How To Become a Freelance Art Director?

The Art Director for a film or video project helps to turn artistic vision into cinematic reality. Art Directors are responsible for working hand in hand with the Production Designer to bring a production its visual identity. An Art Director may work on feature films, documentaries, television productions and advertising projects.

While many art direction skills are learned by gaining experience on the job, education and natural talent are foundational to success.
The best Art Directors cultivate a diverse skillset that includes the ability to work well with the Director and other staff, conceptualize an artistic vision, and bring it to fruition.
The ability to multitask, prioritize, lead and work with others, and fluidly navigate deadlines and budget considerations is crucial to success as an Art Director.

Play To Your Strengths

The skills required to be an effective film and video Art Director include:

Strong creative, visual, conceptual and artistic capacity.

Strong creative, visual, conceptual and artistic capacity.

Knowledge of the principles of architecture, perspective and interior design.

Knowledge of the principles of architecture, perspective and interior design.

An understanding of the other componentss of film making such as camera work, editing, lighting, props and sound.

An understanding of the other componentss of film making such as camera work, editing, lighting, props and sound.

Strong organizational, big-picture and leadership skills.

Strong organizational, big-picture and leadership skills.

Keep Developing

Art Directors can continue to develop themselves for career success in the following ways:

https://carbonmade.com/portfolios/art-direction

Your Portfolio is Key. Put focused time and ongoing effort into creating and maintaining your portfolio. It should be the best representation of your work, showcasing your style and ethos. However, you should also display your ability to be flexible on a range of projects and styles.

https://www.nyfa.edu/student-resources/the-37-best-websites-for-filmmakers/

Put Yourself Out There – Network! The saying “It’s who you know” is extremely relevant in the film and video realm. Make efforts to move in the circles of people you would like to learn from and work with.

https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/careers/arts-visualand-performing-art-directors

Keep Learning. Seek out mentors in the industry and strive to meet or correspond with Art Directors whose styles and approaches you admire. You can learn through osmosis by studying finished film projects with effective art direction. Take classes and also be open to positions as Art Director’s assistant, Draughtsman or other supporting roles.

Diversify

The Art Director role is related to the following other positions in the film world and creative arts:

Art Department Assistant

Art Department Assistant

Production Designer

Production Designer

Director

Director

Set Designer

Set Designer

Storyboarding Expert

Storyboarding Expert

Theatre Production Design

Theatre Production Design

Architecture, Interior Design and 3D Design

Architecture, Interior Design and 3D Design

Be open to getting your foot in the door as an assistant or crew member working under an Art Director. Once you have proven yourself, you may be promoted or receive additional responsibilities. Some Art Directors might find themselves gravitating toward the roles of Production Designer or even becoming a Director. Follow your heart, push the limits of comfort zones, and find the perfect creative job for yourself in the world of film and video.

Other Creator Resources

There are currently over 410 freelance Art Directors on the 90 Seconds platform.

Last month Art Director's billed over 300 hours to clients all over the world.

Clients like Uber, PayPal, Conde Nast, Google, and leading agencies around the world hire Art Director's on 90 Seconds.

There are currently 30 open quotes that require a Art Director on 90 Seconds.

90 Seconds can help you grow your business through finding work and developing new skills to manage a freelance business.