design techniques. A general bachelor's degree in an arts-focused discipline like fine art or design will often lay a solid foundation. Better yet, many institutions offer degree programs with specific concentrations in fashion art. Enrollment in one of these programs will teach an individual artistic skills more relevant to fashion — such as drawing figures — as well as the basics.
Educational coursework will also give an individual the first contents for his or her portfolio. Most fashion artist requirements necessitate a collection of previous work that demonstrates skills and experience. These samples may include personally etched designs, computerized designs, or even some examples of final products. While the traditional portfolio keeps these documents in a small briefcase or other mobile object, online portfolios have become standard. Individuals may create a website to showcase work and provide potential employers with other essential information, and online portfolios also have the advantage of being accessible nearly anywhere in the world at any time.
Computer technology has become another fixture in the fashion world. Chances are good that a sizable percentage of projects may need computer-aided design. As such, fashion artist training should include work with common design software programs and tools. Classes are often offered that emphasize use of specific electronic technology.
Since compiling a good portfolio takes time, individuals can take the first steps to become a fashion artist by gaining experience through internships and other entry-level positions. While tasks may sometimes seem menial, these opportunities give individuals needed exposure to the design world and everyday processes. Valuable contacts and mentors can also be cultivated for the ambitious individual. Another good way to enhance the portfolio is to actively seek out and accept smaller freelance work assignments, such as designing apparel for a local play. A successful fashion artist will keep updated on current fashion trends and outlooks as well.