Artists Teaching Art

by | Apr 7, 2011 | Blog | 1 comment

Dear Nancy,
I am eager to continue building my craft as an artist, but would also like to teach art. How can I work towards becoming a teacher someday? Should I continue to develop my craft?

Thank you for your email. I applaud your desire to teach art, as it is very fulfilling for me, and has given me so much in return. I feel as though teaching has taught me even more than I have taught others. May  I suggest that start by focusing on one aspect in art making that you are really good at, something that you just love to do, something specific and simple. For example, lets say you really like painting with bright colors, or painting a particular style or image, or collage, or working from photos – anything in particular that you already do well. Break it down into steps. Then put up a flyer and teach it to a small group at your studio, library or local art center. You can also try offering your first workshop for free. Or before your workshop, offer a free demonstration of what workshop participants will do. While at the demonstration you can have a sign up list for the workshop. That’s a great way to start. Keep your groups really small at first. Each time you teach that workshop write down what worked and what didn’t. Change the timing, the projects, the supply list, to keep making it better and better. From there you can add students, and try out new workshops as your own work grows. Another suggestion is to take workshops from other teachers and keep notes on what you liked or didn’t like from those. Write your own version of how you would improve that particular class. And yes, always continue to develop your craft. It is your enthusiasm and continued passion for your craft that will enable you to inspire your students.

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1 Comment

  1. stephanie clayton

    excellent advice. Teaching can be a fulfilling part of one's art career. It's always best to start teaching in your area(s) of strength, which is what i did when i started many years ago- i started with painting workshops, then ongoing sessions.


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About Nancy

Nancy Reyner is a professional fine-art painter with over 30 years experience using a variety of mediums including oil, acrylic, watercolor and mixed media. She has appeared on television for HGTV’s “That’s Clever,” and authored several best-selling painting books with F&W Media. She currently lives in Santa Fe, NM. Read more.
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