Some benefits of studying art


If you are heading into the study of Visual Art, at secondary school, TAFE, University or some other course of learning then you may find the following list of value. For secondary students if your folks are giving  you grief about taking on an art subject or course, print the list and nail it to their foreheads with a nail gun, if they don’t get why you want to do Visual Art by then, move house! (okay that’s a joke but think about it as an image, neat huh…)

Teachers feel free to use this list anytime someone in “authority” decides to cut your budget, give you grief about art being non essential etc… or use it to show parents the value of art and why their child should make it a subject worthy of their learning and not throw clay etc…

“Studying Visual Art, can…”

  • Be a creative outlet from more academic subjects you may choose.
  • Build further knowledge of Visual Art and Art techniques.
  • Allow you to express yourself creatively.
  • Put emphasis on the value of content, which helps students understand “quality” as a key value.
  • Build problem-solving skills.
  • Make us think and see in a way that everyday reality cannot.
  • Put you in touch with your soul.
  • Put us in touch with other customs, heritage, society and civilisations.
  • Be therapeutic.
  • Convey knowledge, meaning, and skills not learned through the study of other subjects
  • Boost your confidence and self esteem.
  • Boost literacy skills.
  • Help you to describe things in detail and explore the use of words to better describe things.
  • Flex your “brain muscle!”
  • Give you a sense of accomplishment.
  • Give you, Critical thinking; Problem solving; Teamwork; Informed perception; Tolerating ambiguity; and Appreciating different cultures.
  • Develop fine motor skills.
  • Cultivate the whole person.
  • Add to your emotional intelligence.
  • Help you to make sense of the world.
  • Give you higher level thinking skills.
  • Prepare us to handle a challenging world.
  • Develop collaborative and teamwork skills, technological competencies, flexible thinking, and an appreciation for diversity.
  • Enhance self discipline.
  • Develop intuition, reasoning, imagination, and dexterity into unique forms of expression and communication.
  • Develop a sensitive, and intelligent participation in society.
  • Build thinking skills such as analysis, synthesis, evaluation, and critical judgment.
  • Nourish creativity.
  • Assist us to appreciate and understand ourselves better.
  • Be a significant catalyst for community development support for cultural institutions, and economic health.
  • Add to our aesthetic literacy.
  • Give us access to greater understanding of a universal language.
  • Encourage high achievement.
  • Encourage a suppleness of mind, toleration for ambiguity, a taste for nuance, and the ability to make trade-offs among alternative courses of action.
  • Assist us to be more comfortable using many different symbol systems (verbal, mathematical, visual, auditory and kinesthetic.
  • Assist us to understand and appreciate others.
  • Teach us about materials and processes.
  • Assist us to integrate knowledge and “think outside the square.”
  • Lead to a range of creative career options.
  • Engage and develop human intellectual ability…
  • Assist us to explore challenges and test out ideas.
  • Add to our cultural depth.

Art education is vital for today’s world including the ability to allocate resources; to work successfully with others; to find, analyze, and communicate information; to operate increasingly complex systems of seemingly unrelated parts; and, finally, to use technology.

Learning is an action process, and the arts allow students to take action, to do things, to make mistakes, to explore and search for answers. No other educational medium offers the same kind of opportunity.

Art can provide an unparalleled opportunity to teach higher-level basics, which are increasingly critical, not only for today’s work force, but also tomorrow’s…

The quality of civilization can be measured by the breadth of symbols used. We need words, music, dance and the visual arts to give expression to the profound urgings of the human spirit.

Now more than ever, all people need to see clearly, hear acutely and feel sensitively through the arts. These languages are no longer simply desirable but are essential if we are to convey adequately our deepest feelings, and survive with civility and joy.

Ernest L. Boyer,

Thats the list and a few notions to explore… I hope that helps!

Leading professor and Chair of the Faculty at the UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies, James Catterall has an insightful book “Doing Well and Doing Good by Doing Art: A 12-Year Longitudinal Study of Arts Education—Effects on the Achievements and Values of Young Adults (2009).”

Catterall’s study, addresses the questions “Do the arts matter?” “Just how?” and “For whom?” Focusing on more than 12,000 students from diverse backgrounds, the study’s findings demonstrate, intensive involvement in the arts by students during middle and high school is positively associated with higher levels of achievement in school and college attainment.

But if you still get grief for exploring Visual Art then hand the harasser this career option list… and remind them that studying subjects like psychology, sport, high level maths, physics and the like does not mean a job in those areas, but they are also part of building a range of life skills of value in a range of jobs and career options.


Some possible career options…

  • Graphic designer.
  • Multi media designer.
  • Photographer.
  • Artist.
  • Craftsperson.
  • Furniture designer.
  • Gallery Director.
  • Gallery Assistant.
  • Illustrator.
  • Interior Designer.
  • Printer.
  • Screen Printer.
  • Architect.
  • Art Therapist.
  • Cartoonist.
  • Animator.
  • Museum Technician.
  • Hairdresser.
  • Set and props designer/constructor
    for theatre, films or TV.
  • Sign Writer.
  • Web page Designer.
  • Costume Designer.
  • Art Teacher.
  • Industrial Designer.
  • Fashion Designer.

P.S. it didn’t take too long to do an internet search on the benefits of studying art to build my lists from… think of them as starting points to do some of our own research and see what else you can find.

