top of page

Art Director - Career Guide

An Art Director is a person with a highly creative and imaginative team. The art director creates the look and feel of the project assigned to her/him.

Who is an Art Director?

An Art Director may vary depending on the industry he/she is working in. but in general, art directors give the artistic tone to a project, using visuals to bring concepts to life for websites, magazines and newspapers, ad campaigns, television and film, photoshoots, and video games.

How much does an art director earn?

An entry-level Art Director with less than 1-year experience can expect to earn an average total compensation (includes tips, bonus, and overtime pay) of ₹480,000 based on 10 salaries.

An early career Art Director with 1-4 years of experience earns an average total compensation of ₹483,847 based on 71 salaries. A mid-career Art Director with 5-9 years of experience earns an average total compensation of ₹616,268 based on 87 salaries.

An experienced Art Director with 10-19 years of experience earns an average total compensation of ₹942,424 based on 53 salaries.

What skills does it take to be an art director?

A highly creative person with knowledge of art, history, photography, graphic design, and typography is important.

Some of the key skills are:

  1. Good imagination

  2. knowledge of the latest tools used for designing

  3. Good communication skill

  4. Think of original, unusual, or creative ways to solve problems

  5. Judge the costs and benefits of possible action.

  6. Perceive and Visualize according to the theme given

What does the job of an art director entail?

Art directors set the tone, feel, and artistic style for design projects—including ad campaigns.

Conceptualization is the key. An art director creates a blueprint on how the feel of the project should look like.

Inspiration plays a very important role in creating any project.

A Mood Board is created. Setting the tone by using coherent color palettes to express an emotion, style, or feeling and also props.

The Theme is then decided. art department creates the visual components that make a set look more cinematic.

Sets a budget, create a timeline, and start assigning tasks.Get regular check-ins on the calendar to stay on schedule

When the whole team finalizes everything then the last step is implementing the final artwork which is art direction.

Desired Qualifications of an Art Director?

Art directors need at least a bachelor’s degree in an art or design subject and previous work experience. Depending on the industry, art directors may have previously worked as graphic designers, illustrators, copy editors, or photographers, or in another art or design occupation.

Some Notable Indian Art Directors

Manu Jagadh

Bansi Chandragupta

Benny Mathews


Sabu Cyril

Samir Chanda

T Muthuraj

Thota Tharani

Aparna Raina

Wasiq Khan

Rajiv Anchal

Rakesh Yadav

Nitin Zihani Choudhary

Art Director's Associations and Unions in India:


This article was originally published by the Indian Film Institute. Read the original article here.

You can also register for IFI’s membership and get regular updates about jobs, internships, workshops, and get access to a number of useful resources and information related to filmmaking.

Follow the Indian Film Institute for more resources and industry updates.


It's time you explore our Online Certified Film courses developed by the Indian Film Institute on Unibred.

Get skilled in Filmmaking and learn with Award-Winning Filmmakers. The courses cover Screenplay to Direction, Cinematography to Editing, Short Film making, and Distribution to Festivals.


bottom of page