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Starting An Art Teaching Business
One of the best things I have ever done is to start Moore Art School.
Teaching others how to paint, and then seeing them grow and develop as artists through your teaching, is one of the most rewarding careers you can have.
In this article I want to share with you some insights into what it takes to start and run an art teaching business. If you have considered teaching art or starting your own art school then you will want to read every word of this.
The one big take away that I want you to get is that there has never been a better time in history for artists to start teaching art, and with the right guidance you can achieve what ever level of success you desire.
So let’s start out by asking the most important question of all …
Is Starting An Art Teaching Business Right For You?
It’s important that you think about this.
In order to achieve success you have to be a good fit for teaching art.
First you need a passion for art. If you are a creative person and you love to paint, draw or sculpt then you may be well suited for it.
If teaching art is right for you then its likely that right now all you want to do is create and you daydream about it all the time. And every chance you get you are creatig something.
But the passion for art alone is not enough.
The second key I have found is you have to enjoy working with people. Teaching art is a people business. You will find yourself working closely with students as you help them to learn to paint.
Being personable and relatable helps as it will attract more students to you.
The third key consideration is that teaching art is a business. Now you don’t have to be a hardcore business minded person, however you do have to be mindful that as it is a business you are going to need things like marketing and sales systems to achieve success.
So those are the three things you want to consider:
1/ Do you have the passion for art?
2/ Do you enjoy working with people?
3/ Can you see yourself running a small business?
If you can say YES to each of these then you are on the right track.
Sidenote – Starting an art teaching business is definitely not a get rich quick type of program. If your primary motive is to make money then it probably won’t work out for you.
Now if you have decided that starting and running an art teaching business is for you then let me share with you …
The Number One Key To Success
The number one thing that will determine if you are successful or not in the long run is YOU!
Starting a business and making it successful all comes down to YOU.
When you make the decision to start an art teaching business you take on the responsibility for its success or failure 100%. Sure you can get help and guidance along the way however you are the one who has to get up every day and make it happen.
A big part of this then is investing in the development of yourself.
First your mindset. You need to have an empowered mindset and positive self belief to make it work. So you may need to spend time in personal development.
Personally I spend a lot of time improving myself. For instance I attend Toastmasters regularly to learn how to improve my public speaking ability.
Secondly your skill as an artist.
It is important that you constantly work on developing and improving your skills as an artist. That means continuing to take workshops, courses and of course lots of practice painting.
One golden rule that I have always believed in is you want students to invest in doing your art classes and workshops then you need to be convinced enough of the value in doing so by investing in them yourself.
Personally I take a number of workshops each year with world renowned artists like Kasey Sealy, John Wilson and others.
But what a lot of people don’t know is that I also am a member of a number of online Ateliers and I spend time each day working through these master lessons.
Let me repeat myself then … YOU are the number one factor in whether you will be a success or not. So you need to always be working on you and your mindset and skills.
The Opportunity For Art Teachers
The opportunity to teach art has never been better in the history of the world. Right now artists have a unique opportunity to start and launch an art teaching business and enjoy success like never before.
Problem is most are not aware of it.
The Internet has created incredible opportunities for people like you and I.
Twenty years ago it would not have been possible for me to run a successful art business. But because of the Internet you and I can live our dreams of earning an income from our art.
The Internet has done two things:
1/ It has increased the interest in learning to paint. That combined with the baby boomer generation. So there are more people than ever before wanting to learn to paint.
2/ Reach – One of the biggest challenges with any business is being able to attract new customers to you. Now with the Internet that is so much easier. When you learn to embrace social media like Facebook and YouTube you can reach out to new students and attract them to you.
So the opportunity has never been better.
And you can choose to either just teach classes in your local area, or teach online, or do both.
Personally I do both as I like the idea of tapping into a global marketplace with the online model, and I also like the interaction of running classes as well.
The opportunity has never been better than it is right now so if you are thinking of starting then do it right now while it is so good.
Who Will You Teach?
This is a big question you need to answer.
Who are you going to teach in your new art teaching business?
There are lots of options:
– Kids Art Classes
– Adult Art Classes
– Corporate Team Building Classes
– Art Parties
– Paint & Sip Classes
– Advanced to Professionals
And what skill level will you teach? Beginners, Intermediate, Advanced?
Personally I think the greatest opportunity is in teaching adults who are beginners to intermediate level.
This is by far the biggest market, the easiest to reach and the easiest to teach.
Once you choose a market then I recommend you focus all of your efforts on that one market. Get good at this one market first before entering others.
How Will You Teach Them?
In my early days of wanting to learn to paint I attended lots of different art classes and workshops.
Some with local artists and some with world renowned high profile artists.
And I quickly came to the conclusion that great artists do not necessarily make great art teachers.
I encountered many different approaches including:
* Do your own thing and I will come aroud and see you (maybe!)
