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Cilente Bosman : Sharing Your Creative Passion

Sharing Your Creative Passion

10 important considerations if you're thinking of running a creative course

By Cilente Bosman

You've perfected your technique, honed your style and become quite an expert at working within your chosen medium. So where do you go from here?

You may have thought of taking on a new challenge in the form of teaching your craft to others, for a number of reasons. Perhaps you could do with supplementing your income from selling your own art with something a bit more steady and reliable. Being an artist can be quite solitary, so you might simply be missing the company of others. Maybe you just love doing what you do so much that you are overflowing with enthusiasm that has to be passed on to someone else through teaching.

Whatever your reasons for wanting to teach, there are a few important things to consider before getting started.

  1. How will you let people know about your workshops or classes?
  2. How will people looking for your type of course be able to find you?
  3. How many students will you need to have booked on a workshop to make it worth your while?
  4. Where will you run the workshops?
  5. What are the costs involved? For example:
    • Venue hire
    • Materials and equipment
    • Refreshments
    • Health and safety gear (if required)
    • Marketing (websites, flyers, online & offline advertising)
  6. How far will your budget stretch — how will you finance the initial outlay? What can you do to keep costs down?
  7. How much time can you spare? Remember not to tip over that work-life balance — make time for vacations and short breaks too, as you could easily find a whole summer has disappeared if too many weekends are booked up.
  8. How much planning will be required?
  9. What additional skills do you need to develop? Have you ever taught before? If not, you might want to consider taking a short course in teaching adults.
  10. Can you do this 'solo' or would it be worth teaming up with a fellow artist? Would it be best to offer your skills via an arts center, or to set up your own course provider business? You may be able to earn more from running workshops yourself, but will need to make sure that the income from this covers all the costs and more, if you want it to be a profitable venture.

If you are going to be working with under 16's (or vulnerable adults) you will of course also need to consider any child protection issues and take the necessary steps to ensure you've got it covered.

Aspiring arts tutors who are 'going it alone' often underestimate the amount of time and money that is taken up by marketing workshops or classes. Having a website is pretty much essential these days and with tools such as Wordpress almost anyone can create a blog site of their own.

Of course you will want to have your own 'online brochure' to tell people about your wonderful courses, but if no-one knows how to find it, it's a wasted effort. You can save yourself a lot of time, money and effort by using effective resources that are already out there.

You will still need to put a little effort into promoting your courses, but with most of your online marketing taken care of, all you really need to think about is the business of teaching.

So go on — what's stopping you? •

© Cilente Bosman 2010. All rights reserved.

Cilente BosmanCilente Bosman was co-founder of the former creative courses hub Artsbowl. More »

Updated 7/25/15