Tips for launching your creative career

A compilation of resources and insights from working professionals to help you get a start in your creative career.

Whether you are a recent fine arts graduate, embarking on a fledgling career in arts administration, or are just trying to figure out your next steps, planning a career path though the creative industries can definitely be challenging.

To help you on your way, we’ve compiled a range of resources from our extensive archives to help you map out and achieve your creative career goals.

Where to start?

Where an arts degree can take you

Part of embarking on your career journey is about understanding the values that you bring to the arts industry and beyond. ArtsHub spoke with several professionals both within and beyond the field about the opportunities and skills their arts degrees provided.

Competitive terrain for arts graduates

How can aspiring artists and arts workers navigate an increasingly competitive career pathway post-COVID? Adelaide Central School of Art CEO Penny Griggs and Sydney’s National Art School Director Steven Alderton offer tips on where to look for opportunities, including in the booming regional sector, and how to create a five-year post-graduation plan.

Internships: valuable work experience or glorified volunteering? 

If you are a fresh graduate and you know you want to work in the arts but don’t know where to start, ArtsHub’s latest article on internships can help you weigh up if this path is right for you.

‘The aim of an internship is to accelerate your learning in a real commercial environment. Commercial means doing “real-world” work. Not all of it may be as creative as you might want, but it’s a perfect opportunity to participate in a real-world environment and confirm it’s the career you want,’ advised Carol Mackay, Chair of the Internships Change Management Group.

Jump to:
Skills for performing artists
Skills for visual artists
For writers starting out
Tips for arts workers
Additional resources

Skills for performing artists

Hit centre stage with online auditions

Online auditions are now common practice and offer greater accessibility for those who can’t travel. Consequently, actors and other performing artists will need to excel at digital auditions in order to make the most out of each opportunity. While familiar surroundings may make living room auditions less daunting, certain preparations can ensure that your virtual audition, video or self-tape still looks professional.

Skilling up actors for the long haul

Australia’s first online career-longevity resource for young and aspiring professional actors, The Long Haul, covers such topics as working with agents and agencies, coping with rejection, developing positive relationships with peers and colleagues, financial advice, and good mental health and wellbeing.

Skills for visual artists

Is your art a hobby or a business?

Sometimes our arts practice is a business. Sometimes our arts practice is a hobby. Occasionally our arts business is a hobby masquerading as a business. There are a few ways to tell which of these categories most accurately describes your arts practice.

10 career hacks from famous artists

From hoarding your privacy to embracing your inner-child and ensuring you make durable art, some of our greatest contemporary artists share their wisdom.

Tips for artist branding

Compelling storytelling lies at the heart of branding and can help artists strengthen their audience connection.

Why you need a Consignment Agreement for your work

While mistakes are unavoidable when you’re just starting out, it’s important to protect your interests both financially and legally. Whether you are an artist sending artworks to a gallery for potential sale or exhibition, or you are a craftsperson or maker placing production work at a shop or a gallery, you need to protect yourself with a Consignment Agreement.

For writers starting out

10½ commandments of writing

Commonly offered suggestions for writers don’t work for everyone and should be approached with caution. Here are 10 considerations for writers, with an extra commandment for free.

How do you define an ‘emerging’ writer?

The phrase ’emerging’ is supposed to help identify early-career writers in need of support, but too often it is categorised by age. This piece encourages you to think outside the box if you feel like you’ve aged out of opportunities but are just starting out on your writing journey.

The debut writer’s journey plus what’s next

If you’re wondering what it takes to debut your first book, hear from those who have already forded the torrent. The interviewed writers all underwent different pathways to reach their goals and financially back their projects.

Getting an arts grant for your literature project

Want more insights on how to find the financials to support your literary project? Here is a detailed guide to get started.

The pros and cons of recording audiobooks

Audiobooks are on the rise and it can be a great avenue to gain new audiences if you’re an emerging writer. We invited authors and industry professionals to speak of their experiences working with audio platforms, including their insights on costs, collaborations and where the market is going.

Tips for arts workers

Cover letters to shine from the get-go

While channelling creative impulses into a cover letter may not be a bad idea, basics like good grammar and spelling, being authentic, and simply nailing the structure are a good start. Here we offer advice alongside recruitment experts on how to stand out from the crowd when applying for a new job in the arts industry.

The adage ‘fake it till you make it’ has become easier thanks to Zoom

Tips on nailing that virtual interview and why there are more advantages than disadvantages to doing it online.

Essential skills of a great arts administrator

Keeping multiple balls in the air is one of many traits which the successful arts administrator needs to master. We asked a range of arts administrators from around the country, some at the peak of their game and others still emerging, about the elements of their skill sets that they feel are most useful to them.

Additional resources

These apply to a broader range of creatives and young professionals:

For more careers-related content check out our many articles under Career Advice.

This article was first published: 25 July 2022.

Celina Lei is an arts writer and editor at ArtsHub. She acquired her M.A in Art, Law and Business in New York with a B.A. in Art History and Philosophy from the University of Melbourne. She has previously worked across global art hubs in Beijing, Hong Kong and New York in both the commercial art sector and art criticism. Most recently she took part in drafting NAVA’s revised Code of Practice - Art Fairs. Celina is based in Naarm/Melbourne.