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How to Become a Professional Sculptor in Australia

Whilst many of the world’s most famous art movements remain synonymous with Europe, Australia arguably boasts a far richer heritage in this space.

The reason for this is simple; as renowned paintings and sculptures created by Australia’s Indigenous population predate European colonisation and popular artistic movements such as the Renaissance.

Some of these incredible works feature intricate sculpting and wood carvings, whilst Australia’s Arnhem land in the Northern Territory is also home to the oldest known piece of rock art (dating back 28,000 years).

Australia has also been home to a vast number of famous sculptors and land-owners since, with Andrew Rodgers one of the most famous having created the world’s largest contemporary art undertaking that’s also visible from space.

With this in mind, it’s little wonder that becoming a professional sculpture is such a popular ambition in Australia. But how exactly should you go about achieving this goal? 

  1. Learn the Basics of Sculpture 

As an aspiring professional sculptor, Australians can draw inspiration from a huge number of national citizens that have gone before them.

Before they can begin to emulate their heroes and build a lucrative career, however, it’s important to learn the basics of sculpture and the tools required to make fine works of art. At its core, sculpting is a three-dimensional art form typically made from moulding, casting and welding, whilst it also encompasses a number of different materials such as stone and clay.

Today’s sculptors also embrace non-traditional forms and contemporary mediums, utilising high-tech iterations of components such as ice, light, sound and kinetic sculpture.

The use of digital modelling is also commonplace, so it’s important to review different techniques to build on a basic understanding of the art form.

  1. Pursue a Degree and Formal Training 

If you look back at Australia’s most famous sculptors from previous generations, many of these were self-taught and naturally talented individuals.

Whilst such individuals often have an incredible instinct and are not bound by the constraints of formal art training and higher education, however, those who want to pursue a professional career in the modern age should look to build on their talent with a formal degree.

There’s good reason for this too; as sculptors are required to carve and chisel delicate materials with their hands, whilst also using a variety of tools to create finished pieces. This process may also involve practical processes such as welding and assembly, which need to be formally taught in order to guarantee safety and effectiveness.

If you’re looking to collaborate with established museums, a formal degree could also help you to achieve this aim and expand your fundamental skill set.

So, whilst ability remains the key watchword for any aspiring sculptor, formal training and education can help you to lay the foundations for a more successful career.

  1. Choose the Best Courses and Learning Institutions 

Another benefit of pursuing a formal education as a sculptor is that it offers you access to some of the finest artistic minds in the land, which in turn can help to refine your ideas and the precise techniques that you want to deploy.

Fortunately, a number of institutions offer high quality art courses to students, including the coveted Sydney University.

This institution is currently ranked fourth in the world and first in Australia for graduate employability, whist in general terms it’s recognised as the 60th best university in the world. It also offers 20 different art courses to students, providing diversity and choice to aspiring sculptors nationwide.

Australia is also home to several specialist art facilities, including Griffith University in South East Queensland. There are a number of visual and creative arts programs on offer, with this institution ranked as the best in Australia for teaching the creative arts.

The key is to consider your career objectives and identify the best school for you, whilst being proactive when completing your application in order to have the best possible chance of success.

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