Artistic Careers for INFPs

Clinically Reviewed by Steven Melendy, PsyD. on June 13, 2011

INFPs, with their natural tendencies toward creative expression, are a personality type that's well-suited to artistic careers. Indeed, many INFPs who work in more traditional careers delight in such pursuits as creative writing, painting and theater as hobbies. When INFPs are able to build a career from their passions that is both personally and financially rewarding, they are fortunate and happy people indeed. Artistic careers for INFPs are those that give these sensitive, artistic souls the chance to fully express and explore their creative potential.


Creative writing often comes naturally to INFPs, so the career of novelist would seem to be right up their artistic alley. Novelists write book-length fiction that may fall into any one of a number of genres: mainstream or literary fiction, romance, fantasy, horror or mystery. To craft good fiction, novelists create believable characters who drive gripping situations, thereby drawing readers into a story and keeping them there. Two things are paramount if you want to become a novelist: you must read, and you must write. To write publishable fiction, you should read widely to understand what makes stories good. And to hone your craft, you must write regularly. Always keep your mind open to constructive criticism that helps you improve. Persistence is also important. Many novelists receive plentiful rejections, whether from literary agents or publishers, before their work finds an audience.


If you're a visually-oriented, creative INFP, you might consider a career as an artist, whether a painter or a sculptor. As an artist, you'll create original artwork. To sell their artwork, artists mainly work with art dealers or art galleries, though some artists create work as requested by clients. Most artwork winds up on display in homes, galleries, private collections or museums. It's challenging to earn a living solely through the sale of artwork. Many artists work, in addition to their artistic pursuits, in museums, as critics, or as teachers of artistic techniques. If you want to be an artist, it's helpful to earn a Bachelor's degree in Fine Arts from a college or university that's accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design.


A musically-inclined INFP might find great satisfaction as a musician. The most important quality for musicians is musical talent, which can then be enhanced by study and education, but must always be honed by regular practice. Musicians may play one or a variety of instruments, sing, perform by themselves or in bands or orchestras, write their own music, or any combination of the above. If you want to be a musician, you'll need, first and foremost, years of training and practice, much of which many people who aspire to become professional musicians start acquiring at at early age through private study. Earning a Bachelor's degree in music can be helpful, but it's no guarantee of success if you want to become a performing artist.


If you're an INFP with a flair for the dramatic, a career as an actor might appeal to you. Actors might perform in theater productions, or they might play roles in movies or television shows and series. Some even find work in commercials to help bring in money. Auditions can be grueling, and aspiring actors must prepare to meet with a significant amount of rejection on their paths. As with all artistic careers, there is a great deal of competition involved, and while talent is important, luck plays a role, too. If you want to work as an actor, you might want to consider earning a Bachelor's degree in Theater Arts from a college or university that's accredited by the National Association of Schools of Theatre. Experience is a crucial part of success as an actor. The more experience you have, the more likely it becomes that you'll win roles in significant productions.

True to the individualistic nature of artists themselves, the paths followed on these artistic careers for INFPs will be unique to each person. There isn't one route that fits all. People who want to pursue creative careers must strive to achieve goals in their own ways. But if your personality test results revealed you as artistic INFP type, you probably already knew that.

Molly Owens

Molly Owens is the founder and CEO of Truity. She is a graduate of UC Berkeley and holds a master's degree in counseling psychology. She began working with personality assessments in 2006, and in 2012 founded Truity with the goal of making robust, scientifically validated assessments more accessible and user-friendly.

Molly is an ENTP and lives in the San Francisco Bay Area, where she enjoys elaborate cooking projects, murder mysteries, and exploring with her husband and son.

More from this author...
About the Clinical Reviewer

Steven Melendy, PsyD., is a Clinical Psychologist who received his doctorate from The Wright Institute in Berkeley, California. He specializes in using evidence-based approaches in his work with individuals and groups. Steve has worked with diverse populations and in variety of a settings, from community clinics to SF General Hospital. He believes strongly in the importance of self-care, good friendships, and humor whenever possible.


grubbsem says...

I love music!

one day soon (not verified) says...

I love writing and would like to have my work published I LOVE WORDS X

NATHANs (not verified) says...

I love acting and performing arts

Guest (not verified) says...

These are EXACTLY what I always wanted to do in my life!

Guest (not verified) says...

This is so me. I Can't believe it:)
I love to act and dance<3

Dizzyd (not verified) says...

I love music, and am studying to be a health care musician. I also think it would be cool to be a graphic designer, even just in coming up with ideas.

Guest (not verified) says...

So true!

joanne.koert says...

I can totally see myself doing something like this! And I can see that I'm not the only one

Cadams615 says...

We'd love to venture down these paths and most likely will indeed pursue these interests on our own but these are not feasible jobs for people to have. What does the writer do to earn a living WHILE working on the novel? And the actor and artist?

