Artists and designers are positioned at the centre of the twenty-first century creative economy. In order to recognise and make the most of the opportunities afforded by this new era, artists and designers still require the creativity, disciplinary depth of knowledge and technical skills traditionally possessed by professionals in these fields – skills which are a core strength of higher and further art and design education. However, they may also require a range of other, ‘twenty-first century’ creative capabilities which are harder to define, teach for and assess, and are not the focus of traditional art and design pedagogies. This article draws upon the findings of nine in-depth interviews with award-winning Australian artists and designers about their careers and working practices, along with recent international research about the characteristics of the twenty-first century creative career, in order to highlight the importance of certain professional capabilities for art and design. It discusses the implications of these findings for art and design educators in universities, and curricular and pedagogic considerations associated with embedding these capabilities into undergraduate courses.