Whether you’re interested in photography, painting, sculpture, film, the digital media, or you aspire for a career in design or a coveted museum spot, a degree can help you achieve your goals. Here’s what you need to know to pursue a degree and what you can expect from your training.Degree CourseworkThe courses offered at a school are as varied as the students who decide to pursue a degree. The curricula in most schools generally feature courses in:• Art history
• Art theory and criticism
• Performing arts
• Painting, drawing sculpture, and photography
• Digital artTypes of DegreesIf you’re interested in pursuing a degree, you have the choice of taking undergraduate as well as graduate paths. They include:• Associate’s of Fine Arts (AFA) . Like most associate’s degree programs, an associate’s degree from an online school, a community college, or technical school lays the academic foundation for a bachelor’s degree.
• Bachelor’s of Fine Arts (BFA) . A bachelor’s degree generally takes four years to achieve, and gives students the professional and creative skills to prepare them for arts-related jobs. Most professional art positions require a BFA at a minimum.
• Master’s of Fine Arts (MFA) . A master’s degree further enhances a student’s understanding of the arts world–particularly management–as well as the advanced development of their creative specialty. Depending on your thesis, you can earn your MFA within two years, however, many students take longer. Generally, teaching and museum positions require an MFA.What Are the Career Opportunities in the Fine Arts? Many students considering a degree wonder what kinds of jobs are available after they graduate. The good news is there are a wide range of options–working as an art buyer, a creative director at an advertising agency, a museum curator, an artistic director in the theatre, or an independent multi-media artist.According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the industries with the highest levels of employment include:• Independent artists, writers and performers
• The entertainment industry
• Specialized design services
• Colleges, universities and professional schools
• The publishing industryThe BLS notes that despite high competition for jobs in the studios, galleries and individual clients are always looking for talented and stylized artists.How Much Money Can I Make with a Fine Arts Degree? Just as there are many different types of artists working in the fine arts, there are as many salary categories. The BLS reports the following median annual wages for some fine arts careers in 2009:• Art directors: $78,580
• Craft artists: $28,960
• Multimedia artists and animators: $58,250
• Fine artists: $44,160Additionally, the BLS notes that earnings for self-employed artists vary widely. Beginning artists may earn a nominal amount while working to establish their names in the art world, while more experienced freelance fine artists and illustrators have the potential to earn more than their salaried counterparts.For creative professionals, a fine arts degree from a fine art school can open the doors to a world of opportunity.
Setting up ShopNooks and crannies. It congers up visions of an old house in a Hardy Boys adventure. A complex floor plan, three stories, hidden stairways, secret passages, lots of nooks and crannies and maybe even haunted. For those who remember The Hardy Boys or even those who have actually been in a house like this, you know what I’m talking about…they just don’t build them like that anymore.These nooks and crannies had niches used to display a special vase, a special memento or other special home décor, and the effect could be very powerful. These niches became a special presentation of things of importance that demand recognition. The more special the item, the more special the attention it derived from it. This unique presentation creates uniqueness and appeal.This unique specialization creates the niche effect…specialization within a specialization. And so it is within the influence of internet marketing and the niche effect of the Online Handmade Industry. To be recognized here you must be uniquely special!The Online Handmade Industry is driven by handmade artists. So, just what is a “Handmade Artist”? Just ask one and you will get a myriad of answers. To be sure, they are artists who are devoted to their craft. They are artisans who craft their devotion. And they are crafters who create handmade art products and visual arts. They all have a significant impact and influence on the Online Handmade Industry.Establishing a niche isn’t difficult, but it requires what some call the three P’s…Proper Prior Planning.Identify your specialties. What you are really good at will drive quality in your products. By prioritizing your specialties you instill uniqueness of your products. And when you create your specialties you infuse them with the finest qualities that become the reputation for your niche.The process of establishing, prioritizing and creating special things is critical to niche marketing, and even more so if your market is online. There are many marketplace venues representing the Online Handmade Industry and literally millions of art products competing to be seen, selected and purchased by consumers. Most handmade artists are keenly aware of this condition.So, add presentation to the checklist. The quality of presentation is as important as the quality of the products being presented. The niche effect requires a high degree of specialization, the finest quality achievable and the best, and most unique, presentation online. Digital imagery becomes a significant part of the equation and the image presented must reflect all of the other components. A bad photo of great art work or crafted products won’t sell online, plus the visual attraction of the products can be a large part of its uniqueness. Many handmade buyers are attracted to the idiom because most of the items presented are one of a kind.The next step is to find your audience. Simply creating great stuff and presenting it online won’t in itself attract buyers. Sellers need to find their buyers, not vice versa. The unique nature of niche marketing is especially evident in this regard. When using titles and descriptions of products understanding the implications of Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs) becomes the key. Word competition is enormous, so choose the keywords used in these areas carefully, using words and phrases buyers would likely use to find you. This is especially important when your shop is located on a handmade marketplace where thousands of items reside.Other important marketing tactics include social media (some marketplaces have complete social media applications built in), networking and follow up with buyers. Creating your brand identity will help buyers remember your products. (See my article: Evolution of Branding: The Art of Buzz)With niche marketing quality teams with quality. Maybe MacGyver could build a rocket launcher out of a few Popsicle sticks, but Popsicle sticks aren’t really the stuff of quality art products or visual arts.Display your works in the midst of other quality products. Present your works with the finest quality venues and surround yourself with the finest quality artists. It’s attractive!By Dennis SpeerCopyright © 2011 All Rights Reserved
