Who are they and what do they do? A fine artist uses line and colour to express varied spatial shapes in the two-dimensional space of her/his work of figurative art. These may include portraits, still lives, landscapes, historical or religious themes and many other topics. Essentially "fine art" is art produced for its own sake and not because it is functional or useful. Artists nevertheless have to make a living by selling their work, though very few can live on this alone, and many are involved in teaching or other work as well. Artists are normally self-employed.
What are the activities of the job? Artists usually work alone in a studio. They may prepare sketches and other drafts to develop their ideas before tackling the main project, perhaps studying or concentrating on a particular topic or group of objects or materials. They create drawings, paintings and other types of work depending on their particular approach to art and ideas about what its significance and possibilities are. They may receive invitations to share in large projects (commissions) and their work can then be found as a part of the design of an architectural complex, or reflected in the design of projects within a wider figurative art context.
Where is it done and under what conditions? In her/his studio but often also outside work. Most often, s/he is freelance but may also work as a teacher.
What tools/equipment do they use? Creative media, on a broad scale from the classic ones (such as a pencil, pen, brush, oil and pastel colours, paper, canvas and wood), combinations with new technologies (plastics or luminescent colours) to electronic media (multimedia computer technology, film and television etc.).
What do you need to succeed? You need a talent for visual arts in the first place, as well as manual dexterity, a sense of space and detail, a sense of the aesthetic, creativity, familiarity with the history of art and with the contemporary fine art scene. A degree from a fine arts academy is desirable.