If you have ever watched an episode of CSI or Law and Order, then you have probably seen sketch artists hard at work during trial. A forensic artist is responsible for sketching the scene of a crime just as a suspect is arrested. He or she may also draw caricatures of the individuals who are involved in a trial in the courtroom. A forensic artist should be someone who can create life-like drawings in only a moment’s notice. Forensic artists have an ability to draw excellent portraits that can be used to distinguish the features of a suspect or person who is on trial. Maybe you have wondered, “How do I become a forensic artist?” If you have always wanted to become a forensic artist, then you should make sure that you have fully developed your drawing skill set.
What’s it like to be a forensic artist?
When you become a forensic artist, you can expect to work odd hours of the day. You may be called to immediately show up at the scene of an accident to begin drafting sketches of suspects. While you may work odd or long hours, this career is exciting and fulfilling for those who have a passion for adventure. If you like spontaneity in your daily life, then this is definitely the career for you. You should also make sure that you have the necessary talents and abilities to succeed as a forensic artist. You will need to be able to draw life-like portraits of humans on a regular basis. These portraits may be viewed by judges, police officers, lawyers, witnesses and other important individuals who are involved in a case. It is important that you have the ability to clearly communicate the facial expressions of individuals who are involved in a trial. Your sketches may be what is used to depict a private court room scene to the public. The media may consult you on a regular basis to obtain copies of your sketches.
If you want to become a forensic artist, then you should check out what the degree requirements are with your local courthouse or law enforcement agency. Some agencies only require that you have a high school degree. If you can prove that you are a talented sketch artist, then that may be the only qualification that you need in order to get hired by an agency. You should spend considerable time in putting together a portfolio of your work. Your portfolio should contain at least 20 sketches of humans that you have completed. You should also be prepared to demonstrate your artistic abilities in the interview process. An interviewer may want to see that you can complete a sketch in less than a few minutes.
If you do feel that you need to further develop your artistic abilities, then you can pursue a forensic drawing program at an art school or community college. You may be able to find a low-cost program at your local community college. There are also online programs that are now available and that will help you develop your drawing abilities.
Salary & How to Get a Job
The average salary of a forensic artist can vary from $30,000 to $60,000 a year. If you live in a city like New York City, then you can expect to earn a higher salary. If you want to obtain a position in this field, then you can look for open positions at your local law enforcement agency. You may also want to work as a freelance artist for a few years.