Happy New Year, babes! Astrological New Year, that is. As you read this, we’re just coming out of Aeries season, the first sign of the Zodiac. If you’ve had more energy lately than you know what to do with, or if your boss has been especially aggressive, you now know why.
Astrology has been making a comeback for years now. Whether you think it’s esoteric wisdom or a big scam, there’s no denying that reading your horoscope is a great procrastination method—and often scarily accurate.
The beauty of astrology is that it applies to every single part of life, from the way you talk to the partner you choose. This also includes your work life. Your sun sign, the sign that controls the essence of your personality, has a lot of sway over your career choices.
It might seem like all artists are Geminis or Pisces, but the truth is that each of the signs can be arty in its own way. Below, check out the most fitting art world career for each sign.
Fiery and direct, you’re a bundle of energy who doesn’t understand the concept of a day off. Eight hours of sleep? Pssh, I’m an Aeries. I sleep exactly two hours and twelve minutes a day, and they’re all while I’m waiting for you to finish your boring story so I can talk about me.
That said, Aeries can be wonderfully open. Although you’re definitely a go-getter, your naïve, almost childlike approach to the world helps people warm up to you, which is necessary, since you tend to step on some toes. With their tireless determination and their tendency for ramming through any and all opposition, Aeries are the people you’d trust to bid for you on the Sotheby’s floor.
Stable and down-to-earth, Taurus is the friend you want by your side when you’re having a panic attack in the Christie’s lobby. While Aeries is all go-go-go, if there’s one thing Taurus knows how to do, it’s relax. Take the two on vacation and Aeries will have gone on a run, answered emails, found a coffee spot and planned the rest of the trip by the time Taurus is just rolling out of bed.
At the same time, Taurus knows how to savor the finer things in life. Their finely-tuned senses make for an excellent fine art restorer. Plus, while most other art world jobs demand long hours and hectic, unpredictable schedules, a fine art restorer’s work is slow and steady. Just how Taurus likes it.
Gemini, picking a single career? Yeah, right. Today’s freelance work landscape is perfectly suited for flighty Gemini, who has probably changed her mind four times about her career path in the time it’s taken you to read this sentence.
Geminis are super social, always on the move and excellent communicators. Many are also very creative and love to discover new things in life. You’re unlikely to meet one in an isolated or rigid position—art history professors, museum directors, or any other jobs that demands years of steady, plodding effort will probably not be for them.
Other than that, anything goes. You’re probably going to run into many Geminis any time you head to a gala, opening or other function. Expert networkers, they’re busy hustling, making the rounds, rustling up interest for their new cake designing business that they started to support their avant-garde zine while their sneaker brand app start-up takes off.
Sensitive and nurturing, Cancer is too reserved to go after the more extroverted art world positions. Put them in a room with potential donors or clients that they have to schmooze and they’re probably faint from the pressure.
On the other hand, their deep attunement to their emotions makes them naturally artistic souls. Cancers are the mothers of the Zodiac, which makes them the perfect sign to coach young artists. Think your quirky high school art teacher Sharon who was really into your collages. If it weren’t for the Cancers in your life, you would probably be working on Wall Street right now.
Leos get a bad rap for hogging the spotlight, but they can’t help being regal and fabulous. And while they do like to be prominent, it’s typically in the service of a higher cause. Like their spirit animal, the lion, Leos are nothing if not regal. Think of a Roman Emperor—not Nero, but one of the really kind and powerful ones—and you get the gist of Leo energy.
Not all Leos are born into money, of course, but collecting is the most Leo art world path imaginable. By amassing a huge collection and opening it to the public, Leos get to live their idealistic dreams—bringing culture to the people!—while still savouring the ego boost of seeing their names carved in stone, preferably in marble, preferably on top of a big building.
Detail oriented and, dare we say, a bit anal, Virgo isn’t the most obviously creative sign of the Zodiac. That said, there are plenty of arty Virgos out there, but you’ll probably find them on the administrative side of things. Their talents naturally lie with planning and executing events and projects with precision, which makes them naturally end up in organizational roles.
Virgos are also allergic to attention, preferring to be quietly appreciated while their Leo colleagues pose for the pictures and make the toasts. But Virgos want their work to be recognized just like the next person, so don’t forget to send the Virgo in your office a thank-you email for staying late to triple-check that all the gala gift bags have the right number and ratio of Glossier samples.
