Painting  class in progress at College of Art, Delhi University. The increasing number of art galleries has led to more space and environment for artists across India and abroad

Art is the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power. Becoming an artist requires lot of dedication and patience. Mamatha MR, an alumnus of Chamarajendra Govt. College of Visual Arts, Mysore and 2014 Inlaks Foundation award winner in Fine Arts says, “An artist should primarily be passionate about work. There should always be a creative aspect in one’s thinking and he/she should be articulate apart from being skilled in what is taught in academics.” To build a successful career, she adds, “One has to be dedicated towards work, be creative, explore, take challenges and work hard.”

Courses in Fine Arts are aplenty and so are the different specializations. One has to opt for a preferred specialization from the day of taking admission. Prof. B Srinivas Reddy, Principal, College of Fine Arts at Jawaharlal Nehru Architecture and Fine Arts University, Hyderabad says, “Fine Arts has an individual character. In general education, two plus two is four but in Fine Arts, it can be anything.”


What integrates Fine Arts?

As a domain, the general impression about Fine Arts (or Visual Arts) holds good for the study of Painting, Sculpture and Creative Craft. However, the field is much broader and increasingly getting diversified. According to Prof Manoj Singh, Faculty, Department of Fine Arts at Gorakhpur University, “Visual Arts are not restricted to painting or sculpture but includes the entire gamut of communication, all types of media. Heavy architectural design, interior design etc. - and all of them are related to Visual Arts.”

Various sub-domains of Fine Arts are:

  • Painting

  • Graphic-Print Making

  • Sculpture

  • Applied Arts

  • History of Art

  • Art Education


Painting is about making visual expressions, not limited to canvas. Take a piece of fabric, ceramic or glass and start painting and you will see no dearth of opportunities. Dr Chakradhar Behera, Reader, Dept of Painting, Utkal University of Culture observes, “An artist should not think about career. He should always think about his or her work. He will get enough work to earn name, fame and money.” Grishma Khodariya, pursuing her final year in MFA (Painting) at the College of Art, University of Delhi says, “In early days, there used to be limited art galleries to display the artworks of artist. Since past few years many galleries have opened up at an increasing rate and as a result, the artist now gets the required space and environment to choose from.” Many new roles and fields within the domain have surfaced too. For instance, Grishma says, “Art therapy is an upcoming profession where therapists work with patients to create works of art that help comfort, relax, and lighten the mood of the patients.” Job profiles have not undergone major change though the scope has broadened significantly. The common roles are Creative Drawing Artist, Painter, Mural Artist, Art Curator, Portraiter, Ceramic Artist and so on.


Graphic- Print Making

Glance through a magazine, book or any print medium and you will discover a lot of creativity. As a graphic print- maker one can explore the opportunity of working in publishing houses, in independent magazines or as a freelance graphic artist. According to Parag Roy, Professor  and Dean, Faculty of Visual Arts at Rabindranath University, Kolkata who heads the department of graphic print-making, “Graphic print -making is the basic area of visual arts where if you have your fundamentals strong, you can deviate and explore the diversified options.”

Grishma KhodariyaGrishma Khodariya

Final year in MFA (Painting)

College of Arts, University of Delhi

Art therapy is an upcoming profession where therapists work with a variety of patients to create works of art that help comfort, relax, and lighten the mood of the patients

Graphic print-making gives a lot of exposure to students and experimenting gives the space to grow as thinking individuals. Students can develop themselves as illustrators. As a print-maker you can establish your own studio or otherwise look for jobs as art director or art teacher in art colleges or schools. Many students also opt for a designing course (offered at a few IITs) to excel as graphic designer or web designer. 



Sculpture is one of the oldest forms and it is still in practice today. It is essentially the creation of a three-dimensional object that aims to express an emotion, feeling or event related to the person creating it. Ravi, third year student of BFA (Sculpture) at Jamia Millia Islamia is interested in going for higher studies as his main aim is to go for designing, especially in the automobile industry. He says, “The first model of anything is built in clay and if the basics are right, gaining knowledge at a higher level will not be difficult.”

Prof. Reddy, has a different view on job opportunities. He says, “Industrial options are rare for students pursuing sculpture studies. They have to be skillfully very strong in their composition and should know the dynamics of marketing their art work.” In line with market demand, the intake is less in sculpture as compared to other areas.

Prof. Anupama PatilProf. Anupama Patil

Principal, Bharati Kala Mahavidyalaya

Today’s world is replete with visual elements everywhere. Applied Art is more popular and emerging. Subjects like interface design is the emerging favourite. Interaction design & user interface design are processes that ensure digital products and touch points are optimized around natural human behaviours, both structurally and aesthetically.