10 secrets to selling art – Eric Rhoads

10 Secrets To Sell Art In A Down Economy
By art publisher and marketing expert B. Eric Rhoads

If you’re an artist blessed with a marketing gene, you may already know these secrets. Yet as I communicate with over 40,000 artists in my art marketing blog, I find that most have never heard them.

I hear from artists every day. Most tell me they are not selling as much artwork as last year. Some tell me they are prospering. The difference is that those who are successful understand these 10 basic secrets:

1. Attitude Determines Your Success:
I’m not talking about positive-thinking hocus-pocus. But when I interview successful people, they all have one thing in common: “I made up my mind that I’m not going to let this recession impact me.” This is a CRITICAL step. Most of us give ourselves an out by telling ourselves that it’s OK to fail because everyone else is. To succeed, you cannot think like everyone else. I have a giant sign in my office that reads: “2010 Is Our Best Year Yet.” Note the use of the word IS — not will be. It’s important to train your subconscious mind to believe that it is. I have to look at it daily and not let myself off the hook.

2. Develop and Follow a Strategy:
You wouldn’t take a road trip without a map, yet most artists don’t have a road map for their art business. Most don’t like to look at themselves as businesses, but as artists. But if you rely on income from your art sales, you are in business.

A critical element is to create a business plan. Put it in writing and mark the milestones on a calendar. Hold yourself accountable and look ahead. If you’re about to miss a milestone, don’t let yourself off the hook.

Your plan needs to include:
• Your financial goal (after taxes)
• Exactly how many pieces you must sell to hit that goal, and at what price point
• In what ways you will sell your art

Develop a list of tactics and build them into your plan.

3. Make Money While You Sleep:
How can you make money while you sleep? The key is to find ways your art can sell without your having to manage the process. You’re just one person. How can you get several people viewing it and selling your art? The more sales agents selling your work, the better. Galleries, for example, are sales agents.

4. Stand in a River of Flowing Money:
Where is money already flowing? Go there! If one city is selling a lot of art and another is not, target a gallery or a means of selling in the city where sales are taking place. A big New York City gallery opened a location in Beijing during the Olympics because of the influx of money there, and because so many Chinese were buying art. Art is selling well in some places. Find out where, and find a way to get your art there.

5. Price to the Market Without Dropping Your Value:
I never recommend lowering prices because it’s hard to raise them again. But many artists know that when money is tight, it’s easier to sell a less expensive painting. Many artists are creating smaller works. One artist I know is creating one small painting a day and selling the paintings on eBay (under an assumed name) for $100 each. He sells almost every one, and is generating an extra $2,000 a month. He is also painting fewer large works, but his galleries are moving the small ones.

6. Increase Visibility:
Seek every opportunity to increase your visibility as an artist. It increases the odds of getting noticed. Bottom line: More bait in the water equals more fish on the hook. Work hard to generate publicity from local, regional, and national publications and websites. Take an active role on Facebook andTwitter. Post new works that have not been seen before. Send e-mails and new-painting notifications to collectors, and expand your build. Place ads in publications. You need to be seen MORE when times are worse because you need to reach more potential buyers.

7. Repetition Works. I Repeat. Repetition Works:
I’ve been a marketing guy for many years, and the most critical marketing lesson is that ONE impression does not sell. People may see your ad or story, but they won’t remember it. They may intend to respond, but they forget. That’s why you see the same ads over and over on television. Repetition works. Single impressions do not. Repeat your message over and over.

8. Expand Your Market:
Do you consider yourself local, national, or international? If you only sell in your town or region, you’re limiting yourself to local cycles. If you can get into more cities and art centers nationwide and worldwide, the increased exposure will lead to more sales.

9. Get Creative:
Get some friends together and brainstorm. Make a list of 100 ways you can sell paintings. You say there aren’t 100 ways, but there are. Force yourself not to stop until you get to 100. Don’t judge anything. Write every idea down, then start trying some you’ve never done. Creative approaches will make you stand out.

10. Build Your Brand:
Every product is a brand. You, the artist, need to be a brand. When people know brands and know what that brand stands for, over time they develop trust. Trust often equals a purchase. You trust McDonald’s for consistent food anywhere in the world. Though this goes along with visibility, find ways to reinforce the things you think people need to know or remember about your artwork. “Jill’s paintings are….” or “Bob’s photographs are….” Advertising and publicity can build your brand, but it’s best if you control the way the brand is perceived.

You can also do branding with Facebook, Twitter, blogs, etc. Be careful to build the brand in a positive way. For instance, if every Facebook entry shows you with a bottle of absinthe in your hand, it may send the wrong signal (or the right one, if you feel the bad-boy, Van Gogh approach is your image). Start with what you want your image to be, and find ways to reinforce that focus.

The Harsh Reality of Recession
It’s true. Fewer artworks are selling. Yet every day I hear reports of artwork sold at all price levels. Guess who is selling the artwork that is being purchased? The artists who are working to remain visible. Most artists shrink back during tough times, when they should be working harder to be seen.

Yes, it takes guts. Yes, it’s hard work. Yes, there is risk. But consider the alternatives. The rewards are worth it.

Make up your mind to make a plan, stick with it, and be accountable to it.

Eric Rhoads