My Top Teaching Secrets

Teaching at the Museum of the Southwest in Midland, Texas. Photo by Rafael Aguilera.

I have been teaching artists online and at live events since 2002.

While students pay to get valuable content from me, I learn almost as much from them as they do from me. That’s one of the great joys of teaching, and why I will continue to offer live learning.

I can’t possibly put all I know about teaching into a single article, but I have selected a few gems in hopes that they help all of you instructors out there. Take note!

For-Hire Venues

If you teach for hire, you must be clear up front about what your expectations are for the venue. Everything must be in writing.

Speaking to members of the Tennessee Arts and Crafts Alliance. Photo by Mary Claire Crow.

The venue organizers who hired you will never

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Evaluating Your Art Instructors

Paper with A+

Artists often go out of their way to learn new techniques from well-established instructors. You might drive a long distance, hop on a plane, or invest a good chunk of change. Today’s deep thought comes from a reader who thinks you probably have something to say about these classes.

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Read Listen Watch Do Write Teach: How to Really Learn Something

©2008 Libby Hintz, Serenely Happy Energy Cells As Seen Under A Microscope. Stained glass, millefiori, glass, beads, chalcedony cabochons, and pearls, 16 x 16 inches. Used with permission.

Think you can take a few classes or attend a workshop and you’re suddenly a genius at business? Of course you don’t. Being an Art Biz Blog reader, you know better.There’s so much to learn, know, and do. Every step forward reveals even more options, and we only begin to understand the implications of an action after we have been implementing it consistently. Here’s how to immerse yourself and really learn how to promote your art effectively.

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Empowering Art Viewers

That’s me looking at Mel Ristau’s sculpture inside a locked building.

One of the most valuable things you can do in your marketing is to teach people how to look at and appreciate your art. It’s not just good for you, but a gift that will last throughout the lives of those who experience it. I learned long ago when I worked in a museum that teaching people how to look at art empowers them and gives them confidence. Teaching people how to look at art empowers them and gives them confidence. Empowering them with skills is invaluable – to both you and them.

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Track Your Business Growth

My tracks at Nye Beach, OR. Photograph ©Alyson B. Stanfield

For years I’ve been tracking monthly numbers in my business. When I slack off on the tracking, my numbers decline. It’s the exact opposite of “Ignorance is bliss.” I believe that tracking numbers tells the Universe that you are committed to your business. And the Universe doesn’t give you more of something until you’re ready to accept more.

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Promoting Events 6 Months Out

At my social media immersion workshop in Philadelphia. Photo by John Pitman Photography, ©John J. Pitman. Used with permission.

If I were asked for advice on promoting my workshops, these are the actions I’d encourage organizers to take. Please use this format as a guideline and adapt it to any event.

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Marketing Your Art vs Marketing Your Teaching

You’re an artist. Let’s say you also teach classes. One is a service and the other is, for lack of a better word, a product. You have to promote both. Deep Thought Thursday: How is marketing your art different from marketing your classes?

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How to Get Students to Visit Your Site

After the workshop, perhaps 5 days later, I send all students an email with a link to a special page just for them. This page has about 20 additional, highly relevant resources. I opt for doing it this way because:

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What Did You Learn From Your Art Teachers?

I knew I was an artist when we made cut-out bunnies in grade school because mine was the only bunny with a hula skirt on. I was fascinated with Hawaii at the time. Two other art teachers have also left a big impression on me.

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10 Commandments of Teaching Art

Janice Tanton

Guest blogger Janice Tanton says: “I would never have learned what I have if it were not for the generosity of artists that took me under their wings and into their studios, taught me their techniques, concept, insight and ultimately how to find my own voice.”

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