Getting a Job in the Cigar Industry: Part Two
Written by James Payne

Monday, 08 March 2010

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Jobs as an Artist

When we think of jobs in the cigar industry that revolve around art, naturally we think of the cigar box artist. Not only are these boxes beautiful and handy, but they are often collectible. Most of the ones you see are not “hand-crafted” or individually painted – it just wouldn’t make sense – and so if you want to be the guy that designs the cigar boxes, you will likely be designing a “print” that will work as the face of a line of cigars. Most cigar manufacturers have several lines, and different sizes in those lines, so you could easily see yourself designing dozens of design for these boxes a year.  This job is hard to come by and unless you are well known in the industry, most likely it will be an in-house position. If it is a special edition or limited run of cigars, it might come as commissioned work, but again, they do not just hand that out to anyone.

More likely than not, you are going to work as an in-house graphic artist. Depending on the company, you may get to design some of the boxes. Most likely you will be working on things like logos, local and regional advertisements, artwork for national advertisements, art for packaging, newsletters, and websites.  This part can be a little tricky, as it depends on what type of an artist you are going to be. If you are a painter commissioned out to do box art, then you do not need me to tell you the tools you will need. If you are graphic artist, then I can point you in the direction of some software that will help you out.

Note that every house is different, and what each artists uses will vary from artist to artist. Your best bet will be to have a mixture of programs at the ready, even though whoever hires you will typically either have the software you need, or purchase it for you shortly after you come on board.  Note that some of these programs are very expensive – several hundreds to thousands of dollars. Because of that, you should look at some options to save money.

The first option is for those that just want to learn the program or re-familiarize yourself with it. For these people, just visit the company that makes the software’s website and download the trial version. These are usually 30 days trials, which should be plenty of time to learn the ins and out or refresh your memory.  The second option is for people that are students, or know students. Most companies/schools give students huge discounts on software (they know they will go to a company that will then be forced to buy multiple licenses in the future) and oftentimes even free versions.  You can also look on Ebay or at Swap Shops, but buyer beware – a lot of pirated software is spread this way.

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