Looking at my remaining coursework for the studio art degree I’m aiming to earn, it’s disappointing to see no required business-related coursework. It’s disappointing because college is designed to give me and other students the tools to be successful after four years worth of studying.
For studio art students, the only course within our program that covers business within the arts, according to its course description, is ART 487: Professional Practices. ART 487’s aim is to “survey best practices, professional development and business expectations in the field. The portfolio class explores career options and helps students prepare for their graduating exhibition,” according to the course description.
As someone who relies on course descriptions to tell me what I’ll be learning, it sounds like ART 487 is geared towards putting together portfolios for potential art shows and some pricing strategies. Although submitting to art shows is important, I would imagine being able to set prices for art pieces is a necessary evil for selling artwork at shows. Yet, having students wait until senior year to cover pricing strategies doesn’t seem beneficial for underclassmen.
I would presume it’s easy to figure out to figure out a basic starting price for my artwork: cost of raw materials (aka, art supplies) plus my time creating a piece of artwork equals base price.
Yet, what value should assign to each hour I work on a piece of artwork? Should I use the amount of money on my education as some kind of indicator to figure that out?
And what about the markup, how high should it be? After all, selling a piece of artwork at the base price basically means I’d break even money wise.
A potential easy solution would to finding this information out would be the Beacom school’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship for non-business majors. The minor is set up to give people who are interested in entrepreneurship the building blocks to do so.
Yet, of the seven courses within the minor, either ENTR 481: New Venture Planning & Development or ENTR 482: New Venture Creation seem like they would be the most applicable. However, ENTR 481 requires one to be a senior and it’s a prerequisite for ENTR 482.
The question is then: where does an art student obtain the basics for selling their artwork while in a college setting?
A tip that Business Insider suggests is networking with other artists as well as with writers and art buyers. Or in other words, art students have to steer classroom conversations into a, “how to” conversation with setting prices and avenues for selling their artwork.
Yet, it’s somewhat disappointing that this isn’t a topic touched on in lower level coursework. Especially for a freshman or sophomore student who might aim to sell work through the Student Art Alliance’s art sales throughout the school year.
As someone who’s earned an associate degree in business, I believe it would be beneficial for art students to take a required business.