* Demonstration of a painting (but really poor explanation)
* Theoretical (Too much theory but little painting done)
* Entertainer (Artist entertains but does not explain)
And much more.
What was missing from most of the classes and workshops was a method of teaching that helped students get results.
Think about it logically … doesn’t it make sense that you want those attending your class or workshop to walk away from the day with a finished painting they are really proud of?
If you can help them achieve that then doesn’t it also make sense that they are far more likely to book into more classes in the future?
So you need a method of teaching that helps them get a finished result.
You can not just wing it as an art teacher and hope for the best … though many have tried this approach.
What Will You Teach Them?
Once you know who you will teach and how you will teach them you now need to decide what you will teach them.
What medium? Oils, Acrylics, Watercolours, Mixed Media?
And what subjects will you teach them?
Will it be landscapes, seascapes, abstract, portraits, pets, cityscapes?
These are important decisions as the right projects will attract students to you and the wrong ones will not.
Knowing what projects to teach is vital to your success.
By way of example I started out teaching the wet on wet oil painting method.
That was a challenge. After about a year I decided to try teaching a class in acrylics. Then I quickly realised that when teaching beginners it is far easier to do so in acrylics than oils.
Once I made the switch things quickly improved.
It’s Not Just About The Art
I mentioned earlier that you have to appreciate that if you start an art teaching business it is a business.
So you need to learn about starting a running a business as well.
By far the most important part of this is the marketing side of it.
You need to have the right marketing to attract students to you.
It doesn’t matter how good an artist you are … if you can’t market in a way that attracts students then you won’t achieve success.
Artists are not traditionally great at the sales and marketing side of things.
The good news though is that it does not have to be that hard. When you get the right guidance and follow a proven blueprint for success then you can achieve good results from marketing as well.
Expanding Your Business Online
For most people I recommend starting your art teaching business in your local area.
Get some consistent classes up and running and learn how to help your students get good results from your classes and workshops.
From there though you should also consider expanding online.
Right now there are artists making full time livings from sites like YouTube, Patreon, Udemy and more.
When you learn how to create online courses and projects then you can expand exponentially as you tap into a global auidence. There are 2.5 billion people online right now. A massive market.
So developing the online side of your business can help you grow and create new income streams for you.
This is certainly an area that Moore Art School is pushing into further. Having had more than 15,000 students go through our online courses now we are just barely scratching the surface of what is possible.
What About Art Teacher Qualifications?
A question that often comes up is what qualifications do I need to start?
The truth is you don’t need any if you follow my model.
If you want to teach in a school environment like High School for instance and get a job doing this then yes you probably need a teaching degree.
But to start your own art teaching school you do not need any qualifications at all.
Having said that I do recommend getting a certification as an art teacher.
That is how I started. I enrolled in a certification program, did the exercises and assignments and became certified in their method.
It gave me more confidence to make a start and it gave me the rights to represent their method of teaching in my marketplace.
Even though I changed after a year of teaching their method I still think it was invaluable for me to get started.
So I do recommend that you start in a similar way.
Investigate the various certification programs that are out there and decide on the best fit for you. Be aware thought that most do not cover the all important subjects of the business side of art teaching, or sales and marketing.
It’s A Marathon Not A Sprint
One thing I want to point out is that starting and running a successful art teaching business is a marathon not a sprint.
What I mean by that is that if you expect overnight success with it then you might end up disappointed. It takes time to build up so you need a long term view.
Think about building up success over a 3 to 5 year period of time. Many think in terms of 3 to 5 months but truth is it will take you this long to get started and to start finding a few regulars.
Now you can earn an income along the way … but to build a solid successful business as an art teacher will take time. Be patient and be consistent in your efforts.
I started doing it part time while working full time in jobs. I did this for several years before going full time.
So take a long term view of it and through consistent and persistent action you will get there. Over time the law of compounding efforts will start to work in your favour.
Teach The Moore Method of Painting
Over the last six years I have had the good fortune to teach hundreds of students in one day workshops and more than 15,000 online.
During that time I have worked on developing a methodology of teaching beginners that gets results. That takes a beginner from never having picked up a brush before to being able to finish their first painting that they are proud of.
The Moore Method of Painting has now been proven to work around the world not just in the classes I have taught, but in classes taught by Moore Certified Instructors in Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, UK and Saudi Arabia.
The advantage of the Moore Method of Painting is that it simplifies the process of learning to paint down into three colours, three brushes and three steps. This makes it easier to teach those just starting out.
Right now we are looking to expand to even more countries around the world.
I am on a personal mission to spread the Moore Method globally and to reach as many people as possible and help them fulfill their dream of learning to paint.
If what you have read in this article resonates with you and you want to find out more than request an information kit and join us on the upcoming Webinar ‘Starting An Art Teaching Business’
Find out more about the Moore Certified Instructor program – http://www.MooreArtSchool.com/mci
Register for the coming Webinar here – http://mywebinars.net/start-an-art-teaching-business/