Artist assistants tend to occupy a junior position in a studio working for an established artist. Assistants are often trained as artists in their own right and the job provides experience and contacts in the art world.
The work varies according to the type of work that the artist/ studio produces, but might include:
Working under the guidance of the artist to produce and finish artworks (anything from one-off paintings to large and complex installations)
Stretching, priming and preparing canvasses
Using a variety of techniques to produce different artforms
Working quickly and accurately under pressure to assist the artist
Administrative duties, including answering email/ phone enquiries and arranging the packaging and transportation of art
Provide help with setting up exhibitions
Working as part of a team with other artist studio workers
Artist assistants may work normal office hours, although flexibility is important as longer hours may be required at certain times, such as before an exhibition or an important deadline. Often the role of an artist assistant will be freelance.
What skills are needed to become an artist assistant?
A proficiency in the way of working used by the artist. This might be painting, sculpture, installation, sound, film, photography, print etc.
An ability to work quickly and accurately under pressure
Good organisational and administrative skills
An ability to work independently and as part of a wider team
How do I become an artist assistant?
Study for a degree in fine art or a related area such as painting/ drawing etc.
Approach artists /an artist’s studio whose work you are interested in and see if they require assistants.
Look up other roles in the visual arts including: