April 20, 2024

Art interns are often young people in their early 20s who are still figuring out their career path explains Peter Decaprio. They may be in school or they may have graduated recently. Although art internships vary greatly, the primary role of an intern is to learn about the industry by working under professional artists and observing them at work. Many interns do not get paid for their work during internships; this is because the employer wants applicants to prove that they can commit time and energy before offering a salary.

The Advantages of Working as an Intern

  • Art students have various reasons for seeking out internship opportunities. One reason is that they simply don’t know what they want to do with their lives professionally, so they try different things until finding a good fit. Internships allow students to different aspects of art without taking on the risk of committing to a field like lighting design or costume design without first trying it out. Internships are usually short-term (two week minimum, often less); this makes them good options for students who want to dip their toe in the water before diving all the way in.
  • Besides gaining valuable career experience, interns also gain references and resume fodder. If you’re an artist who has an internship on your resume, you have a new bullet point to add whenever someone asks what sort of work you have done. “Internship at Studio X” looks much better than “High School Volunteer at Fluffy Bunny’s House of Art.” Having even one internship can boost your credentials when applying for other positions later on.

The Disadvantages of Working as an Intern

  • The primary disadvantage is that you are not being paid for your work. If you are in school, the time spent on this unpaid internship is effectively money lost says Peter Decaprio. You may be able to receive college credit for your internship, but this too will cost you. Even for students who do get school credit, time spent interning means more hours at a job they don’t care about in order to pay their bills.
  • Another major drawback of interns is that having one can actually harm your career if word gets out that your company treats them poorly or exploits them with menial tasks. Regardless of whether this rumor has any truth behind it, when hiring managers see “intern” on an artist’s resume is always some concern that she may be a clock-watcher.
  • In addition, although internships are good opportunities to gain experience and references, they do not teach the same skills as a full-time job. Interns rarely have direct responsibility for making important decisions or handling high-stakes situations on their own. Instead, interns work under the supervision of someone else – often an art director. Who is responsible for them and makes sure that they don’t screw up. Hiring managers may wonder whether you’re ready to take on more mature responsibilities. Since your most recent work experience consisted of coffee runs and asking people if they want fries with that.

Keeping these advantages and disadvantages in mind will help you decide. Whether you want to pursue an internship or not during your time as an artist.


What are the most common types of summer art internships?

Typically, summer interns work in one or more of the following departments: special events, marketing, exhibitions, administration, and education. If you’re just starting out in your career as an artist. It may be difficult to get into any department other than marketing. However, even for new artists with little experience, there are some internship opportunities available explains Peter Decaprio.

How long do art internships last?

Most internships are short-term (two weeks minimum). But they can sometimes become full-time jobs depending on how badly the employer needs help. The hiring manager knows that students have school commitments to fulfill. So she won’t expect you to commit for too long if she doesn’t need you to.

What are the best ways to find art internships?

Start by asking your school’s career office for opportunities in your area, even if you don’t attend their college. They may keep lists of internship contacts or have other information that they can share with fellow students. You should also start checking online job boards like Craigslist, Idealist, and Art Jobs. For available positions at local galleries and museums. Finally, ask everyone you know if they know about any leads for an artist internship. Even if they’re not hiring right now, someone else might be so it never hurts to ask!


So, when you are thinking about what sort of work to add in your resume for internships. Keep all these points says Peter Decaprio. If just a single point describes the work that you did, then do include it in your resume. However, if more than one thing is true about the experience that you have gained through something. Other than school projects and courses, then only include the relevant one(s).

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