Ideas & Insights for Artists & Makers, Teachers & Students

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The Hunt for Art Scholarships

The Hunt for Art Scholarships

Scholarships & More
Who doesn't want to receive a scholarship? Or several? Art scholarships are definitely out there, but it will take some digging on your part and then time to fill out the applications. After watching my niece Faith apply for dozens and dozens of college scholarships during her senior year of high school, I'm convinced that being resourceful on the internet is a good skill to have. Finding the non-obvious scholarships can pay off too. Faith received one from her local electric cooperative, and even one from Burger King. Where to Search for Scholarships Corporations, small companies and non-profits are great places to research, as they usually have outreach programs. In the art world, visit the websites of manufacturers and distributors of art materials and supplies. College scholarships generally fall into two…
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Art Marketing Strategies: Promoting Your Good News

Art Marketing Strategies: Promoting Your Good News

Business Skills
Artists wear so many hats and it's easy to miss opportunities when they are presented. Running a successful business requires having plans in place to seize those moments. One such opportunity is when you win an award or your work is recognized in some manner. As awards are gained, we need to take the time to promote those wonderful milestones and gain some attention. Here are suggestions to help you maximize these opportunities and possibly increase exposure to your art, and gain awareness for your teaching. Social Media - Be strategic Thank and tag the organization/group that presented the award. Thank and tag the judge. If the judge made a comment, make sure to include that in your post. If you won a prize, thank and tag the sponsor. If…
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Going the Extra Mile for Earth Day

Going the Extra Mile for Earth Day

Teaching Art to Kids
Earth Day is Saturday, April 22nd, and a good time to reflect on how we as artists can do our share to protect our planet...the place we find so much inspiration. Here are eight simple steps you can easily implement. 1. Use repurposed containers in your studio; laundry soap pod containers, small ice cream/gelato jars, baby food jars, and egg cartons are just a few examples. 2. Donate recyclables to art classrooms. Items like paper towel or toilet paper tubes can be used in classrooms with younger children. And those egg cartons! 3. Encourage art projects made from “trash.” For example, magazines, bottle caps and old CD’s/DVD’s can become unusual mosaics and collages. 4. Use energy efficient lighting in your studio. LED’s (light emitting diodes) and CFL’s (compact fluorescent lamps)…
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What makes an art teacher “top shelf”?

What makes an art teacher “top shelf”?

Top-Shelf Teachers
No matter our age or skill level or art interest, we all appreciate really good art teachers. Those who inspire us to create more than we thought possible. So we recently posed the question: What makes an art teacher "top shelf" in your eyes? What about for your kids? Or maybe for your parents? One of my favorite responses came from Frank Leonard, a resident artist at ClaySpace: "A top-shelf art teacher is learning focused, not teaching focused.  Teaching Focused - My purpose is to communicate what I know.  Learning Focused - My purpose is to cause students to smile in delighted recognition of their effective interpretation and application of something I have shared with them, and enjoy each student's development, whatever it may be." John Weiss responded: "A top-shelf art teacher is someone who has…
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Sketching, A Most Important Tool

Sketching, A Most Important Tool

Discover the Visual Arts
Bill Sawczuk here. I want to talk to you about a subject that is not as dear to many artist's hearts as it should be... sketching. Sketching is one of the most important tools that an artist has in the pursuit of good work, and yet it seems to be the most under appreciated and unused skill that any artist should have. Why? Speaking with artists tells me that there are, of course, reasons for this. "I don't need a sketch to paint." "Sketching is too time consuming." "I don't like pencil work." And the real reason, "I don't wish to spend the time practicing to sketch." I'd like to try and answer some of these concerns about sketching. I think that the definition of sketching is unclear to many. The dictionary describes…
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Are you crafty enough to take our 30-day challenge? 

Are you crafty enough to take our 30-day challenge? 

Creative Aging, Discover the Visual Arts, Teaching Art to Kids
March is National Craft Month and to celebrate we thought it would be fun to try a new craft every day!  We’ve compiled a list of ideas (with links) that offer an educational twist for a variety of age groups and skill levels. Why create with our hands? Claire Waring says it very well in her Craft Schmaft blog: "To make is to be human. It’s global, primal and wonderful. The necessity of making is long gone, we craft these days because we want to. Using our hands is almost a luxury, an indulgence in precious time and gorgeous materials. The satisfaction I get from crafting can’t be measured. It’s a joy that can’t be compared and certainly  can’t be bought. I treasure the doing as much as having done. You…
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