Teaching Art

No, You Don’t Have to Have a Degree

Teaching art doesn’t have to happen in a classroom anymore. (Photo Credit: 123RF.com Copyright: Steven Cukrov)

Have you thought about teaching art? No, I don’t mean like K-12, or university, or art school. For those avenues you’d need a degree. That would cost you a lot of money and you’d end up teaching kids who maybe don’t even care. You’d have to show up to class. Then, you’d have a commute. You’d spend hours developing lessons plans, etc.

What I’m talking about is teaching art, in whatever form you love the most, to all of the people out on the inter-webs who are dying to learn what you know how to do.

There are more and more platforms popping up every day. There is of course, YouTube, where anybody can access your videos for free. But then sites like Skillshare popped up. For a very small fee per class, students can access your lesson (usually 5–10 minutes each) where you show them what materials they need and instruct them on the steps you take towards a finished project.

Depending on the platform, teaching art online doesn’t have to be fancy. A smart phone will do to take videos as long as you have a good light source. (Photo Credit: Myra Naito-Screenshot from How to Draw: The Very Basics)

For example, I have a very simple class on Skillshare, How to Draw: The Very Basics. The class itself is about 10 lessons and each lesson is only 5–10 minutes long. I believe my class is still listed for free.

Since then, sites like Patreon have come onto the scene. Most artists also have a YouTube channel where they’ll post abbreviated versions and then invite them over to their Patreon page where they’ll get the full version, plus extra goodies. I know some artists making a seriously decent living this way.

Another up and coming site called TabletWise has emerged. It’s similar to Skillshare, but I think based in a country outside of the U.S., but don’t quote me on that.

I just purchased three classes from a site called Domestika. Same setup. Each class is broken up into 5–10 minute video lessons. Most of the classes are in Spanish with English subtitles. Three classes cost me a total of $29

For these platforms, you don’t really need fancy lighting or video equipment. For mine, I used my laptop to film myself and I just made sure to film in the middle of the day when lighting was best. These sites are fairly cheap ($5–10/class) for students, which I like. I think art should be accessible to everyone.

Other platforms like CreativeLive are much more polished. You can tell these artists have professional lighting, sound, etc. Their classes aren’t outrageous, but they’re on average $15-$40 each.

Teaching art is very possible these days for just about everyone with a computer, tablet, or smart phone. The question is…what will you be teaching? (Photo Credit: 123RF.com Copyright: Freddy Cahyono)

All of this to say that all of these platforms have classes from the traditional art forms like drawing, painting, and sculpting to very untraditional art forms. I’ve seen stained glass classes, painting on glass, collage, knitting, crocheting, making shadow boxes, travel sketchbook journaling, candle making, wood burning, graphic design, and the list goes on and on. Surely whatever it is that you’re good at is teachable and someone out there wants to learn how you do what you do.

So, if you’ve been thinking about teaching others how to create, go for it! Or, even you hadn’t thought of it before, maybe you should. Share what you do. Gift the world with your ability to create. Teaching art doesn’t have to be polished and fancy. In fact, art is rarely anything but messy and that’s why it’s fun!

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Myra Naito

Myra Naito

Freelance copywriter who is passionate about art and fitness. Check out my art blog at mnatiodesigns.com/blog/ or follow me @mnaito_fineart .