With the popularity of television crime shows like CSI, and real-life shows such as America’s Most Wanted, forensic art has entered the spotlight.
The job involves creating composite images of suspects or victims based on interviews with victims or witnesses, psychological analysis, and sometimes aging progression techniques. These images may be created as drawings, graphic images, and sculptural depictions.
In addition to excellent drawing and creative skills, strong ethics and people skills are required to interview and obtain information and to work with the investigative team. An interest in criminal investigation is also a plus, according to the Ask a Forensic Artist website, a strong desire to join law enforcement is a key to success in this field.
Employment for forensic artists can range from full-time employment with a law enforcement organization to part-time or free-lance opportunities. Requirements vary across organizations, and while there is no standard certification, information is available from the International Association for Identification (see link below for more information).