Bristol Community College

Bristol Community College

Art 201 - Careers in the Visual Arts

Art 201: Careers in the Visual Arts
Professor Marisa Millard,
Email Address,
Campus Extension 2691



This Course Guide is designed to help you to find career information in your field through exploring a variety of sources. If you need assistance using any of the sources or need help finding additional information please contact a reference librarian either by stopping by the LRC, calling 508-678-2811 x2108, or using our Online Reference form.

 Online Catalog – Subject Headings

The Online Catalog lists books and media materials both at BCC and in the other libraries in the SAILS network. You can search BCC, but may also expand your search by going to the pull-down menu and scrolling up until you come to “search all libraries.” These are some of the relevant subject headings you may use (type the heading in the search box in the Online Catalog, and click on the Subjects button). 

Art Vocational Guidance United States 

Graphic Arts Vocational Guidance 

Advertising Vocational Guidance 

Fashion Vocational Guidance 

Photography Vocational Guidance 

Artists Legal status, laws, etc. United States 

Art Marketing 

Graphic Arts United States Management 

Commercial Art United States Marketing 

Landscape Architects United States

Women Designers United States Exhibitions


 Periodical Databases


The following databases may provide relevant articles about art careers and artists. These articles appear in a variety of magazines, journals, and even reference books that have been made available online. 

Databases are accessible from off campus to patrons who have a valid accessBCC card unless otherwise specified.

Expanded Academic ASAP

This database provides several search options. The initial screen lets you do a Basic Search. Here you can look for articles on a specific point using a Keyword search. For example, if interested in portfolios, type in the search box: art and portfolios.

The resulting articles are organized by format-- academic journals, magazines, and news sources. Just click on the blue tab for the publication type you want to check.

It is also possible to search a broad, general subject, and see how it is broken down into its various aspects. To switch to a Subject search, just click on “Subject Guide Search” near the top of the screen.

Then, for example, you could type in the search box the phrase: graphic arts industry.

Also, click in the box below, to “limit the results to documents with full text.”

The results will show over 3500 articles, but click on “subdivisions.” This lets you browse topics from analysis to industry forecasts to vocational guidance.

InfoTrac OneFile

This database is similar to Expanded Academic ASAP, and works in the same way, but may provide some different articles. For example, to find articles on the many aspects of fashion design, click on “Subject Guide Search.” Then, in the search box type the phrase: fashion design. Click on “subdivisions” to browse articles in many categories.

To do a Keyword search, return to “Basic Search” and type in the concepts you are interested in, for example, the phrase: fashion design and counterfeiting.

Then click on the link to “more search options” so you can limit to full text results.

Academic Search Premier

This database provides several search options. The initial screen lets you do a Basic Search using Keywords. For example, if you want articles dealing with exhibition opportunities, type in the search box:

artists and exhibition and opportunities

Also, click in the box to “limit your results to full text.”

You can also try a broad subject search by clicking on “Subject Terms” near the top of the screen. This will usually break down big subjects into various categories.

A fun way to do a subject search is to click on the “Visual Search” tab near the top. For example, type in the search box the phrase: graphic artists.

The resulting categories and articles will come up in the form of a visual map. You can explore this map and click on links to articles. Keep in mind that not all of the results will be full text articles. Where text is not available, you will see a link that lets you request the article through our interlibrary loan service. Just fill out the form, and we will try to get you a copy of the article.

Biography Resource Center w/ Marquis Who's Who
Check here for profiles of artists and many others in arts related careers. This source provides biographical information taken from reference books and periodicals. You can search for profiles by occupation. Click here for a list of relevant occupations to choose from. Then return to the search screen, and click on Biographical Facts Search. You need only fill in the “occupation” box. For example, type: graphic designer. Click on the Search button. The result list provides profiles of graphic designers.


 Web Sites


AIGA Graphic Design
Find advice on finding your first job, resume-writing, portfolio prep, what designers must learn, and information helpful for selecting a design school for transfer.

Job search prep:

- Find first job


General info:

- What is graphic design
- Designer must learn
- Who becomes designer


Transfer information:

- Select school
- Design programs differ


O*Net Online 
This interactive site from the U.S. Dept. of Labor offers detailed  current information about a wide array of occupations, including many in the visual arts. Includes data on training, employment outlook, and wages.

Occupational Outlook Handbook
Provides up-to-date career information, covers many fields, and includes training, working conditions, salaries, and employment prospects.

Career Alternatives for Art Historians
Lists education and skills needed for a variety of careers, with some links to further resources.
Contains career information, as well as many other resources.

New England Foundation for the Arts
Provides information about grant programs for artists in this region.

A free database of cultural employment opportunities in Massachusetts; brought to you by the Massachusetts Cultural Council.

New England Film
Includes postings of jobs and internships in the area.

Creative Hotlist
Provides job listings and opportunities to post portfolios.

A corporate recruitment site that provides information on careers, including visual arts, internships, job postings, and profiles of people working in the field.

Aquent –White Papers
Offers a recent survey of design salaries, as well as other publications of interest. It’s free, but you are asked to register before you can see the documents.

BrainTrack's Career Guide
Offers in-depth career profiles as well as degree and wage statistics for over 300 occupations that commonly require college or university education. The lists include only those colleges with accreditation recognized by the US Department of Education. Established in 1996, BrainTrack is cited by thousands of sites and features a directory of over 10,000 higher education institutions from over 190 countries, thousands of which have original profiles.