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Making art your profession through art studies / art training

Studying art or art training

Painter is a state-approved profession. His/her work mainly consists of creating pictures using different materials based on his/her own ideas or those of others (e.g. through customer orders).

In Germany, the term “artist” is not a legally protected term and therefore says nothing about the quality of the work of such an artist. The term “artist” on the other hand requires training at a certified institution.

Although the profession has existed for many years, it is only offered in a few institutions in Germany. The training, which takes place in art schools or art academies, mainly deals with craft and practical art topics.

Art School

The painting course can be taken full-time or part-time

Training period

The training period is between two and four years and takes place full-time at the chosen institution. You can choose between full-time and part-time study.

Content of the training

The training includes the basics of realistic painting and drawing and the handling of different materials. In addition, topics such as image composition, art history, painting restoration, artist marketing, art business and anatomy can be taught.


Important prerequisites for studying art are artistic interest, spatial imagination, creativity and previous knowledge of drawing. Furthermore, knowledge in the areas of technology, materials, color effects, compositions, etc. is an advantage.

There is no legally required school qualification that you need to learn the profession, but some institutions require a secondary school diploma. A minimum age of 16 years, for example, may also be required. This and all other criteria are set by the institution.


Since this is a full-time school-based education, school fees are unavoidable, and the amount varies depending on the training institution. However, at a state-recognized institution, a student can apply for BAföG or an education loan.

final exam

The final examination consists of a practical art part and an art theory part.

There are at least two examiners; at least one person provided by the institution and one from the responsible Ministry of Art.

The practical part, which usually involves creating a painting, takes the students several weeks. There is also an oral and a written part.

After successfully completing this examination, the graduate is a state-recognized artist .

Career opportunities after studying art

Your career prospects after studying art or training

Artists can work as freelance artists. Artist is not a legally protected term in Germany and therefore says nothing about the quality of works or work. The works of an artist, on the other hand, require at least that the artist has completed training at a certified institution.

Furthermore, artists can take on commissioned work for various industries or find employment in theaters, variety shows, art schools/academies, tattoo studios, advertising, film or gaming companies.

An example from the gaming and film industry

As a state-certified artist, the profession of game artist is particularly suitable in the video game industry, which deals with the visual design of video games. Here you can specialize in concept drawings in 2D or 3D. Other professions in this industry are game designer, game programmer, and game producer.

In the film industry, careers such as animator or character designer are among the options available.

The Academy of Fine Art Germany is the only institution in Hesse and Germany with a focused curriculum in realistic drawing and painting, which also leads to a state-recognized professional title. Due to the focus on realistic, artistic work, graduates have great advantages in the professional world. They can earn money with what they have learned, as they are not only dependent on galleries or buyers.

Author: Melanie Matzke

Sources and further information


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