We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What does a Commercial Artist do?

By D. Jeffress
Updated Mar 02, 2024
Our promise to you
Practical Adult Insights is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At Practical Adult Insights, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

A commercial artist designs graphics for print and online magazines, advertising campaigns, and packaging materials. He or she meets with a client or boss to get a general idea of a project concept, and then creates several drafts until the finished product is accepted. Commercial artists may draw by hand or work primarily with computer design programs. Professionals are employed in many different settings, including large corporations, magazine publishing companies, graphic design consulting firms, and private freelance studios.

Commercial artists in large companies often work with teams of other designers and advertising experts, while a self-employed professional typically handles all aspects of a project. An artist is usually given a basic concept for a project and allowed to work out the details independently. He or she helps the client determine the best designs based on the type of product or advertisement and the target customer base.

Once a plan is established, the artist can begin forming hand-drawn or computer-aided drafts. It is common for a commercial artist to speak with clients throughout the design process to explain the project's direction and receive input. The artist may create several versions of a finished project so that clients can choose their favorites.

Besides expert drawing abilities and computer proficiency, a commercial artist needs to possess strong communication, organization, and problem-solving skills. He or she must keep careful records of client profiles, project deadlines, and payment schedules. If many projects are undertaken at the same time, the artist needs to be able to prioritize daily activities and communicate frequently with clients to keep them abreast of progress.

There are no set requirements to become a commercial artist, but most professionals hold degrees in art or advertising. It is important for a prospective commercial artist to put together a thorough art portfolio that demonstrates his or her abilities and versatility. Artists who are interested in freelance work often begin their careers by offering free design services, in order to prove their skills and create strong business relationships. With experience and networking skills, an artist usually enjoys ample opportunities for contract jobs and full-time employment.

A successful commercial artist may be able to advance within a company to a supervisory role or art director position. As a supervisor, the artist normally is more involved with seeking out new clients and arranging the details of particular job, such as deadlines and cost of services. Artists with a strong business sense may be able to hire assistants and open their own design firms.

Practical Adult Insights is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

By ZsaZsa56 — On Feb 14, 2012

How would I train to become a commercial artist? Obviously I need to be an exceptionally good draftsman, but what do I need to do beyond this? Is it absolutely necessary for me to go to art school if I want to pursue a career in commercial art? If so, what is a good school to consider? I know that not all art schools are geared towards the commercial artist.

By backdraft — On Feb 13, 2012

Would a portrait artist be considered a commercial artist? They make art with the express purpose of selling it and they work according to their client's directions. This sounds a lot like a commercial artist to me.

By jonrss — On Feb 13, 2012

People may try to dismiss commercial artists as some kind of lesser form of artists because they work for businesses and there work has a commercial intent. But this does not mean that their work is any less interesting or more beautiful to look at than a "real" artist.

There is an anthology that get published every year of the best commercial illustrations to appear from around the world in the previous year. The anthology never fails to amaze me. There is amazing work being done for magazines, retail campaigns and online publishers every day. Don't write off the commercial artist until you have given their work a serious look.

Practical Adult Insights, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

Practical Adult Insights, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.