You're doing a disservice by just stating these pursuits without any thought to practicality. And yes, I am very much an INFP. I'm also not a teenager who's easily contented with seeing my passions represented.

I'm a writer, my degrees are in creative writing. I also have to pay rent.

Lullabies (not verified) says...

I understand where you're coming from... but the truth is we do need a day job to support us and our art. Don't be too critical to this.. we just need other things to guide us. I found great inspiration, validation and support from reading the book "Steal Like an Artist." I suggest every artist/writer to read it! It gives a sound plan and structure to supporting our art. The author, Austin Kleon, advises to keep our day job even as our art starts to bring in money. He still has a dayjob despite his book's success. Daily schedule and the learning experience is great for our health AND our art.
Also, watching the Elizabeth Gilbert's interview with Marie Forleo can help and motivate you and others like us (on YouTube, MarieTV) It has excellent examples of what artists do to support their art before they made it big (as Marie and Elizabeth did :)both are hugely successful now, but huge success isn't necessary).

jleo3 says...

As an INFP, these careers are exactly what I would want. But alas, I live in a small little town in Idaho where there isn't a lot of call for any of these careers. So I am going to school for business management and Im hoping that I will be happy in this field. I guess we will see.

Shahryar Vasseghi (not verified) says...

I entered university pursuing a finance career and finished with an art degree. Im an INFP. It was excruciating, I couldn't do it. Now after graduating I feel like an asshole. I can make nice art and all but there are very few people really looking to buy your art. Being an artist (a successful one), has a lot more to do with sales and marketing than actually making art.

Dont get too carried away with the idealism. You dont want to be in my shoes. Looking back I wish I did a psychology or biology degree instead. It would have been fun enough and I would have some way to build a future instead of being fucked for life. Don't go to school for art, its literally the worst decision you can make in school. If you want to be an artist do it without the expense of schooling. Just go straight to the source.

If you want to draw/paint/sculpt go to an atelier. If you want to act, sing or dance go to a trade school for it, not a university.

Sentinel Prime (not verified) says...

this is so me... somehow... I think that being a Novelist is my true calling :)

EATMAOR CHICKEN (not verified) says...

I have a natural gift in art, and everyone compliments me for my wonderful drawings. The hard work paid off! Yes, I know not to go bogus with only “thoughts and heartfelt emotions” and thats why I multitask on realism at the same time. Now, not many Meditators have chosen the Artist career, but hey, this makes me so happy to just put your mind on paper, and I have no current plans to stop drawing.

AJIT KUMAR SAHU (not verified) says...

hey there, i have been exposed to the mbti thing few years back and never knew that i had an artistic side to me untill i met my gf. i was a closet whatever with no wish to share my work. I still dont share my most precious ones.. 

but, i followed a finance path and the worst part is not being able to complete the things that dont appeal. the essence of relating to a subject and delving deeper into it where no one has gone is something i enjoy. I am pursuing my masters in Wildlife because i think its important. its wonderful to being able to give your best. I am a late bloommer but thats life, we have to manage not to get money but more for the our essence to not die.I burnt the bridge but it paid off, i love what i do. Its a nice place knowing that i spend 8 hours of the day in jungles and its magnificience and not in stupid bank taking money, making  money. Use less bunch of people cring over useless things 

as life has progressed and grown on me, my other functions are becomng active and i see lot of ways of making money.. 

I just dont like INFPs being the lowest earning people but its not so important yu see. But, we all can prove others wrong, just like my designer says" one slide at a time"

i do write blogs and all for conservation and lets see how world turns out....

Please dont loose hope, just because we cant see life ahead in a cold foggy winter does not mean there is no road. 

it will happen , but be smart 


Gilma Lara (not verified) says...

Hello to all, so I was so curious of what type personality I had and found out that I indeed am an INFP, it is said that is one of the rarest type of personalities, which looking at my life makes so much sense...I always felt awkward and felt like I was always worried about everybody's problems but my own and was getting so exhausted! That said I am an artist and love to self express through my artwork, I am highly intuitive and fall in love with beautiful minds! That said after my test and looking up more about INFP personality brought to this page! And I am a high believer that things happen for a reason. So I am here. Hello to everybody on here.

Share your thoughts


Myers-Briggs® and MBTI® are registered trademarks of the MBTI Trust, Inc., which has no affiliation with this site. Truity offers a free personality test based on Myers and Briggs' types, but does not offer the official MBTI® assessment. For more information on the Myers Briggs Type Indicator® assessment, please go here.

The Five Love Languages® is a registered trademark of The Moody Bible Institute of Chicago, which has no affiliation with this site. You can find more information about the five love languages here.

Latest Tweets

Get Our Newsletter