Communication design is a growing industry. Graphic design firms and advertising agencies are prime recruiters. Packaging houses and studios exclusively associated with branding, space and web design, are offering great packages. User interface and experience design fields are fast expanding and are offering highest packages. Students can create or modify a website, work on web-based, mobile or desktop applications, or anything in-between machine and user. The scope is tremendous in this technologically-driven era.

Applied Arts

The integration of Fine Arts with technology has produced vast career scope for students in the form of applied arts. Application of design and art to objects, be it industrial or that of daily use, gives a rather unique experience to the user which has core aesthetic sense. Industrial design, graphic design, interior design and fashion design are areas considered under this domain.

Srishti, pursuing her final year BFA (Applied Arts) from College of Art, University of Delhi, wants to pursue graphic designing at the postgraduate level. According to her, among the many opportunities in Applied Arts, designing appeals to her as one can become a contemporary designer in different sub domains including fashion, jewellery and even shoe-making.


History of Art

To understand the importance of Arts, it is all the more important to have knowledge of art history and the context in which it has been created from the ancient times to the modern. The richness of Indian culture has influenced many, including eminent artist MF Hussain, who once said “I keep trying to use so many media and ideas in my work because our horizon is so vast and Indian culture is so rich that I think what we are today, culturally, we have a unique position and I don’t think one life time is enough to encompass it.” These myriad influences have enriched Indian art and continue to do so.

Dr  Savita KumariDr  Savita Kumari

Asst. Prof. Department of History of Art

National Museum Institute of History of Art, Conservation and Museology

Students are increasingly being employed by institutions and organizations dealing with art and culture as researchers and consultants

Dr Savita Kumari, Faculty at NMIHACM, New Delhi says, “The MA-History of Art programme provides the students a wide range of job prospects in the cultural domain. They are employed in various universities, art galleries, museums and archives. They also work as content writers for magazines, journals, blogs, sites and other print media sections related to art, culture, heritage and tourism. Many go for higher studies and receive national and international fellowships for their research work.” The other profiles include, Art Historian, Copy Writer, Critic Writer etc.


Art Education

The primary purpose of Art Education is to develop creativity, individuality and expression incalculable through art -related activities. As a specialization it is only offered at Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI). According to Prof. Sadre Alam, Head Faculty of Fine Arts, JMI University, “The objective is to impart training to art and craft teachers in modern concept and methods of art education. Art education is an American pattern of education and has both theoretical and practical components that include craft work like metal, batik and wood craft.” It aims to cultivate innovative kind of intellect and creative sensibilities in the students.  This specialization makes you eligible to apply for teaching jobs in schools. Other profiles are curator, art critic and historian, all in the framework of Art Programme Administrators.   

Leading Institutes in Fine Arts

Top Institutes 

Undergraduate programmes

MS University of Baroda, Faculty of Fine Arts

BVA (Painting/Sculpture/Applied Arts/Art History)

BHU Varanasi, Faculty of Visual Arts, Varanasi

BFA (Applied Art/Pottery & Ceramics/Painting)

Sir JJ Institute of Applied Arts, Mumbai*

BFA (Applied Art)

College of Art, University of Delhi, Delhi

BFA (Applied Art/Painting/Print Making/Sculpture/ Art History/ Visual Communication)

Jamia Millia Islamia, Faculty of Fine Arts, Delhi

BFA (Applied Art/Painting/Art Education/Sculpture)

Visva Bharti, Kala Bhavana, Birbhum

BFA (Graphic Art/History of Art/Painting/Sculpture)

College of Fine Arts, Bharati Kala Mahavidyalaya, Pune**

BFA (Applied Art)

Dept. of Fine Arts, Aligarh Muslim University

BFA (Painting)/ BA (Painting)

Rabindra Bharati University, Faculty of Fine Arts, Kolkata

BFA (Painting/Applied Art/Sculpture/Print Making/History of Art)

Kurukshetra University, Dept. of Fine Arts

BFA (Drawing & Painting/Applied Art/Sculpture)

Jawaharlal Nehru Architecture and Fine Arts University, Hyderabad

BFA (Painting/Applied Art/Sculpture)

* Degree awarded by University of Mumbai; ** Degree awarded by University of Pune

Top institutes for Master’s include National Museum Inst. of History, Conservation & Musicology; School of Arts & Aesthetics, JNU; University of Hyderabad and Utkal University of Culture


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