There has been much talk, as of late, in regard to our Industry being a “Service” Industry as opposed to being a “Sales” Industry.Now, some may argue that in order to provide a service for a client, we must first sell the client on the service! Now, there is some truth to this statement, but in order to sell the client on the service they must first see value. In other words, the prospect must see a valuable commodity before them… something they MUST have!I know, this starting to sound like the age-old question- Which came first, the chicken or the egg?In the case of the Martial Arts Industry, it is definitely the egg. Oh! I mean service!Back when I opened my first school in 1985, my mindset was that when a student joined my school he now had the honor and privilege of being in my presence (The magnificent instructor that I was) and if so deemed (in my infinite wisdom), I would, maybe, impart some knowledge upon him!Well, times have changed (Thank Goodness)! Today, it’s all about service. Now, before we can provide a great service we MUST have a servant’s mindset.Yes, I did say WE! As the Sensei’s, Sifu’s, Guru’s and Kwan Chan Nim’s of our organizations, the buck stops with us! Leadership is influence and if we want to influence the rest of our team to have a servant’s attitude, we’re going to have to lead by example.Servant Leaders…· Are motivated by LOVE. The love of our students must be unconditional, unending and unselfish.
· Possesses a security that allows them to serve others. The insecure are into titles, the secure are into cleaning! A Servant Leader will do the little things like clean, help a student with a belt, help the child find his card, or sit with a child when they’re crying because their mother still hasn’t arrived.
· Initiate servant ministry to others. Don’t wait around for someone to clarify protocol. Where there is a need you must meet it.
· Want nothing to hinder their relationship with their students. Our students are truly our teachers! They’ve been put on this earth to help us become better teachers. Every challenge we have with student is designed to strengthen and stretch us. We DON’T want to miss out on what our students have to teach us.
· Teach servant hood by example. If the Sensei can change, so can the rest of the Team. If he can clean, so can the rest of them (I repeated this twice because it’s the one I forget the most!).
· Live a blessed life. By living a servant’s life, we will be blessed with all the abundance the world has to offer. Zig Ziglar says that you can have everything in life you want if we just help enough people get what they want.Here are some questions that will help you lead a servant’s life:1. Do I put others ahead of my agenda?
2. Do I have confidence and security to take risks?
3. Do I look for a need to take initiative?
4. Do I perform small acts anonymously?
5. Do I begin my day reflecting on my love for others?
6. Have I developed a bias for action?When you can answer “Yes” to ALL these questions, you will truly be a Servant Leader!
Art and investment in art from the industrial North of England can be a tricky affair especially for people who do not have an profound understanding of the area as well as the artistic values of anything involved. By taking a closer look at art investment versus stocks and shares, it would be very difficult to tell where the ‘grass could be greener’ unless you have sufficient information on both options.Investing in anything is never an easy task especially if you are doing it for the first time. It is often for this reason that lead a number of people to opt for investing in companies that can be run by experienced professionals and wait for any dividends that will be given at the end of the investing period.Just as there are often problems in any enterprise, the only way to overcome such obstacles is to make sure that you have adequate information in the matter, even if it means taking some lessons. Of course, it is not always the basic information that makes success in business.Instead it is often the smaller overlooked factors that everyone may not even realize, that will define success or failure in any business venture otherwise everyone graduating from business school would have ended up as a very successful entrepreneur. This is to mean that anyone considering art and investment in art from the industrial North of England should take some time to explore the implications and the history of artistic works that have taken place in the past and their significance in the present settings.Investing in company shares or investing in art work, can be a very lucrative as well as gainful one as long as you have the right understanding required to convert the trade into profits. As opposed to shares or the stock markets where one could easily loose a fortune overnight when a company goes under, the value of an artistic piece of work can never usually depreciate to such alarming rates.The main reason behind investing in stocks and shares for many people is to wait till the value of the share rises way above the rate at which you bought it and then sell it out at some profit. There are also persons who simply buy shares as a way of keeping money they have no immediate use for. It is thus important to decide what kind of an investor you are, as this will help you in making crucial entrepreneurship decisions.The good news about investing in artifacts comes from the fact that artistic works often become more expensive with age. As an item becomes very old and it remains in some museum or gallery, it begins to have some historic symbolism that makes it even more of a treasure than just a simple piece of workmanship.This is particularly so when dealing with items that have historical or national heritage as they might be archived for a very long time. To be precise such items can be classes as invaluable to the nation. This should make art and investment in art from the industrial North of England more risk free as compared to stocks which may fluctuate at will.