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Empowering young creatives to pursue a career in the arts

Creative Careers in… Part 5: Art and Entertainment


Art and Entertainment

The entertainment industry holds lots of opportunities for creatives. Our leisure time is filled with TV and film, books, magazines, games, music and 1001 other products and activities which need designing and promoting. Whatever your specialism, if you just want to make people’s lives more fun, here’s a few ways you can contribute.

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Art Editor

Art Editors work on magazines and are responsible for page layouts, typography, choosing photographs and designing the cover. They are instrumental in ensuring a magazine is attractive to buyers and communicates its ideas to the reader. You’ll need strong graphic design skills, including use of industry-standard software. You will work in a team and have to communicate well with colleagues, and be able to work to tight deadlines and to a budget. You’ll also have an interest in the magazine industry and be able to keep up with trends, particularly what appeals to your target audience.

Travel Writer

Some people do manage to make a living travelling and writing or blogging about their experiences. It may sound like a dream job, but it’s not necessarily an easy option. You’ll need to be able to rough it, manage on very little money and find cheap ways to travel. You’ll also need a sense of adventure and be very open to new experiences. Then you have to be able to communicate what you’ve experienced, in words and maybe photographs, in a way that gets people interested. You’ll almost certainly be freelance, writing for travel magazines, guidebooks and so on, or writing a blog where you may be able to get revenue from advertising.

Costume Assistant

You don’t have to be an actor or director to get all the fun of working on a film. Costume or Wardrobe Assistants have a number of responsibilities, both pre-production and during the shoot. They help with sourcing costumes and accessories – this may involve helping with research as well as arranging purchase, hire or construction of costumes. They also help with fitting, and take care of the cleaning and mending of garments. During filming they will make sure outfits are ready and keep an eye out for continuity issues. For this job you’ll need to be highly organised and have close attention to detail. You’ll have to follow instructions and work under pressure. You will have an interest in fashion design and textiles, including historical fashion, and an understanding of the film industry. This role can lead on to more senior roles in the Costume Department.

Prop Maker

Similarly, if you like film and TV but don’t mind being out of the limelight, you could work on the set. Prop Makers take instructions from the Art Director or Production Designer to create objects that will give the right look and which the cast can interact with safely – for instance stunt props such as fake glass. You’ll need practical construction skills, a great deal of versatility and creativity, and be good at solving problems. You may have to do research into the method of construction and visual effect that you need, and be able to pay attention to detail to create an authentic look. Prop Makers need to be able to work in lots of different material, but may also specialise for example in furniture, upholstry, metal etc. You may also be required to use Computer Aided Design software.

Board Game / Card Game Designer

The market for tabletop gaming is bigger than you might think. Board games such as Settlers of Catan and card games like Magic the Gathering have led the way for thousands of new ideas, new game mechanics and new designs. They often have a fantasy, sci fi or historical theme, so an interest in this type of artwork would be useful. There are two main roles, which may or not be combined in one person; illustration (producing the artwork) and graphic design (dealing among other things with layout, icons, logos and integrating visual and textual elements. As well as the usual skills you’ll need as an illustrator or graphic designer, you’ll also need an interest in and understanding of games.

Don’t forget – if you’re interested in any of these jobs, research them thoroughly. There are some useful links in the first post in this series, Introduction to Creative Careers.

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written by Beth Hammond

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