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10 Career Pathways for Creatives

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Are you a creative person? If you’re adaptable and willing to use your talents flexibly, you’ll find that there are many job options available to you. In fact, creativity is a highly sought-after quality in the modern workplace. Here are 9 career pathways you could pursue—although you may find competition for these roles to be fierce!

Creative Director

A creative director has a lot of responsibility; they determine the vision for a brand or a project, overseeing all elements to ensure they’re cohesive and impactful. As well as being creative yourself, you’ll also supervise other people’s creativity. That means leadership skills are required, and you’ll have to be an efficient organizer too.

In this role, you’ll be expected to liaise with clients, establish budgets, and create timelines for pieces of work. To become a creative director, you should have an artistic background, industry connections, and an in-depth knowledge of all things pop culture.

Art Director

A creative director develops the vision for an advertising campaign or brand launch, but the art director is the one responsible for its execution. This role is more hands-on. You’ll still be expected to lead a team of artists, but rather than simply coming up with ideas, your job will be to bring those ideas to life.

Art directors have skills and knowledge across all different art forms. If you like to work in different media, then there’s a lot of diversity to be enjoyed in this role. One day, you may be constructing props for a television advert. The next day, you could be painting and decorating a set.

Graphic Designer

Graphic designers are hired by businesses to translate their brand message using visual language. That means an average day is likely to include designing logos, advert layouts, posters, and other marketing materials. You’ll be given a brief by a client, but your job is to turn their ideas into effective aesthetics.

To secure work as a graphic designer, you should build a portfolio that showcases your work. You should have skills across different design platforms such as Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign. The ability to receive and act on feedback is also crucial; your clients will be vocal about their opinions, and you may need to go through several rounds of editing to satisfy them!


Animators can work using a wide variety of media. Their animations may be 2D, 3D, stop-motion, computer-generated, or created using models. You may believe animators only work in the motion picture industry, but there’s a strong corporate demand for animation in both marketing and training materials.

Working as an animator requires consulting with clients, building storyboards, developing characters and sets, using a range of software, and working alongside editors and actors to create a final product. If working on a freelance basis, you’ll need strong pitches to sell your ideas.

Game Designer

If you’re a creative person who is passionate about video games, this may be the ideal career path for you. A video game designer must develop the core mechanics of the game to ensure that it’s as engaging as possible for players. There’s a lot of detail that goes into this work; you have to consider the setting, rules, story flow, props, vehicles, character interface, and different modes of play throughout the design process.

You may enjoy playing video games by yourself, but designing them is very much a team effort! In this position, you should expect to collaborate with other designers, as well as artists, writers, musicians, and programmers.

Product Designer

A product designer is a real problem solver. Their job is to create products that meet specific needs and ultimately improve people’s lives. To do this, they must consider the user’s experience from all angles.

A lot goes on behind the scenes before a product is launched. Besides designing products, you’ll also have to perform research. Once you have a prototype, you’ll be expected to test it to confirm its effectiveness. There is a thoughtful planning process associated with this role, but it’s an exciting opportunity to use your creativity in a practical, impactful way.

UX Designer

These days, having UX design skills is a hot commodity on the job market. That’s because so many of us engage with businesses via mobile technology, and a UX designer makes websites and apps more intuitive and easier to navigate.

Your job as a UX designer is to design user-friendly digital spaces. This is important because a confusing form or a cluttered page could stop a potential customer from making a purchase. To perform this role effectively, you’ll need the ability to translate market research findings into results using visual design skills.

UI Designer

A UX designer handles user experience, but a UI designer focuses on user interface. An interface could be a touchscreen display or a menu, for example, and your job would be to improve these interfaces so they serve customers better. That means you need to find a workable balance between the needs of the user and the vision of the application’s creator.

To handle UI design, you’ll require Adobe and JavaScript skills, as well as a solid grounding in the principles of interaction design. Like a UX designer, your work will be informed by customer research to ensure it is fit for its purpose.


Thanks to digital innovations, illustration is now an important element in product design. Brands hire illustrators to bring value to their products through attractive custom drawings. For some companies, illustration lies at the heart of their brand expression.

Of course, you can still forge a career as an illustrator in print, too. The work of illustrators can be found in various places: books, magazines, and manuals use illustrations. They’re also an important feature on websites and in all kinds of advertising. To find work, you’ll need a portfolio that demonstrates your range and your unique style.

Maybe you’ve heard before that you should keep art as a hobby because there’s no work to be found in it. The list above shows that this is a misconception. There are, in fact, many careers in which it pays to be creative.

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