A sculptor is a visual artist who is usually self-employed. He or she may work in sculpture part-time and have a part-time or full-time job in another career area to pay regular bills. One with teaching credentials may teach sculpting classes at an art school. Sculptors create original sculptures in a home studio or in rented commercial space such as in a warehouse converted into artists' studios.
Developing ideas for three-dimensional (3-D) sculptures or statues and following them through into finished works of art is the main task of a sculptor. He or she may work in one or more mediums that could include paper, stone, metal, ice or wood. The sculpting techniques and sizes of sculptured pieces vary widely between artists. For instance, one sculptor may specialize in small carved wood statues, while another may create large 3-D murals made of rolled or folded paper.
A contemporary sculptor must spend time promoting his or her artistic talent and services. In order to become well known, artists need to get both their name and work out in the community, such as through articles and photographs in local and state newspapers. People in this position should build a portfolio that shows pictures of their artistic pieces. They may have a website featuring a gallery of their sculptures and usually try to get their work displayed in local artist's galleries or museums.
Some sculptors sell their work to governments or building project owners. Having their sculptures prominently displayed such as in the lobby of buildings or in the forms of fountains or statues in public parks can really help artists and their work become well known. In most cases, a plaque with the creator's name and other information about him or her as well as the sculpted artwork itself is featured near the sculpture.
Many sculptors work long hours. One who perseveres and has a real passion and talent for original sculpting is the most likely to receive average or above average payment, as well as recognition, for his or her sculpture work. Those who combine hard work with aggressive promotion tend to make the most sales and receive the highest project rates for artists.