It’s safe to say that most artists have some sort of formal training. Even the most naturally-talented artists need help in refining and tuning those skills. That doesn’t necessarily mean four-year degrees, but that route is starting to be more common.

If you’re already in school, you should want to get an art degree faster, easier, and cheaper.

When did Universities start offering Art degrees and why?

When colleges and universities recognized how much students were willing to pay for degrees, they expanded the subjects they offer. It was probably bizarre when the first art and music degrees began to pop up – who needs to spend four years and tens of thousands of dollars to learn how to play the piano, paint, or dance?

Schools realized they could help artists learn their craft and improve. But they also want to keep students in school as long as possible – and that means forcing Art students to take standard courses, even if they don’t apply to artists. Simply put, the more time an art student spends at school, the more money the school makes from tuition. There’s no motivation for them to graduate art students earlier even if the student is ready.

If you are an artist enrolled in school to get an art degree, it makes sense to develop those skills as quickly as possible so you can graduate sooner. You can save tens of thousands of dollars and something even more valuable – your time – by focusing on those core classes and outsourcing those that don’t directly help your talents.

You’ll be fine if you don’t spend your time in Intro to University Life or English Comprehension. It’s better to spend your time laser-focused on your craft and doubling-down on those classes.

If you us to take care of any classes you don’t want to do and get an art degree faster, click the button below to chat with one of us. Or fill out a Quote Request and we’ll have a free quote for you quickly.

What to do instead of taking useless classes 

If you save your time by outsourcing the classes that don’t help your career, you’ll have more time to spend on those things that do. One alternative is to find an apprenticeship.

Apprenticeships used to be far more common, especially in the art world. Perhaps the most unfortunate sign of modern times is the relative non-existence of apprenticeships for artists (and pretty much every other subject). 

It was common for young artists to seek older, experienced artists to learn from. Claude Monet was mentored by the great Eugene Boudin, who taught him how to use oil paints and the “en plein air” painting technique.

Claude MonetWhile apprenticeship may be less common today, if you’re serious about growing in your art consider seeking out a mentor. You’ll learn faster and, if nothing else, should be able to avoid obvious mistakes they’ve made in their career. These relationships will have a larger impact on your growth than most university classes.

Learn How to Sell Your Work

If you know how to sell, making a living as an artist is going to be much easier. You will sell to galleries, at art shows, to individuals, or online. Let’s start with a couple easy ways to sell your art online. 

Sell on Society 6.

Benefits include:

Sell your art on multiple products.

Sell your art on multiple products.

Sell to an existing and large audience.

Easy to connect to Shopify.

Fulfilled by them (you don’t have to pack and ship).

Sell on Fine Art America.

Benefits include:

Similar benefits to Society 6.

Can also sell original pieces with no commission.

You could also sell on your own website. Shopify is one of the easiest ways to start and requires no programming experience. You can pick from free and paid themes and be up and running in a couple days. It also allows you to easily connect to payment processors like PayPal and Stripe.

Finally, if you want to advertise your work, Facebook is one of the easiest ways to get started. You can learn most of what you need to know in a day or two with Facebook Blueprint, their online curriculum (and even become certified).