Peace-loving Libras are the diplomats of the Zodiac, expertly navigating everyone else’s feelings and opinions to help everyone get along. Their natural empathy skills and warm, idealistic nature makes for the perfect artist liaison.
A job that would be a nightmare for a sign that’s more direct and confrontational, the artist liaison is basically a babysitter for fragile artists’ egos. Besides making sure that everything runs smoothly, they’re required to juggle conflicting feelings and stories. And if this requires telling a little white lie from time to time, Libra is more than up to the task.
Notoriously tumultuous and intense, Scorpio can destroy the same fragile artists’ ego that the Libra artist liaison guards so carefully with a single devastating sentence. Think that terrifying, middle-aged Art Forum journalist that still writes real criticism, wears black turtlenecks and horn-rimmed glasses and turns up unannounced to your openings once every two years.
The energetic equivalent of a Scorpio critic walking into a room is a dementor floating in—if dementors sucked out confidence and superficiality instead of joy. If you’re wearing any kind of mask, a Scorpio will tear it right off, but only because of their deep need to expose fakes and bring the truth to light.
In a nutshell: would you ever invite them over for dinner? Hell fucking no. But do you have all the respect in the world for them? Absolutely. Without Scorpio, the art world would be even more littered with posers and tools than it already is. It’s not a fun job, but someone’s gotta sweep out the cobwebs.
Sagittarius is the philosopher of the bunch—the one holding debates in the public square, not the one tucked away in the library scribbling esoteric texts. Friendly and sociable, Sagittarius generally sees the good in all people and knows how to get along with everyone. At the same time, they aim high to accomplish their goals, which are more likely to be lofty and idealistic than narrow and self-serving.
All this makes for the perfect combo of traits for a museum director. The director of a major institution needs to be able to get along with many different personalities, from artist types to academic types to business types. No easy feat, but Sag is up for the challenge. Plus, their refined nature makes them much more likely to end up heading a museum than an oil corporation.
There is one pitfall, though: if Sagittarius gets her head stuck in the clouds for too long, she can become spacey, impulsive and a little reckless. Better make sure you have a good assistant to keep you focused and on time for those important donor meetings.
An earth sign, Capricorns are some of the most grounded people around. While not flashy, they do appreciate the finer things in life—and have the work ethic and savvy to get them.
Masters of the slow and steady approach, Capricorns take the opposite approach from Gemini when it comes to career. Flitting around a bunch of different jobs would just make them anxious: they know how to commit to a single path, trusting that their efforts will pay off down the line.
At the same time, they value stability and material comfort more than most signs. While security might be a little hard to come by in the art world, a corporate art manager is one of the most stable jobs you can find. While more arty or idealistic types might feel caged (or bored out of their minds), Capricorn would appreciate the predictable hours, straightforward requirements and cushy salary.
The brainy wild child of the Zodiac, Aquarius is highly individualistic and intellectual. They have no problem rejecting what the rest of the world says they should do and blazing forward their own path. If there’s one area where Aquarius struggles, though, it’s with feelings: babysitting egos is neither as easy nor as interesting to them as for a sign like Cancer or Libra.
Their thirst for knowledge and loner working style makes academia a perfect path for Aquarius. While others would be put off by the long, lonely years of the PhD, Aquarius is more than up to the challenge. Actually, following your own intellectual whims for a decade without the annoying distraction of other people sounds pretty ideal.
For the same reason, professor and curator go hand-in-hand for Aquarius. Seeing a personal project through from conception to execution is better than sex for this free-flowing sign. But since most Aquarians hate being trapped in bureaucracy, they’re more likely to be freelancing than occupying permanent posts in a university or museum.
While artists come in all shapes and signs, there’s no sign that packs more quintessential artist vibes than Pisces. The last sign of the Zodiac, it takes a little bit from each of the other signs that come before it. This makes Pisces naturally very empathetic and in-tune with the rest of humanity, especially its suffering.
Sensitive and creative, if a little withdrawn and spacey, Pisces can easily take their intuitive insights and translate them into artworks. Their tendency to be introspective and concerned with all things related to the soul means that the work a Pisces produces is going to be anything but shallow.
Finally, like so many artist types, Pisces struggle with the everyday demands of material reality. They can produce a Picasso-level painting, no problem, but when it comes to scheduling a dentist appointment (or showing up on time to said appointment), you might as well be asking them to build a spaceship to send Elon Musk to Mars. It’s not going to happen.
Images via Pinterest. Illustrations by Katy Smail.